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Netherlands and beyond

I'll be going to the Netherlands July. My entire trip will be two weeks. I'll be arriving in Amsterdam where I'll stay for 2 nights (mainly to go to Anne Frank House, and maybe a canal cruise). I have a reservation at the Weichman Hotel. it gets good reviews -- I hope it's a decent place.

Then I'll spend a few days in Zevenbergen for a family reunion. We plan to take a day trip to Brugge and/or Ghent from Zevenbergen. I will spend 2 or 3 more days in the Netherlands....maybe Middleburg.... Leiden?

I will have about 4 days left so I'm thinking about either Germany, France or Switzerland for a few days. I'm willing fly if trains aren't convenient or if a train trip would be too long. I'm wondering where would be the best town to be near mountains (and maybe easy hiking, nature) within that timeframe. Stasbourg, France was recommended as a possibility as was Basel Switzerland. Suggestions please! I have a return flight from AMS

Also, I would like to find a few small pieces of Royal Delft pottery. Any recommendations for a good place? Would I find that in Amsterdam or is there a better town/place to find it?
Thank you!

Posted by
1645 posts

Leiden is easier to reach with the train from Amsterdam than from Zevenbergen, or visiting it on the way to the latter is a possibility too.

From Zevenbergen many places are worthwhile a visit and are within reasonable reach. For some a car is needed like Middelburg. The itinerary I can suggest is first driving to Zierikzee, then driving over the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier to Veere and Middelburg.

In the vicinity of Zevenbergen are Willemstad, Bergen op Zoom, Breda and Dordrecht worth to consider. Except Willemstad all easy to reach with the train.

Bruges wil need around 3:20hr and a few changes from Zevenbergen with the train, but nevertheless worth the effort. For several trains you have to change at Ghent Sint-Pieters, you can take there one of the very frequent trams (line 1) to the center. If you think about using a car know that you risk a fine of €150,- entering the low emission zone in Ghent unless the car is registered. Nevertheless a train remains to my opinion the most hassle free option. Doubt if you have time for it but visiting Antwerp remains a possibility too as you have to change trains there anyway.

Btw the Gentse Feesten are held between 17th and 26th of July.

Posted by
5385 posts

Can you change your return flight to be home from Basel or Brussels? If you insist on such tedious, long distance visits, it would make more sense. It would serve your personal travel style better.

Your statement that you are mainly going to the AFH in Amsterdam suggests that you don’t care to do anything else but a canal cruise. But Amsterdam takes a week to see properly, and there are a dozen daytrips (under 1.5 hours) you can do by train in the unlikely event you get bored by Amsterdam. Leiden can barely be “done” in a long day. Don’t forget to reserve AFH months in advance. It can take multiple web visits to find a released open slot.

You could easily spend two weeks without leaving the Netherlands. If you will feel you have achieved nothing unless you visit two other countries, sleep in Antwerp and Cologne.

Posted by
7 posts

Wil, thank you for the suggestions for travel within the Netherlands. I will probably travel with a local family member by car to Middleburg. Bruges was suggested by the same family member as a day trip by train from Zevenbergen.

Tim, thank you for your honest opinions. It’s not that I don’t wish to see more of Amsterdam. I will arrive in Amsterdam only a couple days before going to Zevenbergen to meet extended family for the first time. AFH is a place I really want to see while there. I am aware of needing to get tickets in advance. Thanks for the reminder. I will certainly explore the city as much as I can while there
Staying in the Netherlands for ny entire trip is certainly an option also. From your comments it sounds like I might be overly ambitious if I were to travel toward the Alps. Honestly, I have no desire to sleep for only one night anywhere. If I decide to travel outside the Netherlands, I would choose one place and stay there for several days. I do want to avoid any areas that will be overly crowded in the summer.

Posted by
1645 posts

Think the gothic town hall of Middelburg doesn’t need an introduction to your family, but lesser known nevertheless not to miss is walking through the Kuiperspoort hidden away between Dam and Rouaansekaai. The streets around Oostkerk are also interesting and some carfree like the Spanjaardstraat, think away a few street lamps and you are straight back in the 17th century.