Four adults are traveling to the Netherlands and Belgium around the first of July of this year. I have several trips to Europe, but not these two countries. Trip length is four and half days. As an experienced traveler, I realize that’s a short period, but it’s a post Rhine River cruise thing. We are looking at doing a vacation rental and staging out of Rotterdam for day trips. The only must thing on our list is to go into Belgium, if for no other reason that just to get the travel t-shirt.
The minimalist plan includes:
(1)- Rotterdam - Markthal Rotterdam is a will do.
(2)- The Hague – considering Madurodam
(3)- Amsterdam - considering Anne Frank House, Royal Palace, or Castle Muiderslot. Maybe even the localbus.nl
(4)- Haarlem – Canal Ho-Ho boat is a will do
(5)- Antwerp – considering Cathedral of Our Lady, Grote Markt
I will be renting a car, but train and bus will be individually considered when more convenient. I am comfortable with driving most any place in Europe – on both sides of the road. I understand that Amsterdam traffic will be bad. But I have found two things about driving in Europe. On board GPS is essential and one needs to drive like a Kamikaze when in the roundabouts. In fact, the other couple is not world travelers so I am going to get them to put on a blindfold at every roundabout. LOL. I like the convenience of a hire car because it is a DIY thing that allows a deviation to the “plan” whenever we wish.
If we drive to a particular town/attraction, a big concern is parking. When in England we found parking lots on the outskirts of larger towns where you could get on a public bus and ride into that town. Then we made use of HO-HO buses to see the attractions. Is that true of the cities I’ve put on my list? If not, what are my alternatives? I realize the alternative may not be hassle-free.
Castles and windmills will be visited as parts of the cruise so we don’t need to repeat those on this portion of the journey unless it’s an absolute do-not-miss thing. Museums aren’t part of the planning since they require a lot of time to do justice.
It appears that each town has its own VVV Tourist place. It would be nice to get some maps in advance, but I cannot find a way to do that.
Some deviation by virtue of “it’s on the way there” is what makes travel much more enjoyable, at least for me. As an example, I read in the forum that a visit to Leiden might be interesting. I also read that Utrecht might be a good place to stage out of.
This site is an amazing place to help work a plan because I have always gotten great suggestions from those who have gone before me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.