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WWII sites Netherlands, Belgium, NE France

Our son is spending the year playing hockey in Geleen, Netherlands. We want to visit the area and include WWII sites (with guide) on our trip. Feb. 2009

Posted by
12040 posts

Just to the south of Geleen, there are many Battle of the Bulge sites, like Eupen, Malmedy, St. Vith, Stavelot and Bastogne. I don't know if Liege has any WWII significance, but there should be some WWI stuff in the area. Further to the north, there's a few memorials around Eindhoven and Arnhem. Enjoy!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, Tom!! Do you have any infirmation on private guides or group tours? We went to the Normandy landing beaches last February and had the most fantastic private guide!! My husband and I will never forget the trip!

Posted by
850 posts

There are a number of WWII sites that may be of interest to you. As Tom mentioned Arnhem has some sites worth visiting. The 1st Airborne museum-Hotel Hartenstien- in Oosterbeek, close to Arnhem. There is a short film on the battle of Arnhem from the allied and German side. Also, there are rooms with documents, weapons of WWII and other relics. I have been twice and found it to be very interesting. This museum is dedicated to the British and Polish Airborne troops who fought in the battle of Arnhem. Also close by is a British WWII cemetery. A good movie to watch before going would be "A bridge too Far." This bridge is now called the Rober Frost Bridge in honor of the British officer who led one of the Parachute Battalions. Code named "Operataion Market Garden" the Airborne assault in The Netherlands was the last defeat for the allies in WWII. In Margraten, close to Maastricht is the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial. I have not been there but it would be close to Geleen.
In Best close to Eindhoven is the Wings of Liberation museum dedicated to the U.S. Airborne troops involved in the liberation of Netherlands.
Hamm, Luxembourg is the site of an American cemetery where many of those killed in the Battle of the Bulge are buried. General George Patton is buried also.

If you have watched the series "Band of Brothers" a couple of the episodes are devoted to their time in the Netherlands in connection with Operation Market Garden. Some of these places would not need a tour guide so you could do them on your own. There are a number of other WWII sites close enough for a visit. If you go to Arnhem there is a non related WWII site that you may enjoy. It is the Open Air Museum (Openluchtmuseum)which is an excellent museum to watch and experience the Netherlands and the way in which the Dutch use to live. It is a vast museum park and is designed to give you a hands-on experience of life in the Netherlands of yesteryear.

Posted by
12040 posts

I don't have any information on private guides or tours, but you may want to start at the Bastogne Historical Center. You can probably find information there linking together all the other Bulge-related sites.

Speaking of open air museums, there is a very good one not too far from Geleen, at the Provicaal Domien van Bokrijk, near the Belgian town of Genk. This one highlights Flemish history and culture, and has many historical buildings from throughout Belgium re-assembled on site.

Posted by
54 posts

This summer I went to Verdun and Bastogne.

Yes, Verdun is WWI, but there are still a lot of interesting sites. We walked through the trenches. You could see how close the German and French lines were at some point - amazing. The land is still marked from bombs.

If you go to Verdun, ask for a walking tour map in the area at the visitors center. It was well worth the time.


Posted by
515 posts

Hello, Sandra. I am copying my own prior post on a similar question.
We traveled to Belgium last June after 4 nights in Bayeux taking Battlebus tours of Normandy...then train from Bayeux to Paris, then Thalys to Brussels. Next morning we were picked up at our hotel by Mr. Martin King, with whom we traveled in his car for 2 days seeing the sites associated with the 11th Armored Division and Battle of the Bulge. My husband's father served with the 41st Recon Cav in the 11th. Mr. King (found prior recommendations for him on the RS site) is a Scotsman, semi-retired professor, who lives now in Antwerp, recently did a bit on Hitler's Trenches for the History Channel, currently working on a book about the Bulge. He does only occasional tours. His tour was not cheap, but we felt that what we saw and heard was so worth it. This was a once in a lifetime trip for us, and we could NEVER have seen all the places and known the remarkable stories that he was able to tell us. Here is his site:

For us, yes, Bastogne, Malmedy, Houffalize, St. Vith, Foy, and more, were worth the extra days of travel; the Ardennes is both magnificent and moving. We stayed overnight at the Hotel du Sud, a block off the square in Bastogne. It's a fine basic old hotel at a lesser rate than the hotels on the square. Our rooms were comfortable and there was Internet access, and included breakfast. We flew home from smaller and easier Brussels airport.
Another gentleman also has highly recommended tours...Henri Mignon, who was a child in Bastogne during the battle. And here is his site: I am sure that both men or perhaps other guides that are unknown to me, will tailor the tour to your particular desires. For us, it was the path that the 11th Armored took, and more. We went to places we had never heard of and saw placques and memorials we never dreamed we never dreamed we would see.