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question about Brugge

I'm trying to decide how to allocate 10 days between Brugge and Amsterdam, and I'd welcome comments from folks who have been there. I'll be traveling by train from London to Brugge (with a break in the day to visit the main art museum in Brussels). I should also say that I have a high tolerance for interesting small towns (eg, I've happily spent a week in Asissi and 10 days in Toledo, and could have stayed longer without getting bored), and in a similar manner, I can easily spend a day or more in a good art museum.

Here's what I'm thinking:

--Brugge: 4 full days (with a day trip to Ghent on one of those days, mostly to spend time with the Ghent altarpiece)

--1 day for transit from Brugge to Amsterdam, with a stop in Haarlem to visit the Corrie ten Boom house

--Amsterdam: 5 full days (with a day trip to one of the outdoor social history museums; a day at the Van Gogh museum; a day at the Rijksmuseum)

Would you allocate the time differently?

Also, I didn't see a lot in Haarlem that looked interesting other than the ten Boom house. Are there other places in Haarlem you've enjoyed visiting?

Thanks!

Posted by
8997 posts

I personally can spend a week in Bruges, but for most folks two full days in enough with the Ghent add-on three days might suffice. You can add a day trip out of Amsterdam to perhaps Delft.

In Haarlem the Frans Hal museum, and Bavo church are worth visiting. If you can time a visit to the Bavo during organ concert, even better.

Posted by
4125 posts

I'd shift day from Brugge to Amsterdam and use one of them to visit Haarlem.

Posted by
1940 posts

I would leave it just as you have it.

Last fall, we started our trip with 6 nights in Bruges, and ended it with 7 nights in Amsterdam (with some time in Germany and Luxembourg in between).

We had planned to take three day trips from Bruges (one for Flanders Field, one to the coast, one to Ghent) and ended up just doing Flanders Field, which was highly worthwhile. Other than that, we just wandered around Bruges, doing all the usual tourist stuff (museums, canal tours, brewery tour). We would deliberately walk away from the main tourist area into the nearby neighborhoods, figuring we couldn't get too lost, and ran into some great little bakeries and cafes with NO tourists!

In Amsterdam, we again had planned several day trips and ending up doing just one ... we took a bus to the waterlands, seeing Edam, Volendam and Marken, for just 10 euros (plus the cost of the ferry to Marken). We didn't visit Harlem. But we happily spent the rest of our time wandering through Amsterdam. We loved our "bargains": did a cheese tasting at Reypenauer, and got free tickets for a canal cruise. Went to a free concert on Wednesday at noon at the concert hall on the museumplein (usually it's Thursday, so check on this when you're there). Again in Amsterdam we would just wander off the beaten track, with wonderful results.

The weather was gorgeous for us in both cities, so we spent a lot of time at outdoor cafes just watching the world go by. We had a wonderful time and hope you do too.

Posted by
2057 posts

We stayed 10 days in Brugge. There was plenty to do-even if it only involved sitting around and observing the local scene. We truly loved the city. Used bikes exclusively to get around except for the day trip we took to Flanders Fields. I guess my point is I think you will enjoy Brugge and find enough to keep you happy there for your planned 4 days!

Posted by
527 posts

In Haarlem, the Frans Hals Museum and the Bavo church, plus renting a bike and biking to Kennemerland National Park on the North Sea.....awesome sand dunes and beach; also just hanging out in the square in Haarlem at one of the outdoor cafés and people watching, with apple pie and coffee, or wine. Might see a wedding procession from the city hall. Spending 3-4 days in Haarlem is easy, plus day trips to Leiden and Delft.

Posted by
12 posts

I think 3 days is enough for Bruges. And yep Ghent must visit, and maybe Antwerp? I liked it so much! % days for Amsterdam is perfect

Posted by
100 posts

If you are going to spend that much time in Brugge, you have to spend a day on the coastal tram...take the train 30-40 minutes to Oostende. Tram is inexpensive, on/off all-day deal....cute little towns, some with boardwalks. I had lunch in a restaurant that is at the end of a pier about 200 yards into the sea. Plus if it interests a German fortification from WWI-II is an interesting stop.

Posted by
100 posts

oops...don't train to Oostende, train to the eastern end of the tram, Knokke.

-Dave

Posted by
126 posts

I’m a fan of the coast tram (Kusttram). It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the seafront.

From Brugge you can catch the train to either Knokke or Oostende and then travel from one to the other by coast tram and then return by train to Brugge. The train ride from Brugge to either town is only about 15-20 minutes; there are about 3 per hour to Oostende and only 1 per hour to Knokke.

This is a link for more info on the tram - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coast_Tram_%28Belgium%29

Posted by
11613 posts

I love Brugge! If you need a hotel in Brugge, I loved the Groenighe, close to the major sites of the city and to the bus station. Make sure the Gent Altarpiece is available for viewing when you plan to visit it.

Distances are so short in that area, you can easily daytrip to a number of places. I would leave your itinerary as it is.