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Amsterdam, Belgium and WW2

I love this forum because people are so helpful and share their knowledge so readily to help….which saves us a ton of trouble! I have previously asked for help planning our trip next spring to Belgium…..what I need to fine now is someone that has toured that area as we want to and can tell us where to start and end. We are up for visiting Amsterdam, see the tulips, go to Brussels, Bruge and squeeze in WW1 and WW2 sites in Luxembourg and try to see Patton’s grave if those that have been feel it’s worth it…….should we fly into a place near Luxembourg and head north and end in Amsterdam?…….or turn it around…….we do not want to miss the tulips so we need to be aware of that timing. Thank you so much for your help as always!

Posted by
91 posts

The tulips are happening right now, is this trip for this year?

Posted by
1417 posts

The sweet spot for both the tulips in the fields and the Keukenhof is during the last 2 weeks of April. So where you should start depends on when you can travel. If you want to start in early April; begin in Belgium. If you want to start later in April; start in the Netherlands.

Btw; you already received lots of help in your previous post https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/belgium/planning-a-trip-to-belgium-need-some-help
If that information wasn’t helpful or detailed enough, it helps if you ask more specific questions.

Posted by
6806 posts

I enjoyed the American cemetery in Luxembourg as somber as it is, and I had wanted to see Patton’s grave for a while. I also enjoyed the National Museum of Military History (MNHM) Asbl in Diekirch. Possibly not near where you’re going is Maignot Line Fort Schoenenbourg, France. We spent a few hours there walking the tunnels inside the fort and around the Blocs de combat du fort de Schoenenbourg outside the fort, about a mile away.

For WW-I, Verdun, France was a worthwhile visit. The museum there was very informative and the Douaumont Ossuary somber. We walked parts of Fort Douaumont, but didn’t pay to go inside as it didn’t compare to the fort previously mentioned. There were original trench remnants along the road to the fort. Nearby is the Herméville Canon. It’s interesting and a short walk from the parking area, in the woods.

Posted by
12 posts

The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ieper (Ypes) is wonderful. If I recall, it's about an hour from Brussels by train, so an easy day trip. It covers the WW1 history of the local area from Allied (British/French/Canadian/etc) and German perspective. There is the option to visit Allied cemeteries near-by, but you would need a vehicle or taxi as they are not accessible via public transit. The Menin Gate is a short walk away from the museum, and was made a memorial to British and Commonwealth soldiers who died nearby and whose bodies were not recovered. I did see that the Gate is under renovation until 2027.

Posted by
359 posts

Once you are in Ypres/Ieper, there are day tours available to take you to the cemeteries.

Posted by
2021 posts

Verdun and Ypres/Ieper are the places to visit about WW1. There are organized tours picking you up in Bruges and some start in Ypres only. Compared to Verdun is Ypres easiest to get to from Brussels.

Instead of Fort Schoenenbourg you can visit much closer to Luxembourg Fort Hackenberg near Thionville in France. The visit includes an underground train ride to one of the gun posts. Guided tours in English are limited, so have a look at their website or contact them about availability. https://maginot-hackenberg.com/index.php?page=price&lang=en

About WW2 there is much to see in both Luxembourg country and the eastern part of Belgium, the Ardennes, more specific Bastogne and surroundings.

Posted by
128 posts

If you are interested in WWII, a trip to Bastogne will not disappoint. They recently built a new museum about the Siege and it is excellent. Also, if you hire a local guide, they can take you to front-line sites, such as foxholes used by the "Band of Brothers."