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Suggested Itinerary for Amsterdam and Beyond for 9 days over Xmas

Family of four (two teenagers) traveling to Amsterdam on 12/20. My wife and I have been to Amsterdam before and loved it but I feel three days is more than enough. We plan on using trains to get around. We love Xmas markets. Belgium is a must, but I would also love to include at least one German stop. Help?

Posted by
21195 posts

You really don't have much time and you will lose a chunk of the 24th and probably all of the 25th. So your actual full days are limited. I would think that two location is about all you could do. And you could encounter very "iffy" weather. Are you using open-jaw tickets?

PS -- I think you should fly into Amsterdam and come home from Brussels. That is about all you have time for.

Posted by
248 posts

Agree with what Frank said.
I recently did Belgium to Amsterdam by rail; based on that experience, I'd say a deviation eastward to Germany, while technically do-able, might not enhance your trip, for the reasons Frank mentioned.

Posted by
5 posts

If you can, absolutely do not miss the Christmas markets in Cologne. There is a direct train from Amsterdam to Cologne.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your tips. We are flying in and out of Amsterdam. It is difficult with the holiday in the middle. Would you say Brussels or Bruges for two days?

Cologne Xmas markets look spectacular. I read somewhere else that Hannover is less busy and a little more quaint. Any thoughts in that regard?

Posted by
16038 posts

Lots of German towns (in fact, most) have Christmas markets. But Cologne fits your itinerary. Direct trains Amsterdam to Cologne to Brussels to Amsterdam. A neat little triangle.

Posted by
334 posts

I agree with Cologne. ICE is the fast direct train and drops you by the Cathedral and the first of 5 Christmas markets. There is a small train that takes you to all 5 markets; the Cathedral & old town markets are within walking distance of each other. There are three others: one on the Rhine, a Rudolf, Angel market, we took the market train to those three. They all have their own special market mug.

Someone suggested Brussels, yes for your timeline it would be a better choice vs Brugge. I’ve been to both as well as Antwerp & Leuven- not a Belgium fan. I stay on Thalys for 1.5 hours to Paris.