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London, Belgium(Brussels, Ghent,Bruges, Antwerp) and Amsterdam

London, Belgium(Brussels, Ghent,Bruges, Antwerp) and Amsterdam

Jun 26th, 2019, 11:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 112
London, Belgium(Brussels, Ghent,Bruges, Antwerp) and Amsterdam

Notes… Tips.. and Travels

My husband and I recently traveled to London..train to Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam

London.. we have been a few times so did some different things:

1. Eating Italy Soho Food tour. Had a very fun time. Not really English food, except for the pint and steak and kidney pie.

2. Train to Canterbury for the day. Did the paid walking tour and little boat tour ..very fun day. Great modern pizza place on the main street.

3. Did the paid East London Street art tour. Had lunch at Gunsmoke. LOVED!!!

Tour very good tour and did the Shoreditch market and Brick Lane with the artists. Loved all the cool new clothes. Expensive day for me!!

4. We bought an Oyster card when we arrived. As we will be back. So easy to use.


1. Eursotar there. Plenty of room for luggage. I had bought a lock and cable listening to stories. But all times we kept backpacks with us. Luggage at our feet if it didn’t fit above or right across from us. There is a lovely chain restaurant. Le Q something , all over where we were. In the Kings Cross station. A lovely sit down breakfast with avocado toast! But it was like $45.00

2. We stayed out at a fabulous 19thcentury B and B in Flagey. Everywhere but London we stayed at similar, so post if you’d like more info on them, ..all amazing. Loved staying Flagey though . A lake with swans right across from us. Sooo quiet!! Super easy to get the tram to the centre. So many fabulous restaurants close by. No need to travel back to the centre.

3. We did the chocolate and beer tasting tour. Very fun.. although I had to do a doggie bag for the chocolate after two and we only did half the beer. But he sent us with bottles in our back pack! We sampled chocolate from $60.00 a kg to $120.00


1. We were going to do this on the way to Bruges, but in the end decided to spend more time than in Brussels. Plus we would have had to store our luggage etc. Glad we did. Very nice day. Houses and buildings amazing. I would get there early and do the canal trip or last in the day when all the cruises and busses have left. We were there from about ten in the am to five at night. And yes just take Tram #1 from the train station. Walking is not worth it. Not picturesque.

TB Continued!
boxcox is offline  
Jun 26th, 2019, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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How smart to stay at Flagey - last time we stayed in a hotel in Rue Paul Spaak off Louise and walked down to Flagey as the tram line was undergoing works. What was the name of your B&B? Did you go to Café Belga?

lavandula is offline  
Jun 27th, 2019, 07:18 AM
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We stayed at Maison Flagey. Tagged as an historic Building for Art Nouveau. There was an over the top shower/bathroom attached to our room. But we could only peak through the window. The historical society put it off limits to use as the water was ruining all the gorgeous tilework. It was all lovely anyway.. No we did not go to the Cafe.. but we did have the best steak frites on our entire trip at a tiny Steak place with like 7 tables. Sooo good!!
boxcox is offline  
Jun 27th, 2019, 07:42 AM
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1. Loved again our B and B.. but boy those stairs! so old.. and narrow and steep! Number 11 Guesthouse.

2. We did the Tours with Locals. a paid tour that is very small. The two we did we were the only ones. Its three hours and packed full of info. Great for anyone wanting alot of historical info. and local info as well.

3. Lots of tours in. so again boat tours after they have all left. We did the museum.. church etc.. hubby had a well deserved massage.. I had my well deserved shopping! There is a market where they used to sell Fish. There is a weaver and his wife selling the most fabulous linen scarves there, he is weaving them right there. i am trying to get him to ship two others. I wore the one I had everyday of the trip.

3. Lovely dinners. did our research.. not the tourist traps. Two days was just right.. time to move on!!


1. Antwerp was our least favorite. Still very nice but after Bruges and Ghent. more of a big city.We also stayed out of the centre in the jewish quarter which was very interesting. and pretty easy to get into the centre. We did another locals tour here. and ended up early, as it was raining so hard, just having a coffee and chatting about the area.
2. did the museums...very nice..you can go to the top of the MAS museum for free for the view.
3. There is an area not far from the Jewish quarter with e most amazing art nouveau houses. We walked twenty minutes over there. Can find the info if anyone would like. Our host told us about that. Hadn't seen that posted anywhere. a true find.
4. We just took the tram from the train station. pretty easy.


​​​​​​​1. We liked Amsterdam, we stayed in a 16th century apt, (purported to be Rembrandts audio on the top floor). We are on a corner with canals on both sides. So lovely, right across form the Anne Frank Museum. ok except for the church bells across the canal that chimed every 15 minutes a ll night long.. My husband ended up in the second bedroom on the other side with the sound machine on. But he was fine with it. and I slept through with my helper ambien. They had warned us.. so not a surprise.. except we thought they would at least go off at 2am!!

2. We did the dinner cruise. sounds so cheesy but it was one of the better meals on the trip, very high end cuisine. lots of wine and 2.5 hours of lovely scenes. not cheap. I think it was 100 E each. but worth it.

3. Did the Anne Frank, 'R" ..and Van Gogh.. tickets for all ahead of time. Anne Frank a MUST... we went to Van Gogh at 9:00 or 9:30 just after it had opened. Good time. The tickets are timed so that helps. for the "R" museum I think I would get there first thing(we were at 10.. or go at like 4.. so many tours and school trips there.

4. we did a food tour.. that was pretty fun although we didnt finish.It was four hours. too long..

5. Lots of fun antique shopping. and clothes etc. bought some great European Ecco sandals. not sold here. the water tours all looked u. wished we had done the paddle foot boats.

6. Haarlem. our least favorite. We took and uber over and back as it was the next to last day and we were TIRED! trams and trains...we were done.. we splurged.. but interesting to chat with the drivers. Only there for four hours ..had planned to stay loger but it wasn't calling out to us. Not as cute as I had pictured.

7. excellent diner.. did the 'rice table' at an Indonesian restaurant.. very fun.

I think that was it. and then flight to Heathrow. spent the night at the lovely Soffitel again. so worth it!! in terminal five. and left the next day. well the plane 9 hours late for technical difficulties.. but now I know all about EC261 a European law and have been reimbursed $1300.00 for the delay.

​​​​​​​I think thats it!! k.
boxcox is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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Thanks for posting!
In the earliest stages of planning an Amsterdam (3-4 days) + repeat Switz trip in 2021.
mokka4 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2019, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for sharing. I love reading trip reports. Would love to get back to Bruges and Amsterdam and Haarlem.
travlsolo2 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2019, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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"Lovely dinners. did our research.. not the tourist traps. Two days was just right..."

Boxcox--Would you share where you had these lovely dinners in Bruges?
europeannovice is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 05:50 AM
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Hello of course... one was Petite Aneth the other Bistro Christophe.
boxcox is offline  
Jul 5th, 2019, 05:44 PM
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Great thanks!
europeannovice is offline  
Jul 5th, 2019, 09:18 PM
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>>Had lunch at Gunsmoke. LOVED!!!<<

By any chance did you mean Gunpowder? It is on my list . . .
janisj is online now  
Jul 6th, 2019, 07:02 AM
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ah yes sorry! Gunpowder!!! fabulous!!!!
boxcox is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Yeah, I have chosen to stop at Antwerp during our intense Eurotrip last month, and yeah, if I could turn back time I would have swapped it for Bruges. It's so picturesque!
emily_jablon is offline  
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