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Luxemburg before Rick Steves tour -Belgium & Holland April 2024

Hello fellow travelers! I’m arriving in Brussels on March 29th for 2 or 3 nights before the Belgium/Holland Tour.
I was thinking of doing a day trip to Luxemburg, with a stop in Dinant. This is an organized tour via a coach bus- 3 hrs. travel time each way. Has anyone taken this tour? Is there a lot of beautiful scenery along the way?
Or I could just spend a couple days in Brussels, then take the train to Ghent a day early, before the tour starts on April 1st.
Thank you in advance for your comments/ suggestions!

Posted by
14153 posts

I really liked this tour. I spent a week in Paris ahead of time because. welll...Paris, hahaha. I also recommend going to Ghent at least a day ahead as there is a lot to see that is not on the tour.

You could also go with your plan to spend a few days in Brussels. I had visited there a lot in the olden days (1970's, hahaha!) and a couple of times in the recent era so didn't need to spend time there. IF you did stay in Brussels, I'd be picky about hotel location. I like the area near the Centraal Station, well between the Centraal Station and the Grand Place. There is a plaza there with about 4 nice hotels of different price points. I stayed at the Ibis about 9 years ago and it was good.

Is the day trip from Brussels? I've been to Luxembourg in the distant past and did it as a day trip from Brussels via train. I've not been to Dinant.

Your time of year will be awesome. The tulips will be fabulous in Keukenhof! I'm pretty cold tolerant but needed a waterproof rain jacket, puffy vest, a couple of long sleeve shirts with a LS topper and lightweight glove liners. We had one day where the guide said what we were getting was snow but it looked like graupel to me (kind of between hail and snow). The windiest day was the day we did the Maeslant Barrier and it was windy right there on the sea.

Here's a link to my TR if it is of interest to you.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/trip-report-rs-belgium-holland-4-6-4-16-2019-plus-time-in-paris

Posted by
5 posts

Pam- thank you for your wonderful, very detailed trip report! I’m really looking forward to this trip! I was supposed to take this trip in April 2020, but it was canceled shortly before I was scheduled to depart due to the pandemic.
The day trip to Luxembourg is from Brussels. I’ve never been to Brussels, so maybe I will just stay there for a couple days; still deciding! .Thank you for your suggestions!

Posted by
4973 posts

Easter is March 31, 2024. Check for Holiday closures on Easter Sunday and Monday, in addition to regular Monday closures typical of the area. In addition, my experience is increased crowding from Good Friday thru Easter Monday.
Perhaps you have already considered this. Have a wonderful trip, I'll be following you two weeks after. Safe Travels!

Posted by
14153 posts

You are quite welcome! TBH, to me this is kind of a "sleeper" tour....no big showy Colosseums or Eiffel Towers but day after day of a variety of very solid, interesting sights. The WWI day was really interesting especially the American Cemetery and then being able to go into some of the trenches. Wow. I'm not big on industrial sights like mines etc, but the Maeslant day was really very interesting and with climate change and the sea level raising even more important to consider.

Do get your tickets to the Van Gogh Museum ahead of time if this collection is of interest to you as the tour does not go there and they sell out. There is no ticket booth at the museum either so you need to get it online before you travel. As mentioned, that is a busy time of year with Easter just having passed so I'm guessing they will sell out every day.

Are you going to stay in Amsterdam another day or so after the tour ends?

Posted by
5 posts

Pat- I’m aware that it’s Easter weekend- but thanks for the warning!😁

Pam- yes, I will get a ticket for the Van Gogh Museum ahead of time. I’m staying an extra day after the tour ends. I will either explore more of Amsterdam, or maybe take a day trip somewhere? Still doing the research.

Posted by
67 posts

The route will be highway between forest. You don't see anything interesting on that route. When I go to Luxemburg from Brussels it always feels like an eternity :-).

Dinant is small so that will be quite underwhelming as well if you've been in a bus for 6 hours.

I'd visit Brussels and you could do a daytrip to Mechelen, Antwerp or Leuven. It's not far by train and it will be more interesting in my opinion. I suppose that Ghent and Bruges will be part of the tour.

Posted by
5 posts

NSTTSN- I appreciate your input- thank you! I think I will probably spend a couple days in Brussels, then take the train to Ghent, where the tour starts. We will be visiting Bruges, also, on the tour.

Posted by
97 posts

Fully agree with NSTTSN, Brussels-Luxemburg is the most boring stretch of motorway I know, and on top of that, the road is in bad condition in many places.

Stay in Brussels, and if you need a side trip, do one of the 3 NSTTSN suggested.

Have fun on your tour!

Posted by
8 posts

I was just thinking about doing a day trip to Luxembourg from Brussels and renting a car to do it. This bus trip seems like an easier solution.

Posted by
33113 posts

regarding getting a car to go to Luxembourg - I wouldn't do it. (I do frequently drive from Lille via Mons, Namur and Arlon to Luxembourg, but that is in my own car and on the way further into Germany and Switzerland).

Driving in Brussels is not for the feint hearted, nor in the Brussels suburbs. The road is BORING and in such bad shape, except where you get slowed down and single-laned for repairs (finally), and there is almost always something somewhere around Namur. And then do the whole thing again in reverse? Nah.

The bus will use the same roads, see above for comments.

There is an easy train at least as fast as driving between Brussels and Luxembourg. Parking is not free in Luxembourg, but all public transport in the whole of the country is completely free. Buses, trams, trains. All free.

I have never used a guide to get to Luxembourg nor in the city or town. It is a three dimensional city with plenty of ups and downs, but also plenty of aides to get you up and down like elevators. I find that a good map and good guidebook (not Rick, I'm afraid) gets me everything I need.

My advice - take the train.