This itinerary gives you an idea of what Holland and Belgium have to offer. You experience the magnificence of the Dutch museums, the picturesque and medieval cities and the charms of the gardens. Then on to enjoy the delights of Belgian cuisine, one of the best kept secrets of Europe, while taking the opportunity to visit three distinctive unique Belgian towns soaked in history and culture and beauty.
Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam
Day 2: Amsterdam
Day 3: Transfer to The Hague
Day 4: The Hague
Day 5: Transfer to Rotterdam
Day 6: Transfer to Antwerp
Day 7: Transfer to Ghent
Day 8: Transfer to Brussels
Day 9: Brussels
Day 10: Departure
Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Get a feel of Amsterdam with a private boat tour along the Amsterdam canals past major points of interest. The rest of the day you are free at leisure to relax or to explore the city.
Day 2: Amsterdam
After breakfast you will enjoy a half or full day private guided tour in Amsterdam. Walk around the less known Amsterdam areas like the Jordaan with its markets, many cozy restaurants and interesting shops or perhaps visit one of the many internationally renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House and Anne Frank House to name just a few.
Day 3: From Amsterdam via Leiden to The Hague
After breakfast travel from Amsterdam to Leiden, a compact historical university city and the birthplace of the famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn born in 1606. Perhaps not so well known is the fact that the Pilgrims lived and worked in Leiden in the early 1600s, after which they travelled onwards on their way to the 'New World'. Visit the Pieterskerk, known as the church of the pilgrim fathers which still looks more or less the way it did in the 16th century and if interested the small Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. Leiden also offers quite a few nice attractions such as the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden in The Netherlands, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Antiquities.
Continue to Scheveningen, the beach district of The Hague, for a fresh seafood lunch in the harbour. After lunch continue to your hotel in the heart of The Hague, the political capital of The Netherlands. Stroll through the city centre and visit the Grote Kerk, Het Binnenhof where the parliament is based and the international Peace Palace, or visit one of the many museums this city offers such as the Panorama Mesdag, which contains the world’s oldest 19th-century panorama still in its original site and a unique cultural heritage.
Day 4: The Hague – half day trip to Delft
After breakfast travel by train to the historical city of Delft. Here the assassination of Willem of Orange took place in 1584 and it is the hometown of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer. Visit the Vermeer Centre, which offers you a voyage of discovery through the life, work and city of this 17th-century master of light. Enjoy a coffee on the square before making your way to the market past the statue of Hugo de Groot. Then visit the Royal Delft, the last remaining Delftware porcelain factory from the 17th century. The world famous Royal Delftware is still entirely hand-painted according to centuries-old tradition.
After lunch and a very brief walk to the station you catch the train back to The Hague, where you have the rest of the day free at leisure. Choose to visit Madurodam, a miniature city composed of typical Dutch buildings and landmarks on a scale of 1:25, visit a vast collection of prints and drawing by the world-famous artist Escher at the museum Esher in the Palace, or just take your time to wander around the city centre.
Day 5: From The Hague via Gouda to Rotterdam
After breakfast leave The Hague for a city trip in Gouda which has a historic city centre and is known for its cheese and candles. Visit the Church of St. John, the longest church in The Netherlands and one that makes up 50% of all the 16th century stained glass windows in The Netherlands. On the market square there is also De Goudse Waag, a weighing house made into a museum where they demonstrate the Dutch crafts such as cheese-making and candle-dipping.
Continue to the city of Rotterdam, where you will have lunch and after that enjoy a boat tour of largest port in Europe. Then continue to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. The evening you are free to leisure and enjoy Rotterdam’s vibrant nightlife.
Day 6: From Rotterdam via Willemstad to Antwerp
After breakfast leave Rotterdam towards Belgium's largest city, and Europe’s second largest harbour, Antwerp. If the weather is nice you stop en-route at the picturesque fortress city of Willemstad for a cup of coffee and some sightseeing. Stroll around the monumental fortress and check out the historical harbour. A fine detail is that the fortress of Willemstad looks like a star from the air! Then continue to Antwerp where you will have lunch. Perhaps enjoy a classic Bouillabaisse in a café while admiring the view of the Cathedral, or try some real Flemish cuisine in one of the many restaurants in and around the Grote Markt such as Mussels prepared in a variety of ways and beef stewed with Belgium brewed beer. Belgium is known for its excellent cuisine!
After lunch you enjoy a city tour through Antwerp. Visit the neo-baroque monument the Central Station, the Grote Markt and the Cathedral of Our Lady. The rest of the day you are free at leisure. Visit the Rubens House with a collection by this famous painter and his contemporaries. Alternatively you could go shopping, because the city of Antwerp is world-famous for its fashion and designers. You are at leisure this evening to once more sample the delectable cuisine of Belgium.
Day 7: From Antwerp to Ghent
After breakfast depart for Ghent, a brilliant mix of a wonderful past and a vibrant present. It’s a university city with fabulous canal side architecture, its fascinating medieval monuments and quaint restaurants are not to be missed. You enjoy a walking tour in the centre of Ghent and visit the St. Bavo's Cathedral, home of the world famous 'Mystic Lamb' painting. During the city tour you will see most important buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the Belfry, the St. Nicholas Church and the Earl’s Castle. Then take a trip around the city by private boat to experience Ghent from the water and see the particularly beautiful buildings on Graslei and Korenlei, both of which are lined with houses dating from the Flemish Renaissance and earlier.
The afternoon and evening you are free at leisure to enjoy the city. Perhaps drop into a well-known tiny bar for an aperitif of Jenever (Dutch gin). There is one well known establishment that boasts over 200 different types of all imaginable flavours, some homemade.
Day 8: From Ghent to Brussels
Today you travel to Brussels, the cosmopolitan capital of Europe full of art, gourmet restaurants, chic cafes, chocolatiers, many unique beers and the Atomium. Enjoy a city tour and pass the Grand Place, the renowned statue of the Manneken Pis (perhaps wearing one of his 600 outfits), the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Place du Grand Sablon and other historical sites, modern architecture, high-class antiques stores, and luxurious chocolate shops this city offers.
Have lunch in one of the restaurants and enjoy some typical Belgian cuisine. Then continue your city tour or visit one of the many museums, such as the Horta Museum, the house of Victor Horta, one of the founders of art nouveau. The evening you have free time.
Day 9: Brussels
Your stay in Brussels is not complete without a visit to The Atomium. This symbol of Europe’s capital was built for the World Fair in 1958 and consists of nine spheres, five of which are open to public. The Panorama on the upper sphere is 92 meters above the ground and offers a spectacular view of Brussels and if the sky is clear you can see as far as Antwerp.
After lunch it is time to visit a beer brewery, Belgium is famous for its hundreds of different special beers. You will visit the Cantillon Brewery, a very small Belgium traditional family brewery founded in 1900 and famous for its lambic beers. Enjoy a tour through the brewery and taste some of their brewed beers. In the evening you are able to enjoy your last sumptuous Belgium dinner in one of the fine dining restaurants this city offers.
Day 10: Departure
After breakfast it is time to depart from Brussels. You may opt to continue your journey by train in which case the journey time from Brussels by high speed train is one hour to Paris, two hours to Amsterdam and just over two hours to London. Otherwise fly out of Brussels or choose to return to Amsterdam overland. - End of itinerary
The above is just an impression of what we offer. Should you like to know more such as additional options, possible extensions, pricing, or if you are interested in any other recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact us.