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Need input on trip to Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg?

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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:20 AM
  #1
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Need input on trip to Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg?

My wife and I are taking a trip in July or August of this year. Will be 9-10 days. We're thinking right now about going to the Netherlands, Belgium, and maybe Luxembourg. Right now leaning towards getting a car if necessary to hit some of the smaller locations but train is also a possibility if car is not needed.

We already have several travel books that we're looking through but fellow traveler feedback is always helpful in narrowing the list.

In the Netherlands we're definitely planning on going to Amsterdam and Haarlem. Is Rotterdam worth trip? Any others?

In Belgium, Brugge and Ghent are planned stops. We've been to Brussels before. Any other must sees? Antwerp? We are big fans of chateaus and castles, so any advice in that regard is particularly helpful.

And finally, we've considered adding a stop in Luxembourg. I've read mixed reviews of Luxembourg City. What's the consensus here about whether its also worth going to?

Generally for all stops we enjoy history, culture, castles/chateaus, churches, good cuisine, and shopping. We will do some museums but don't plan on trying to hit every one.

Any feedback appreciated!
robertcoon is offline  
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Mar 17th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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I would definitely recommend visiting Antwerp. My TR from the fall of 2010 has some suggestions for Belgian destinations other than Brussels. If you did not see the Art Nouveau sections of Brussels consider going back for that (easy to do from Ghent) Train travel in Belgium is very easy. Food, beer and chocolate are excellent

I am not a great fan of Luxembourg and would concentrate on Belgium and the Netherlands.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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For castles in Belgium you could visit Freÿr, which is on the Meuse not far from Dinant, and Castle Gaasbeek, just outside Brussels. I would recommend a car for both of those. There is also an excellent citadel in Dinant, another in Namur, a fortress atop the hill in Bouillon and medieval castle ruins in La-Roche-en-Ardenne (Dinant is especially pretty, La Roche is in a woodland setting). Look out for the shop selling traditional hunter's clothing and carved walking sticks.

I don't mind Luxembourg - it is quite pretty but be prepared for walking up and down hills as the old town is in a valley. And if you are interested in fortifications the casemates (tunnels dug into the cliff face) are interesting. Traditional food is similar to what you might find in Belgium - they take food very seriously. Spend 1 day tops there.

Lavandula
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Mar 18th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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We enjoyed Luxembourg City but it's really out of your way unless you have some special reason to go there; e.g., to see Patton's tomb.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 07:34 PM
  #5
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Thanks everyone for the feedback!
robertcoon is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2013, 05:18 AM
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Did that trip last summer - I had ten days (2 Luxembourg, 3 Belgium, 5 Netherlands).

Definitely enjoyed Luxembourg. I'd wanted to go there for years but it never 'fit' in any itinerary till this one. I wouldn't do it at the expense of the other places, but if you can fit it in you should. I had two nights but really only one day (I was traveling there from Italy and didn't get there till evening).

In Belgium I stayed in Antwerp and loved it. Did day trips to Ghent and Brugge. I had previously been to Brussels, but now having been to all four of them I'd say devote the most time to Brugge (at least the majority of a day) and Antwerp.

In Netherlands I stayed in Haarlem and did day trips to Amsterdam (had previously been there) and Delft, Leiden, and Gouda.

I did all of this by train. Here's my trip report - http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...etherlands.cfm

Photos from the trip - http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/belg...nds_luxembourg
isabel is online now  
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Mar 21st, 2013, 05:31 AM
  #7
 
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One of our favorite visits in the Netherlands was to Het Loo.

http://www.holland.com/global/touris...ce-het-loo.htm

as well as the nearby Hogue Veluwe.
http://www.holland.com/global/touris...oge-veluwe.htm
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Mar 21st, 2013, 05:36 AM
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In 2003 I visited the same countries, with a car for Luxembourg and trains elsewhere. I really liked Luxembourg - not just the city. My TR is here: http://wilhelmswords.com/faq/index.html
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