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3 days in Belgium and 2 in Amsterdam, or Vice-Versa?

Hello everyone,
Hoping my fellow travelers can offer some advice! I'm traveling to Belgium and the Netherlands in June for a mix of solo and group travel. I arrive in Brussels from the States on a Saturday afternoon and plan to rendezvous with my group, an amateur American community band, on Tuesday evening for three days of musical performances/cultural exchanges in the Amsterdam area. I fly out on the following Sunday morning for the States.

Based on the original itinerary from our tour guide, I believed the group portion of the trip would involve at least a day and a half in Amsterdam proper (we are staying in a hotel about half an hour away, closer to the Hague and Rotterdam). Therefore, I had planned on Sunday, Monday and the majority of Tuesday in Belgium (based in Brussels, with at least one day in Brugges), with some group time in Amsterdam the rest of the week, and then one full day solo in Amsterdam on Saturday before flying home. Now I've found out that there are other excursions the tour guide has planned, including to the Hague and Delft, but only one afternoon in Amsterdam (plus my solo day). I'm thinking about cutting a day in Belgium on the front end and taking the train to Amsterdam on Monday night, but of course that leads to the issue of losing time in Belgium :-(

For a bit of background, I am a 27 year-old female, seasoned solo traveler, having taught English in Poland from 2010-2012 and traveled extensively through Europe in that time (I was actually somewhat of a regular on these boards back then!). My travel style is to get up and go immediately in the morning (when I'm solo, it's not uncommon for me to be out the door by 6:30 in the morning and I don't get back until 8:00 or 9:00 at night). I love to wander through the historic city centers and back alleys, visit a few museums (I already plan to do the Anne Frank House and Dutch Resistance Museum), sit and journal in cafes and churches, and generally soak in the atmosphere. If it wasn't so expensive to change an international flight ticket, I would seriously consider adding another day on the back end, but unfortunately that is not an option.

Just curious how my fellow travelers would suggest splitting the limited time I have? I've basically come to the (somewhat sad) realization that it doesn't matter if I had two days or two weeks, it would never be enough time to see all that I want to see!


Posted by
994 posts

Well we haven;t been yet, but I have 2.5 days in Amsterdam this summer and having a REALLY hard time squeezing in everything we want to do (which doesn't include a lot of the museums!!) - so I would say add to Amsterdam!

(But I am sure there are tons of things to do in Belgium that you can't fit too... so... I don;t think you can go wrong!)


Posted by
34 posts

In 2 trips I have spent a total of 3 nights in Amsterdam. Last summer, I spent 3 nights in Brugges.

I am going back to each spot next week and will spend another 3 in Amsterdam as the friend I am taking has never been to either city and I still have not seen all I want to see in Amsterdam (Rijk, Van Gogh, Resistance). We'll spend 2 in Brugges and drink as much of the fantastic beer as possible before flying out to Prague.

I love both cities. I'm 30 and my time is usually spent renting a bike, hitting up a few museums and parks, and hitting the pubs in the evenings/nights. We booked Brugges on a whim last year and decided to stay an extra day. This time though, I don't know if my liver could take another 3 full days there!