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need your thoughts on 2 week Benelux trip

need your thoughts on 2 week Benelux trip

Jan 5th, 2006, 07:28 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 79
need your thoughts on 2 week Benelux trip

If everything works out my DH and I are going to the Benelux region the last 2 weeks of April. My plan is : Fly into Amsterdam and take train to Brugges.
Day 1: Brugges
Day 2 : Brugges
Day 3: Brugges
Day 4: Take train to ? and rent car to
go to the Ardennes region
Day 5: Ardennes
Day 6: Ardennes
Day 7: Ardenes
Day 8: Drop off car and take train to
Amsterdam with stop in Antwerp
(have to go see a dog there!)
Days 9-13: Amsterdam

Questions - Where would be the best place
to take train to rent car?
Would the trip be better staying in Amsterdam first and then going to Belgium?
Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.
Theresa
duncmom1 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 05:19 AM
  #2  
 
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Posts: 11,244
Three days in Brugges and 4 days in the Ardennes? What are you going to do? Use those two locations as a base for day trips?

Gent & Brussels are worth a visit, if only for one day. You can train there.

I would rent a car for the days in the Ardennes.

Five days in Amsterdam? Hope you are considering a bunch of day trips.

What else are you planning? Going to see the tulips? Drink beer? By the way, the Heineken in Holland is a completely different beer from the one you get in the States.

Topping for others to comment.
Budman is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 05:49 AM
  #3  
 
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Brugge is a wonderful place for a visit. Most suggest 2-3 days, but I just came back from my third one-week long visit. You will have plenty to do in Brugge even without a day trip. But, if you do wish to have an excursion outside of Brugge for one of your days, Ghent would be an excellent choice. Antwerp and Brussels are also very easy for a day trip from Brugge.
beanweb24 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:03 AM
  #4  
MaureenB
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We loved our five-night stay in Amsterdam last June. If you click on my screen name above, you will find my trip report of London-Paris-Amsterdam, with specific restaurants and sites we enjoyed in Amsterdam. It is a delightfully friendly, clean and charming city. Don't be put off by its brown cafes and red light district-- they aren't overwhelming (unless you want them to be!).
 
Jan 6th, 2006, 08:52 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 677
I am surprised that your itinerary has no mention of bulb fields, since you are going to be there at the perfect time.

During late April/early May there are spectacular fields of tulips and hyacinths both north and south of Amsterdam. I have seen few things in my life that were as colorful.

I would consider spending a night in Delft (or a nearby small town) during your drive from southern Belgium to Amsterdam. If you do stop, another "must see" near Delft is Kinderdijk, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of 19 well-preserved windmills from the 1700s. Kinderdijk is one of those places that reminds us why we travel.

If all else fails, you can catch a train from Amsterdam to visit Keukenhof, which is allegedly the largest flower garden in the world (more than 7 million flowers). A visit to the gardens, however, is very different than driving among the vast tulip fields.

We were in the Ardennes in the Spring of 2005. We loved our visit to Dinant and hated our visit to Namur, which is notable because these two towns are often presented in the travel literature as virtually equivalent (they both have stone fortresses perched high above a river). Dinant is compact and picturesque, whereas Namur is sprawling and not particularly photogenic (even worse, the riverside areas smelled of urine - probably from partying teenagers).

It might be less expensive to rent a car in Amsterdam, with the exception of Schiphol, which likely involves a daily airport tax surcharge. You will find that driving in Benelux is not difficult, provided that you have a nice highway map (e.g., Michelin series) and a passenger that can read a map.
smueller is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:15 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: May 2003
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From some of the comments, maybe I have my schedule arranged wrong. I was thinking that during the Ardennes part of our trip that I would go to Luxemburg for the day, etc.,just use one town as a base and take day trips from there? Am I allowing too much time for that region? Also, which town would you use as a base?
We are planning to take day trips to the bulb fields, Delft, Haarlem, etc using Amsterdam as a base instead of moving around so much.
Where would you suggest renting the car for the Ardennes part of the trip? I just don't want to navigate thru Brussels. We will be going there from Brugge.
Thanks
Theresa
duncmom1 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:39 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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For the Ardennes, you could base yourself in Luxembourg City. Great resturants, wonderful parks, and it will be so pretty in Arpil. It is such a clean city with nice people and very easy to get around. You could rent a car there. You could spend a day in the City, a day exploring some of the castles in Luxembourg (Clervaux, Bierscheid, etc.), and wonderful places like Trier and Riems are not far away.
DanM is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 11:42 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 490
Oh, Vianden is my favorite Luxembourg castle. There is a great little resurant right on the river going through town. Excellent german food. If you go to Luxembourg City, I can give you a list of excellent resurants for everything from asian to what are really some pretty good hamburgers.
DanM is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM
  #9  
 
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If you are going directly from Brugge to the Ardennes, best would be to rent a car in Brugge and do the trip by car. Depending from where you will be staying in the Ardennes, it might be difficult to reach by public transport.
Dinant, Bouillon, Durbuy (which is the smallest town in Europe ... they say), Spa, Echternach, Luxembourg ... all worth a visit.
After you have explored the Ardennes, drop off your car in Liège (B) and train to Amsterdam, with a stop in Antwerp (make sure you have a ticket that allows you to interrupt your journey!).
MyriamC is online now  

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