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8 Full days - Belgium to Amsterdam

I am traveling with 3 others, and we were planning on starting in Belgium and then ending up in Amsterdam. We are trying to figure out how many days we should stay in each. We are figuring on doing at least one day trip from each city to other towns.

  • Any lodging/hotel/B&B suggestions for both Brussels and Amsterdam?
  • Travelling from Belgium to Amsterdam - train or car rental?

Thanks! We are going in Mid-May.

Posted by
7 posts

In Europe you can go anywhere by public transit if you like; as such you can take the "Thalys" (high speed train) from Brussels to Amsterdam (leaving Brussels almost hourly). "Paperless" tickets can be purchased online and in advance and sometimes (if you book ahead of time) they have very good deals. Check if there are group tickets available.

Gent, Bruges, Oostende and Cologne (Germany) are great cities to visit from Brussels.

For lodging in Amsterdam I would suggest you browse

(VVV Noord-Holland)


Posted by
9106 posts

Between Amsterdam and Brussels you shouldn't use the Thalys trains. It's better to use the regular intercity trains. They run more frequently, don't require advance tickets, and almost as fast. Fares are about 35 euros.

Posted by
12040 posts

I would add that you can easily visit most cities in Belgium by rail, but if you want to visit something in a smaller town or the countryside, you may have to figure out the bus schedules, some of which are only available in Dutch or French... or rent a car.

Are you within a decade of your college years? If so, send me a PM, and I'll give you a tip on the best locals-only social scene.

Posted by
2030 posts

I don't know how others feel, but I adored Amsterdam and thought Brussels was among the most disappointing places I have seen. Not too pretty and not much in the charm department either...decent waffles if you like them, however. We stayed in Bruges a few nights and would recommend it, if only for an (easy) day trip from Brussels. In Amsterdam, check out Boogaard's B&B...a short walk to/from the station and very centrally located, extraordinary breakfast, and friendly helpful host Peter. Check it out on tripadvisor; I don't need to ever look for another lodging in AMDAM again. If Keukenhof gardens are still up and running in mid May you might check it out as a superb day or 1/2 day trip from AMDAM. We also took the train one day to Haarlem (15 minutes away) and liked it alot. Have a great time. We are London bound ourselves but am still envious of anyone going to Am'.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for all of that! I saw someone else mention Boogards B&B and looked it up earlier. It does look lovely, and I think I am going to push for that with my friends.

We are now thinking only 2 days in Brussels, 2 days in Bruges, and then 4 in Amsterdam.

Have a great time in London! I adore that city!

Posted by
12040 posts

In Brussels, just make sure you branch out beyond the Grote Markt (Grande Place). When asked, people who say they find Brussels ugly admit they have only visited the area immediately around the Markt. Admittedly, this area is jammed packed and not as immediately pretty as Bruge or other cities with more sweeping vistas... but exploring the city yields some great architectural and cultural rewards. Get a good guide book, though... Rick Steves' doesn't really do the city justice.