Netherlands/Belgium Itinerary Advice

Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 05:14 PM
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I cannot see anyone saying to somebody to "Skip Belgium" ..Really.

You mean skip

Brussels
Waterloo
Leuven ( 18 miles from Brussels)
Antwerp
Ghent
Bruge

There is not much to see here ??


Oh and sorry Enkhuzein is not a city.

But it is a very lovely place.

I know I have to pick hairs. !
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 08:26 PM
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jordanalyssa91 on Apr 1, 17 at 8:18pm
Spaame - what would you suggest if we decided to skip Belgium?


I suggest a day in Haarlem, a short train ride from Amsterdam. See http://visithaarlem.org/sightssounds. In fact you might consider spending your last couple of days in Haarlem since you are going there to see the Bloemencorso, http://www.holland.com/global/touris...wer-parade.htm. According to this site the parade is not scheduled to arrive until 9:00 PM on Saturday evening. The floats are then parked overnight. In the past they were parked on the Gedempte Oude Gracht, a short walk south from the Grote Markt.

And since it looks like you'll be lucky to get into the Anne Frank House, I suggest another WWII museum in Haarlem, the Corrie Ten Boom house. See https://www.corrietenboom.com/old/information.htm. This is free and rarely has a line waiting. Corrie was a Christian woman who risked everything saving hundreds of Jews during the German occupation. This is an impressive but barely known museum, upstairs from the still existing clock shop. You can also visit the Frans Hals Museum, a little jewel.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 11:55 PM
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Enkhuizen totally is a City, Percy. In fact, together with Hoorn it rivalled Amsterdam in the 16th century and had its own VOC chamber. It had a strategic position halfway between the silted up area that blocked the Amsterdam port and the island of Texel, which was an important harbour for ships leaving for the East Indies. Enkhuizen was the third largest shareholder in the VOC, after Amsterdam and the Province of Zeeland. Enkhuizen built 108 merchant ships, from the 16th to the 18th century.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 11:57 PM
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Now it still retains some small manufactures. I visited one there - I agree it is a beautiful city.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 12:03 AM
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StCirq, your love for Rotterdam warms my heart.

OP, do consider Rotterdam instead of Brussels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pv3DzRKnec
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 02:24 AM
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Thanks for all the recommendations!

We are not planning on skipping Belgium - for one, we already have hotels booked. But also we really wanted to just see (albeit briefly) a few cities and eat and drink in Belgium.

I have heard that frequently about Brussels vs. Ghent/Bruges. We picked Brussels as a base due to hotel availability (we used credit card points to book and therefore had limited options). Would you recommend separating Ghent and Bruges on those two Belgium days? That would leave us staying in Brussels but not actually spending a ton of time there (mornings/evenings only).

I was able to book AFH tickets for Monday morning with the introductory program!! So Saturday afternoon we will now spend exploring and if the weather is nice we will do the canal tour.

On Monday we will do AFH in morning and then head to Keukenhof.

I also booked our hotel for the last two nights (Friday and Saturday) in Haarlem. If we have tine, I would like to go to the Corrie Ten Boom house there.

Any other recommendations?
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 02:35 AM
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I hear everybody say Rotterdam is nice.
Are the Rotterdammerungen capable of answering a Walloon speaking Flemish in Dutch ?

OP where do you stay in Brussels ? Hope not close to gare du midi (brussels south statoin - Brussel zuid).
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 02:42 AM
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WoinParis, would be happy to show you around!

Oddly, wonderfully, now that I get to know Brussels better, I'm discovering that the vibe is similar to Rotterdam: both cities with a very strong city identity, a diverse population and a city that is loved dearly for all its "faults" perceived by "outsiders".
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 04:36 AM
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IMO Ghent and Bruges are far more interesting places than Brussels and think a day trip trip on each day would give you a good taste. This isn't to say that Brussels isn't worth it but fortunately for you there is plenty to look at near the Grand Place. You could see a good deal of Ghent on a half day if you left in the morning. Bruges you'd probably want to stay as long as possible for and maybe leave after dinner/nightfall (the train ride from Brussels is longer too)
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Old May 5th, 2017, 11:00 AM
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I have been to Brussels many times for work and have made side trips to both Bruges and Ghent. For me, Ghent is fine... but Bruges is magic. And I like Brussels a lot - it is a "real" modern European city with all the grit of immigrants, modern parts, on the historic bourgeois background. So I would spend a day in Brussels, a day in Bruges and skip Ghent. But I definitely suggest not staying in Brussels & trying to do Ghent and Bruges in one day - I like to be busy too but that would really just mean spending all your time in and out of train stations. Oh, and the comment about the gare du Midi/Bruxelles Sud area is that it is poor and has little for tourists, better to look for a hotel near either the central (best) or north stations, which are walking distance apart.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 12:55 PM
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JToronto sums it all up so well.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 03:41 PM
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A little late to the party -- The OP's trip was last month.
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Old May 6th, 2017, 11:03 AM
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So what - lots of other folks read these threads.

OP -please report back.
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Old May 6th, 2017, 12:38 PM
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>>So what - lots of other folks read these threads.the OP and it was too late
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Old May 6th, 2017, 01:47 PM
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Could be -- However the person who topped the thread was advising the OP and it was too late>

OK!
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Old May 7th, 2017, 05:48 AM
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Bm
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