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Travelling to Belgium/nearby countries!

Travel Forums Europe Travelling to Belgium/nearby countries!

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11. Posted by pomgod (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y

For International Trains I always use Deutsch Bahnhoff . It also gives some prices. International buses (which I don't really like but are much cheaper) can be found on Eurolines .
Other good trainsite is Belgian Railroads (NMBS).

12. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 11y

I just returned from a trip to Benelux, so perhaps I can offer some information.

I'd add to those who recommend biking as a way to travel around Benelux. It's cheap and affordable. Only thing is, you're going in winter and I don't know if you like biking around in winter! Walking is also another good way to explore. With a good map from the VVV (tourist information office, to be found in every Dutch city located either near the train station or in the city centre), you won't get lost and you'll be able to get quite a bit of sightseeing done.

Trams and buses are also a good way to travel. For Holland, you need to get the strippenkaart, either for 15 or 45 strips (for frequent travel, the latter is recommended). You must be careful which zone you are travelling to. The number of strips required must tally with the zone you are going. When in doubt, always ask the tram or bus driver, they'll then punch your strippenkaart for you. In Belgium, tram or bus fare normally costs about 1 euro thereabouts, depending on where you're going.

Trains, trams and buses in Holland come at fixed times, so a good guide for knowing when you should catch your train is www.ns.nl and www.htm.nl (for trams & buses)

Belgium - I only visited Ghent and Antwerp. In Antwerp, I stayed at the New International Youth Hotel, which is not very expensive and quite near to both the Centraal and Berchem stations. It's also situated near the Jewish and Diamond Quarters, and the city centre. For Antwerp, I recommend a visit to Rubenshuis, the River Scheldt, Grote Markt and most of the cathedrals scattered around the city (any good guidebook will recommend you some). For Ghent, the St Bavo's cathedral, the belfry opposite it, the city centre and Gravensteen (castle of the counts).

Holland - You can take the international train to Holland from Belgium, it's approximately 2 hours from Antwerp if you're hitting Amsterdam, 1.5 for Den Haag. Tickets shouldn't be too expensive for a single trip, I think mine was about 15 euros for second class. Places to visit include Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Den Bosch, Delft and Leiden. If you're adventurous enough, Maastricht, Limburg and Zeeland are also pretty spots. Re the stroopwafels: the best is if you get them off a roadside stall - they make the wafels on the spot and you get them piping hot. Real yummy! I've seen stalls like that in Den Haag's city centre.

In both Holland and Belgium, most shops close latest at 6pm, so you are advised to get up early and get your shopping and sightseeing done early. Some tourist spots are not open during the winter, so be sure to check out the opening times. Also, if you're on a museum kick in Holland and plan to visit many museums, it would be advisable to get a museum card (available at any museum). You can get in free or for a nominal fee with such a card.

www.holland.com and www.visitbelgium.com may come in useful for you.

All best for your trip!

13. Posted by kenofcork (Full Member 69 posts) 11y

When in Brussels try to stay in the Vincent Van Gough hostel, its class,the name of the street its on escapes me at the moment (its 4.30 am)but its pretty central. It's named after good ol Vincent because he lived and worked in the building many moon ago. It's a great hostel with great facilities and is such a laugh. I lived there for a few months a few years back and have been back since. Your gauranteed to have a ball and it's very reasonable.
Brussels as a city is cool and not touristy at all. If your looking to have a few beers its a great spot though. Make sure you pay a visit to Antwerp.
Enjoy,
Ken

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