Long wknd driving in Benelux?

Old Feb 6th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Long wknd driving in Benelux?

I'm currently living in The Hague, and am interested in renting a car to drive from Amsterdam to Germany (Cologne? Bonn?) and Luxembourg for a long weekend.

Questions: Approximately how many hours of driving would this be? What are good places/routes to see by car in Western Germany? Where to see in Luxembourg? Any advice about routes?

Also, I've heard that you may need an international driving permit in addition to a U.S. driver's license in order to legally drive a rental car...is this true?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:06 AM
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Look up drive times at www.mappy.com. Very easy to use. If you want to visit Luxemburg, from The Hague drive via Brussels, or alternatively via Maastricht - Liege. The Hague/Luxemburg would be about 4 hours.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Don't know about the international driver's license; check with the rental firm. I have a Belgian license, and use that throughout Europe as well as in the US.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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You don't need an International Driving Permit in the any of the countries you mentioned. The IDP is required in Austria and Italy.

However, most car rental companies (at least the ones I've dealt with over the past 30 years) even in those two countries couldn't care less whether or not you have an IDP--their major concern is a valid credit card with plenty of available credit on it. It's only the police in Austria and Italy who might be concerned if you don't have one.

In Luxembourg, Luxembourg City has some nice sights, and we enjoyed our two night stay in the little town of Vianden very much--they have a very impressive castle.

If you are going in the winter or early spring, be sure to check which sights might be closed.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Rufus,
Where did you stay in Vianden? Would you recommend it for a family of 4?

1TXGRL
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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I second RufusT regarding Vianden - well worth a visit just to view the castle when approaching the town. We stayed in a zimmer on the main street. There are plenty of them. Another lovely town in Luxembourg is Echternach which you would pass through driving from Luxembourg city to Vianden. It is really beautiful around there. IMO Luxembourg city itself was ok but didn't do much for me. If I was doing it again, I would skip the city and stay in the countryside.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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I'd also like to cast a vote for Viaden. It's a quaint little town with a great castle on the hill.

There is a chairlift you can take up the hill to the castle. However, when we were there, it was closed, so we ended up walking up to the castle, which only took about 15 minutes (follow the road up).

The castle is sparsly decorated but it's great to wander through (self-guided tour). There are a few period rooms (kitchen, bedroom), but my favorite spot was the 10-sided Romanesque chapel with it's beautiful hues of blue, orange, gold, etc...

We stayed at the Hotel Victor Hugo. Here's a link to their website:

http://www.hotel-victor-hugo.lu/

The rooms were very nicely furnished. Breakfast included hard boiled eggs, cereals, several types of meat and cheeses, bread, jelly, juice, coffee, and an incredibly delicious apple cake roll. We paid EURO 68,00 for a double in 2003. We would definately stay there again.

We had dinner across the street at Auberge, on the terrace over the Our. We had trout with chicken noodle soup & weinerschnitzel with cheese croquettes. Both were delicious, but the strawberry cream cheese roll was to die for!

If you have time, and enjoy photography, I would also like to recommend Clervaux, which is located between Maastricht (NL) and Viaden. The "Family of Man" photo exhibition is on permanent display at the Chateau. My husband & I were both blown away by the exhibit.

If you are interested in WWII history, there is a Battle of the Bulge museum right next door. We didn't have time to check it out as we spent all our time absorbing the images of the "Family of Man".

To me the charm of Luxembourg City was it's landscape. The city is located on two levels, in fact you can walk down a switchback road to the Grund area then take an elevator back up to the top! The lower level where the Petrusse and the Alzette come together is a beautiful park with paths for walking. Of course, it does help if you have nice weather to enjoy the scenery.

In my opinion, Luxembourg (the Duchy) is a hidden little gem not yet over-run by hoards of tourists. I hope you enjoy your travels. Peace, Robyn >-
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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nl567,

This is your first post on Fodor's. Why don't you write about the kinds of things you would like to do. Everyone here has different experiences and it is likely that someone can match your interests.

I've livend in the Netherlands (in Haarlem) and have driven and trained around most of Europe. Your interests may be different.

Let us know what you like and you will be much more likely to get worthwhile information. Also, many first timers at Fodor's get impatient with no response in an hour or a day. Most of us have a life outside Fodors, thankfully, and only visit this forum once a day. Be patient. Click your own name after signing in to see recent posts to your threads.

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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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Hotel in Vianden, from my trip report on our June 2006 visit:

1. Vianden, Luxembourg--2 nights at the Hotel Heintz. A very pleasant family hotel on the road going up the hill to the castle. We had one of the more expensive rooms (90 euros a night including parking, breakfast, taxes). The restaurant is very good--excellent trout.

Room was spacious as was the bathroom--we actually had a large sitting room with TV and a separate bed chamber. Has an elevator. http://www.hotel-heintz.lu/english/index.html

You can also dine outdoors in nice weather.
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