Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Need to Trim Down on Travel Time: Amsterdam or Brussels

Need to Trim Down on Travel Time: Amsterdam or Brussels

Jul 21st, 2009, 01:26 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Need to Trim Down on Travel Time: Amsterdam or Brussels

My original plan:

Day 1: Arrive into Amsterdam
Day 2: Entire day in Amsterdam
Day 3: Entire day in Amsterdam
Day 4: Day Trip to Harleem
Day 5: Amsterdam--> Brussels
Day 6: Entire day in Brussels
Day 7: Entire day in Brussels
Day 8: Day Trip to Bruggs
Day 9: Brussels --> Ireland

Currently, I need to trim down my vacation days due to conflict with school schedule. If you were in my shoes, which cities/towns would you cut back on? Should I cut down one day from each city? Or does one city deserve more time than the other? Or should I cut back on my day trip?

Thank you!
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 01:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
Cut Brussels. Keep the day trip to, I assume you mean, Haarlem.
spaarne is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 01:36 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
First of all, I wouldn't advise going to Brussels at all unless you have a very specific agenda for going. Personally, I would prefer to stay in Antwerp or Gent, and just go to Brussels to see the Grand Place (and the Horta museum if you share that passion). Belgium is a fantastic food and beer destination, and I think Antwerpen and Gent the most enjoyable venues for it. (Many people like well-preserved Brugge, but it is almost solely a tourist destination).

If you are planning on just following your nose, it's going to be more rewarding to do that in Amsterdam, a city with a very enjoyable ambience. Brussels is very fragmented, with isolated spots of beauty amid of very unfortunate modern block buidling -- and great food everywhere, of course, but other places are nicer to look at and easier to negotiate.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 01:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
I too would cut out Brussels and Brugge. Stay in Amsterdam, do a day trip to Haarlem, and maybe another city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam if you like modern and trendy, or Den Haag, Utrecht, Leiden.
Do you have tickets booked from Brussels to Ireland? Otherwise fly Aer Lingus from Amsterdam.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 02:10 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
My greatest fear is seeing similar looking architecture, etc.

So, what happens if I just go to Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Gent? Would that work?
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 02:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Well if you want some different architecture include Rotterdam in your plans. Really it is worth a day trip.
Den Haag is also very different to Amsterdam.
Are you cutting time of the start or the end of this part of the trip? in other words is your ticket to Ireland booked and set in stone?
hetismij is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 02:41 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Thank you for your suggestions.

Nothing is set in stone yet. I am still in the planning phase.

I will definitely fly from Amsterdam to Ireland
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 02:58 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I think Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Gent would make for fantastic variety. It would really be something to think about.

Your greatest fear should be not getting to see the Van Eyck masterpiece in St Bavo's cathedral in Gent -- and the town's architecture.

I would also want to sample some Belgian beer, jenever, waffles, chocolates, moules, frites -- although not all at once!
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 03:00 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
Wait, how about Haarlem, Zeppole? Should I cut out Haarlem?
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 03:11 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
I would suggest you arrive in Amsterdam and depending on what time you arrive in AMS, either spend one night there or get on the train to Gent immediately, spend a 2 nights in Gent, come back via Rotterdam, where you can either spend the night or just spend the day, then end up back in Amsterdam. If you have had enough of Amsterdam Haarlem is only a short train ride away and will make a pleasant change.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 03:50 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I can't answer authoritatively because I haven't been. Pictures, however, suggest to me that the itinerary heismij outlined will eliminate your greatest fear.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 04:23 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
hobbitthefoodlover: If your architecture tastes run to modern ugly then by all means do not miss Rotterdam. It is terrible IMO.

You asked earlier So, what happens if I just go to Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Gent? Would that work? YES.

zeppole: You forgot the haring in your menu list.

Don't cut Haarlem. It has a central area around the big church with a concentration of restaurants and cafes. The Cafe Brinkman on the Grote Markt is ideal for people watching on a nice day.

For eating in Amsterdam I suggest the Luden for good food, service, and reasonable cost. Also, check out the Cafe Luxembourg and the Hoppe bar for beverages. All are at the Spui.
spaarne is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 04:37 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
well, rotterdam has some extraoridnarily innovative architecture. But you have to be interested in that sort of thing, not just looking for the picturesque, with some variety. But this is something to see:

http://www.boingboing.net/2006/11/30...-building.html

http://www.holland.com/uk/citystyle/.../architecture/
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 05:07 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16,646
Hi; Consider visiting Maastricht, possibly the oldest city in the Netherlands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/maastricht From Amsterdan you could also consider visiting the lovely town of Muiden, with it's castle. Just about ten miles south of the city. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/muiden Dick
iris1745 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 05:23 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I should ask: Did the Cactus House ever go beyond being a design concept? Does it exist in 3 dimensions in Rotterdam?
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 06:35 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Zeppole, as far as I know it is not there yet - planning decisions in the Netherlands are very slow, but I believe the intention is still to build it. I haven't been to Rotterdam for quite a while now I must admit.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 06:55 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Thanks!
zeppole is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 04:05 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 212
NYT article on Haarlem:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/07/19...yout.html?8dpc

Is this a sign?

Thank you all for your opinion! I will think about it. Cannot wait to go
hobbitthefoodlover is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 07:28 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,911
At last, a travel writer who pens like a poet and has actually been to Haarlem. Bravo Beth Greenfield and NYT!

The statue is Laurens Coster who locals speculate as having invented moveable type before Johann Gutenberg.
spaarne is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
swetz
Europe
21
Mar 9th, 2015 12:07 PM
Hoai
Europe
15
Jan 22nd, 2014 11:45 AM
mavip
Europe
7
Jan 31st, 2012 03:58 PM
steve_Australia
Europe
10
Oct 17th, 2011 11:10 PM
Enroh
Europe
9
Apr 4th, 2011 09:15 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:19 PM.