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Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

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Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

My husband and I are headed to Amsterdam in early Sept n have 20 days to explore neighboring cities. A road trip would be great but we're open to taking short flights too. Our goal is to explore key beautiful spots. We are from Asia and any city, beaches, and the countryside all appeal to us. We'd like advice on the cities we should should visit that hopeful allow a scenic drive to get to.

Oh and we have to return to Amsterdam to take our flight home.

Any suggestions?

Edited: 11 June 2018, 04:20
8 replies to this topic
Penticton, Canada
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1. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

HI

If you want to visit cities it is best to use trains as driving in the cities is either congested or parking is quite expensive. So best to do small towns and villages if you want a road trip

best way for a cities visit are the trains - there is a lot of info about train travel at www.seat61.com

if you want a road trip with some city time there is a loop you could do by heading to Germany - coming back via the Alsace Valley for the Wine Route - to get to Brussels and north to Brugge and work you want to Amsterdam.

www.viamichelin.com is a good planning tool for time of travel and so is google maps

this is one idea of a loop you could play with for 3 weeks with a car that would touch on the 4 countries you have on the list. - google maps is set to "avoid highways" as it will not mix and match highway and secondary roads https://goo.gl/maps/nUfMQDkKBX72

Another idea is to take a train Amsterdam to Paris for 3 days then 2+weeks on the road and drop off the car in Lille for no drop off charges and a train to Amsterdam to finish it off.

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

Have you considered the Provence region, Southern France?

You could spend 2-3 days in Amsterdam, then go to Bruges (Belgium) for another 1-2 days and then drive to the Provence (which is a 10-12 hour drive from Bruges) or alternatively take a train/flight.

The provence offers everything you need: beautiful cities (Nice, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Nimes,..), beaches (Cote d'azur) and the scenery/countryside (just check google images). Weather will also be great early September.

Lewes, United...
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3. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

Have you ever been to Europe before?

Have you ever self driven in Europe before?

Have you looked at a map of Europe or consulted a guide book yet? Your ideas seem, to me, rather vague and fanciful and not formed enough for us to offer much guidance. You will get far better input if you develop something of an actual plan and then we can judge whether it is realistic and what might need changing or adjusting slightly to make is more enjoyable.

What you describe in 20 days is probably far too ambitious because, come September, if you want beaches and bathing, you will have to head south to the Mediterranean for the beaches, those northern beaches will be far too cold.

However, where in Asia are you from? Most Asians wishing to visit Europe go there for the cities, the history, the culture and for scenery you cannot get at home like mountains, not beaches which Asia has thousands of, and very nice ones at that.

What are key beautiful spots to you?

As said, once in Europe, to travel between cities and towns, local low cost airlines or train travel is far better than road tripping unless you trip is really confined to only rural areas and smaller towns.

SWT

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4. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

We've been to Europe a few times and have mostly done big main cities ie Paris, Rome, Florence, barcelona, Prague, London.. we'd like quaint and something different this time but not averse to unique cities either.

We don't expect to do beaches, countryside AND cities, we'll be happy with any if there's any in particular we should visit. Also we plan to do either South of France Provence area or Germany, not both.

I think we'll now definitely consider travelling by train after the advice here too.

This is the initial German directed itinerary which is open to changes.

Amsterdam > Rotterdam > Antwerp, Belgium > Brussels > Cologne, Germany > Heidelberg > (maybe) Riquewihr, France > Frieberg, Germany> Munich > Kitzbuhel, Austria > Vienna > Prague, Cheznia> Dresdon, Germany > Potsdam > Berlin > Hamburg > Bremen > Amsterdam

We've also thought of adding Zurich.

We wonder if we may be missing anything awesome spots along that route ?

Or, if we have too many similar cities that we could skip some ?

Would travelling in and out of countries be too much hassle ?

Which would be a good city/town to stay in a Castle ? (pocket friendly would be a plus)

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5. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

Will do some research on this too thanks ! Do you have any particular favourite spots along this route ? If we flew to South of France, think it'll be simple enough to drive around then ?

Lewes, United...
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6. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

The Germany plus Central Europe plan in post 4 is far, far too many destinations to reasonably accomplish within 20 days. However, with the too hard to reach destinations weeded out, it would make a decent skeleton on which to build a train based plan. Few European cities are similar, one to another, but some might be more to your liking, depending on what it is you like about cities and like to do in them.

I could certainly make some suggestions along that line and then point you in the right direction to sort out the trains, not really something I'm too well versed in.

Alternatively, if you are not set on spending so much time in more northerly destinations, and wish to skip cities apart from Amsterdam, and are prepared to fly to somewhere else suitable in Europe to start a road trip, then I can also make some outline suggestions - but I still need more to go on.

Where in the south of France were you thinking of flying to, and why there specifically?

Oh, and before ruling out driving around the more northerly areas. If we rule out beaches, and big cities, there's no reason you cannot do an enjoyable road trip starting and ending in Amsterdam and covering some of the Netherlands, parts of Germany, Luxembourg, northern France and Belgium - but there would be no big cities, just smaller towns and rural areas in the plan I would suggest would be viable and meet some of your so far stated needs. Heck, I could even throw in the odd castle, maybe even several castles in this plan.

However, now I'm puzzled. What exactly do you mean by pocket friendly? And why specifically in relation to castles? You yourself suggested a plan in your reply that lists some very expensive cities and other destinations, and would consider Zurich - a breathtakingly expensive city - so entry tickets for a castle would be beans, in comparison.

Please tell us where you are from. It really can help!

SWT

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7. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

We'd like the trip to not be rushed and would appreciate any of your suggestions. We have no issues with eliminating any spots we mentioned, it was just a preliminary search online.

We'd like to experience unique culture, architecture, scenery, history, colorful buildings, areas near water bodies , or gardens. If we went the France route, we thought Provence > Lourmarin > Marseille > Cannes > Nice > Monaco > Maybe Genoa . Why? We a a little disappointed by Paris and we've been told to head to the south of France as its so much more beautiful there.

Pocket Friendly --> We don't plan to travel luxuriously, hoping to mostly stay at Airbnbs, but happy to pay a little more for a Castle experience, for fun. Doing a quick search i see then can cost from 150-200 and that seems fine.

Born and bred in Singapore but very recently moved to Toronto, Canada and have been here for the last year.

Lewes, United...
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8. Re: Amsterdam <> Belgium <> France or Germany? (Road Trip)

The area that most tourists consider to the the South of France - otherwise know as the French Riviera or Cote d'Azur is indeed beautiful. It's also horribly expensive, horribly crowded and very, very commercial. Is that what you want?

Who 'told' you to go to the South of France? Do they know your travel style and wishes, or was it just a conversation?

If you rent a car from somewhere in Provence (let's say Avignon, for somewhere specific) and drop it off in Genoa, you will have a very international one way drop fee.

I'm more than happy to offer a road trip, but you seem to be randomly coming up with ever more different ideas and no indication that you've really researched them to ensure they are what you imagine they are or whether they suit you.

Do you plan to spend any time in Amsterdam? If not, why are you flying there?

Now that you've at last bother to say that you are currently based in Toronto, I get why the beach comment. Was it so difficult to explain any of that before?

This forum is best if you have a certain plan in mind. We do not really appreciate making more and more random suggestions for stuff you can google.

SWT

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