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Bruge or Amsterdam?

We have a free day and a half from Brussels and trying to decide to hit either Bruge or Amsterdam. Both look fabulous, but what would you recommend and why?

Posted by
1358 posts

First, you may want to post this on "to the west", that covers the Benelux region.

Brugge and Amsterdam are two TOTALLY different cities. I'd say it depends on what you want to see. Amsterdam has more big museums and more nightlife. Brugge is more quaint and medieval and is easy to walk around. You could probably pretty much "do" most of Brugge in a day and a half. In Amsterdam, that'd be pushing it.

For me, I don't like doing too many big cities on one trip, I like to break it up a bit, so I'd rather hit Brugge. Maybe it's because I live in a big city, and I want to get away from the city life a bit. If you're like that, go to Brugge. If you like the bigger cities, go to Amsterdam.

Posted by
1358 posts

I would toss a coin. Both are interesting but different. I would find time to see both.

Posted by
5687 posts

From Brussels, I would choose Bruges. This is purely for logistical reasons. Bruges is just one hour from Brussels. On the other hand, it is a little over 3 hours to Amsterdam.

Bruges can easily be seen in a day and half. It is crowded with daytrippers during the day, but delightful in the evenings. It is a nice contrast from Brussels.

Posted by
10401 posts

I would choose Bruges. It is closer and you can cover the town in the time you have. It is a very picturesque town.

Posted by
3551 posts

I enjoy both for diff. reasons. Brugge is a quiet terrific classic not to be missed. Architecture, charm, canals,history, unique and so close to Brussels as well. It can be seen in one day and is more light walking, looking and photo ops. Where Amsterdam is alot of must see museums etc you would also need more than one day.

Posted by
11507 posts

I would choose Amsterdam,, for the differences and the sites.. Anne Franks house,, the canals ( more interesting then the smaller tourist boat only loaded kind we saw in Brugges)

I visited Brugges this summer, and frankly ,, it was WAY too crowded,, wall to wall tourists,, shops selling lace, beer. and chocolate,, very touristy stuff ,, cheesy comes to mind. Not many if any sites( the one church I went in did not impress at all)

To be fair, I think maybe it was partly my fault,, going in July,, perhaps in October or later,, it is nicer.

Basically ,, why not see a whole other culture,,go Dutch,, you are already in Belguim,,

Posted by
29 posts

When are you going? I was in Amsterdam last year for 1.5 days on my way from Germany to France, and was in Bruges the year before that for most of the day on my way to a WW II war memorial in Adegem the year before that. I agree with others who say that Amsterdam is too "big"[lots of museums and the ilk] to do justice in 1.5 days [I tried to do it last year in a day and a bit and felt very disappointed, I saw lots but it ended up being more of a blur]. Bruges is smaller, and, I think, the more interesting of the two. As has been mentioned it is only an hour and 17 minutes so it is wiser, if time is an issue, to go to Bruges.

Posted by
12040 posts

With 1.5 days, a trip to Bruges from Brussels fits your timeline very nicely. Both cities are worth a visit, but Amsterdam takes a little longer, and is further away.

Posted by
26 posts

Thank you all for your comments! We have decided to go to Brugges.