Hey everyone! I have never been to Europe and am so excited to be going on my first trip! We have roundtrip airfare to brussels. We will be arriving Nov 1 and leaving Nov 13. My husband and I were hoping to see Amsterdam and Paris also with this trip! I was hoping for advice on how many days in each city. I was thinking of traveling straight to Amsterdam when we get there (we arrive in Brussels at 0800 in the morning). I just didn't know the best way to go about getting to these three destinations since I am flying into and out of Brussels which is in the middle. Also, I am looking for things to do and places to visit! I know in Belgium we would like to see Ghent and Bruges (possibly luxembourg but that can be nixed off the list), and Amsterdam we would like to see Rembrandt and Anne Frank House. Obviously Paris has so many things to see also! I was looking for advice! Thank you!
You really need to do some research on each location either via the internet or some good travel guides. Rick Steve's of course and/or DK Eyewitness are my favorites. I utilize my local library as much as possible. Once you know what items are on your must see list it's easier to plan how many days in each. RS guides are also very good at providing transportation information and rates sights for what are must see. I have both the pocket Paris and Amsterdam guides (may buy the Amsterdam again next month when the latest update comes out).
Everyone's must see list is different. I personally have no interest in the Anne Frank house while others out it at the top of their list. Luxembourg I thought was boring. Not much historical to see. Just a lot of very expensive shops.
Hopefully you got a very good deal on your Brussels flights since it would have been easier to just fly to Amsterdam then home via Paris.
These cities have superb rail connections!
Because you can't be totally sure about your exact arrival time and the handling at Brussels airport, it is best to take the hourly Intercity service to Amsterdam. That is a non-reserved train and your ticket is valid on any train on that day.
Between Amsterdam and Paris, and Paris and Brussels you take the high-speed Thalys service. Tickets are best bought some 3 months in advance, giving you considerable discount.
The excellent website Man in Seat 61 explains it all, including advice on where to buy your tickets and that 2nd class is really comfortable...
I did get my tickets really cheap! Chicago to Brussels were $287 round trip so I can't really change those tickets. It was too good of a deal to pass up! My husband and I are history buffs so def Bruges and Ghent is on our list to see! I wasn't completely sold on Luxembourg to begin with and didn't know if it was worth our time. I am trying to look up things to do. I think the majority of our time will be spent in Paris and Amsterdam. I have looked at the train fare between the three cities. I just didn't know if anyone had any information on recommended time to stay in each city, attractions to see that are a must see or off the beaten path in Amsterdam or Belgium, or any certain areas that are the best to stay in!
I'd spend a day in Brussels if nothing else to see the Grand Platz and visit the Brussels history museum inside-very interesting. The musical instrument museum is also fun as you can hear all the sounds of the different instruments via your audio device. Not to mention just walking around with waffles and chocolate.
I'd nix Luxembourg off the list as there's not a lot to see for a first timer.
@ iheady You must have booked on Delta. We got the same fare for late October.
@Renee: I did book Delta! they were such great deals I couldn't pass them up, especially since it will be my first time in Europe. We are leaving Oct 31....maybe we will be on the same flight?