We are spending 8 days in Amsterdam and will take day trips to Harlem, Leiden, and others. Then to Delft for 3 nights where we'll day trip to Rotterdam and Gouda, then to Brugges and Ghent in Belgium. We're flying home from Brussels. We have 2 nights unplanned and we thought of either Maastricht or Antwerp. Suggestions?
Do plan to spend at least half a day in Delft. Very cute town. It is also extremely easy to take the local tram in to Den Haag/The Hague if you've any interest in visiting the Mauritshuis Museum (Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring). On a recent trip I found this museum to be one of my favorites - small with an excellent collection (Vermeer, Rembrandt, Holbein). Very manageable, not busy so you can stand as long as you want in front of your favorites.
How many nights in Bruges and Ghent?
We have 3 nights in Bruges and 2 nights in Ghent. Then we have 2 days open ... We've heard great comments on Maastricht and booked a hotel there but in reading about the trains it looks like that may be a hassle. Our other thought is to go to Antwerp. Suggestions?
We’ve been to both Maastricht and Antwerp. We drove to Maastricht from Spa, Belgium. There is a beautiful bookstore in a former church. To me, that was the highlight of my day there. We took the train for a day trip to Antwerp while we were based in Ghent. The train station is a beautiful and well-kept building worth seeing. I wish I spent more than a day in Antwerp.
With five days in Flanders you can daytrip to Antwerp. IMHO Bruges does not need 3 days, but one day is insufficient for Antwerp. Hourly bus beside Antwerp Centraal Station to otherwise distant BRU airport. Maastricht is distant from BRU and I haven't seen it.
I recommend Leiden over Gouda, it has more to see and is less "like"'Bruges. But it's a matter of opinion. Opinions of Flemish cities vary widely on this board, but I would sleep three night in Bruges and train to Gent one day, sleep in Antwerp 4 nights and daytrip to Brussels (art museums for me) one day and train to Lier or Leuven or Mechelen another.
Thank you! I did cancel the hotel in Maastricht and we will go to Antwerp instead.
Thanks for your comments. I'll check out Leiden as well as The Hague as a side trip.