Okay, I'm fitting a lot into 10 days!
Here's the plan thus far for late April:
Copenhagen Marriott - 3 nights
Fly to Brussels
Brussels Marriott - 2 nights
Rent a car and drive/ or train to Bruges
Hotel Navarra Bruges - 1 night
Drive or train to Amsterdam
Renaissance Amsterdam - 2 nights
Train to Dusseldorf
Renaissance Dusseldorf - 1 night
Big question is to drive or take the train from Brussels/Bruges/Amsterdam. I love to drive...even in Europe. It will be a bit more expensive to drive, I think, but I love exploring and poking around interesting places. Is it really crazy to drive this route or should I just take the train like most?
I'm also really interested in hearing suggestions about non-touristy things to do in these locations. I love to try to absorb something of the culture and way of life in a place...food, music, crafts, shopping, exploring. I'm a slow walker, but can go for some distance. Not too sure about trying to bike...haven't been on one for 30 years.
That sounds like a very exciting trip!(Please try to find former posts on these subjects)
Let me share with you some of my good experiences;
Copenhagen, a wonderful Marriott, CL, comfort and staff. Just a short walk from the train station. Try to make it by light rail up to Hamlet's Castle, and take a ferry to Sweden for an interesting experience. You can do all of this in less than a day.
Amsterdam, wonderful Renaissance, close to the train station. (Would not consider driving here). Wonderful place, enjoy a "Boat trip around the city".
Brussels, been there but never at the Marriott. This may be the place to get your car and enjoy the countryside. Make sure you have GPS. You will need it.
Dusseldorf, never been there, but that sounds like a great driving experience, Autobahn, (Yeah Baby!)
Have a wonderful time, and if you need more details, let us know!
I wouldn't worry about a car for this trip.
You are going to see quite a few places and the public transport in this region is good.
Easy train journey from Brussels to Bruges.
Amsterdam I wouldn't want to drive there, it is dangerous enough being a pedestrian with all the bikes!
We visited Keukenhof last year when we were in Amsterdam:
There is a bus that goes there from the airport, directions are on the website.
I always rent a car at some point during my trip, usually upon leaving my first destination. I like to stop along the way if I find something interesting, etc.
Are you planning to go to any small villages or out to the countryside where a car would be beneficial? If not, you're itinerary sounds like trains would be better. No driving in city centers many which are pedestrian only, no parking costs, gas costs, tolls, vignettes if needed, etc. And you should look into one-way drop fees for picking up the car in one country and dropping in another country (This fee usually doesn't apply to one-way rentals within a country.)
If you do rent, try Kemwel.com or Autoeurope.com, both are brokers (and sister companies) located here in the US. I always book through them and get the best price with them. Also, in many countries, you will pay extra to pick up the car at the airport and, sometimes, train stations. Arrange your pickup at an off-airport location. Cost is not affected by where you return the car.
Have a great trip!
Other Amsterdam threads:
Traveling through amsterdam in August in route to bucharest- only one night stop over .any suggestions for dinner/ sightseeing for one day/evening in amsterdam between flights? Any suggestions for shortday trips or evening things to do in bucharest
i have 86000 points and i plan to travel to amsterdam for 7 night , i would like to use my points to reduce the cost of my stay , whenever i tried in the past to order an executive room with my point i got to dead -endi can i use my points ?
Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/amsrd
Amsterdam Marriott Hotel http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/amsnt
Holland & Belgium http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1394
Wow...such a thorough and wonderful list Gem Princess!!! Thank you for your help! I had read quite of few of these before, but not all...I'll make sure to see the ones I missed.
Definitely have opted not to drive this trip, all hotels (Marriott, except in Brugge) booked, dining reservations (places I didn't want to miss) made. Now if I could just lose 20 lbs before I go!!!
If you use my method of restaurant selection, it really helps with the waistline.
I love to walk the streets in an urban center, and look at restaurants and menus. I may have a list from research done by reading books, internet searches, MI writeups, so I have an idea of what I am looking for, but i often check this against local info, the simpliest being, walking and looking at all the possibilities, and then selecting one, and after dinner, some more walking and looking.