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Itinerary help for the slightly geographically challeged!

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May 18th, 2015, 09:45 AM
  #1
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Itinerary help for the slightly geographically challeged!

So- with the help of this forum, I have decided on The Conservatorium in Amsterdam for the first four nights of my almost two week trip, which will end in Paris, with stops in Ghent, Delft and Bruges (also per the forum). Will be traveling exclusively by train.

Can you please help me "order" those cities, in terms of both geography as well as what makes sense, being that my final stop would be Paris? I kind of want to spend two nights in Bruges, but would also greatly appreciate input as to whether the other two cities could/should be day trips, or warrant an overnight stay in either or both.
Thanks in advance!
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May 18th, 2015, 09:56 AM
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Belgium is small and trains run correctly.
Train to Paris leave from Brussels (Thalys), book 90 days in advance for good prices or possible through Lille I think (never took myself).
Brugge is quite nice but small and 'disney like', Gent is bigger and a living city. I like it a lot too.
Brussels is ma favourite city in Belgium but for whatever reasons a lot of tourists don't like to stay there.
Never been to Delft.
Amsterdam is nice.
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May 18th, 2015, 10:09 AM
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Bruges and Ghent are only about 30 minutes apart by train so I don't see that it makes sense to stay in both of them. I would count on spending about 5 nights in bruges, which would give you 2 full days in bruges and 2 in Ghent.

I am not a fan of Brussels, but you might want to spend one night there to at least see the Grand Place and one or two other sights.

Suggest you go to bahn.de, which has train schedules for all of europe - and will help you plot out the best way to get from one city to another.

We saw Delft as a day trip from Amsterdam, which was plenty for us.

But since we don't know your specific interests and what sights you want to see it's hard to be more specific. I would start with a list of your major sights in each place to determine how much time you need there. The Michelin green guides are excellent for both rating sights and telling you how long it will take to see them.
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May 18th, 2015, 10:53 AM
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Thank you both. nytraveler (as am I )- I am a fan of museums, but also delving into the culture of the cities- markets, shops, cafes, neighborhoods, parks etc. I have not yet identified the key sights outside of Amsterdam that I want to include.
That said- you've both been very helpful as it seems, if I understand this correctly, I should visit Delft during the 4 days in Amsterdam, travel to Bruges (possibly for three nights) and see Ghent as one long daytrip from there, and head on to Paris from Bruges via Brussels.
I tend to get anxious until I nail down the accommodations and finding a hotel in Amsterdam for those particular 4 nights was very challenging.
WIth this plan, I can go ahead and book a hotel or B and B in Bruges.
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May 18th, 2015, 11:05 AM
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ibrawer--

Don't leave the Hague out of your visit around Delft. Maruitshuis is a wonderful museum with, among other things. Vermeer's "View of Delft."

https://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/

FWIW, we found Bruges extremely crowded on our one day there many years ago. There were so many people that it was hard to see anything. We are staying one nite this fall, to have the experience of Bruges in the evening and the morning without (we hope) hordes of tourists. We're staying elsewhere in Belgium (Mechelen) for the rest of our time there.
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May 18th, 2015, 11:18 AM
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bruges does tend to get crowded in the daytime, but you can use the middle of the day for off the beaten track sights and activities and the earlier morning and later afternoons for the busiest ones. We found it lovely - stayed in one of the historic canal house hotels which had a superb restaurant (they required dinner one evening).

But we found food in Belgium to be hands down the best in europe - even in the very modest cafes and certainly the nicer restaurants. On another trip we arrived on a night when most local places were closed and ended up eating dinner in a restaurant attached to a bandstand in the town park. Very simple - but absolutely perfect - moules frites - I don't think we've ever had better.
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May 18th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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dwdvagamundo- thank you for that info. The museum is a must for me- am a huge fan of Vermeer- Could I visit the museum during the Delft day?

And nytraveler, could you share the name of the hotel in Bruges? Am looking at the Cote Canal (again based on multiple recommendations)and as of now, they still have a room (only four in total), but would love to have another recommendation on the canal!
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May 18th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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This site shows a train every ten minutes, so It's doable. http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Delft/The-Hague We had a car and stayed in the Hague overnite. We visited the Museum first thing in the morning and then drove to Delft.

Even accounting for the train to and from Amsterdam, you should be able to do it if you get an early start.
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May 19th, 2015, 02:42 AM
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There are lots of other small cities in the Netherlands besides Delft that I liked better, not that there is anything wrong with Delft. Some of my favorites were Leiden, Haarlem, and Dordrecht. I also really like the Hague. When I was living in the Netherlands, I housesat one month for a colleague who lived in the Hague. I also really liked Utrecht.
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May 19th, 2015, 03:14 AM
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We ended up staying in Delft for a few days when we couldn't find accommodation we liked in Haarlem and it worked very well as a base, though not if you are wanting to see the Tulip fields.

3 nights were fine - plenty to do in and around the town to fill a day plus a day trip to the Hague.
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May 19th, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Utrecht and Haarlem are on my list as well as possible daytrips from Amsterdam (plus I went to New Utrecht High School so there's that
Have 4 nights in Amsterdam (so essentially 3+days as I arrive at 4 pm on a Saturday). Will try to squeeze in as much as possible without sacrificing the joy of being there!
I should note that my trip is in late September through early October.
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