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Just got my Europe visa approved. Need help with planning my Amsterdam-Belgium trip!

Hi everyone!

Just got my visa approved to travel to Europe in May, so I'm a little late in all of my planning and I really need your help.

I will be arriving in Amsterdam in mid-May and will be spending 3 nights in Amsterdam and 3 nights in Gent, Belgium. I won't be having a car, so I will heavily rely on public transportation. What is a good regional pass for traveling within Amsterdam and possibly to Zaan Schanse?

In Amsterdam I am planning to go to the Rijk Musemum, Red Light District, Dam Square, Van Gogh Museum. What are you favorite spots? What are some good restaurants you'd recommend?
I also love going to a good nightlife area (bars, pubs with a good crowd, but not clubs). Would love to hear your opinion on that as well.

I will then travel to Gent from Amsterdam and will probably buy train tickets through trainline website. Is there a better website I should check out? Same with Amsterdam, is there a regional pass I could buy to travel within Belgium?

In Gent I will be taking day a day trip to Brugge. What are some of your favorite things to do in Gent/Brugge? What would you recommend for a good bike tour, Chocolate tour and beer tour?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Posted by
7083 posts

how long will you be there? this will help people recommend ways to save money by picking the right passes

Posted by
36 posts

I will be in Amsterdam for 4 days, Belgium for 4 days and will be in France after that for 10 days. Thanks!

Posted by
2487 posts

The centre of Amsterdam is compact and walking is the best way to enjoy the city. Unless you have accommodation outside the centre, you don't really need public transport within the city. Anyhow, here is information on the different kinds of city transport passes.
If the Zaanse Schans is your only intended trip outside the city, just buy a point to point ticket at the station. A day return ticket costs you EUR 7,40 (a small surcharge if you buy it at the ticket window).
The same is for Belgium: just buy tickets for your trips outside the city at the station. A single journey Gent-Sint Pieters to Brugge is EUR 6,80.
Ticket prices for Amsterdam to Gent vary wildly with the type of train (Thalys or Intercity), time of travelling (some days are much cheaper than others) and time of buying. Check the prices at Trainline with that of the Belgian railways, who run the service in co-operation with the Dutch railways.

Posted by
1005 posts

The only regional pass I'd consider is Tripkey for the Netherlands. It covers all public transportation--trams, buses, and domestic trains, so it's all you need if you are riding the trams in Amsterdam and taking a train to Zaan Schanse. It's best to sign up for one before you go. However, if you're going to just stay in Amsterdam and not take a day trip, it may not be worth the hassle.