We leave for Germany and France May 10th and our first stop is in NW Germany near Schleiden. We would like to take a day trip but feel Bruges is to far- 3 hrs each way and really not interested in Brussels. Are there any other interesting villages or areas closer to Germany?
You are correct that it is absurd to visit Bruges from that Germany trip. I like Belgium but can't see why would wouldn't add Aachen, Monschau, Cologne, Koblenz, or Trier to your schedule before driving 30-50 miles into Belgium. I haven't been to Maastricht, Netherlands but many people say it's very nice. I have been to Tongeren, Hasselt, and Leuven (Belgium), and they are not "better" than those German destinations. I will say that Leuven is worth a whole day, but it's partly as a University town with a good art museum and historic town hall and cathedral. On the other hand, I've been to Cologne twice in three years, and haven't seen it all yet.
Tim, Thank you for your advise. I will certainly check out the places you mentioned and not be worried I missed anything in Belgium.
Marcia, Aachen is interesting, but.....if you decide to go to Koln, spend some time in Dusseldorf!
Looks like you'll be staying right in the Eifel area. I've wanted to visit the national park, but have never gotten around to it. If you have a car and you want to see something in Belgium, check out Spa and Eupen. Neither are on par with Brugge or Ghent, but they could offer a different flavor from NW Germany (even though the native language in Eupen is German). You might also want to give Stolberg a quick peak. It has an attractive preserved historical core with a castle. Completely different style of historical buildings than you would usually associate with Germany.