Beer brewing has been synonymous with Holland and Belgium for centuries. Spend time in two of Holland's main cities - Amsterdam and Maastricht and finish off with a number of days in Brussels. Discover some world famous breweries such as Heineken, House of Bols and De Halve Maen as well as some lesser known gems on your journey through both countries. Explore the pedestrian-friendly, vibrant city of Amsterdam - a city built on canals, historical merchant houses, art galleries and museums. Enjoy your time in Maastricht - one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, before crossing into Belgium and basing yourselves in the cultural city of Brussels (visiting a number of breweries en route of course!). Explore the city and visit Bruges - one of Belgium's prettiest cities. Also discover the city of Antwerp during your stay an historic picturesque city with many historical buildings, cobbled streets and home to the world famous Duvel brewery.
Throughout your itinerary there are options to have a private guide and driver for as much or as little of your trip to best suit your needs.
A transfer from the airport to your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be given to you by your driver upon arrival. Alternative arrangements will be made if you do not have a private transfer at the start of your itinerary.
The luxurious NH Amsterdam Centre Hotel (4*) is conveniently located in the heart of Amsterdam. It is right across from the lively Leidse Square in the fashion and museum district, an area brimming with entertainment, dining, and nightlife options. Amsterdam’s characteristic canals and the city’s top museums are just a short stroll from the hotel, as is the exclusive “PC Hooft” shopping street and the Vondelpark, a sprawling urban green space.
A great way to get around the city of Amsterdam and to see its many sites is with a 24-, 48-, 72- or 96-hours GVB transport ticket which gives you unlimited travel throughout Amsterdam day and night by bus, tram and metro. Stamp your ticket once at the start of your first journey and you are set for the duration of the validation of your ticket.
Discover the world of Heineken! Learn about its history, how the beer is produced and bottled, their advertisement strategy and of course the people that drink Heineken. Taste, smell, feel, hear and see why Heineken is one of the most popular beers in the world (includes entrance).
Use your Public Transportation Tickets today to get around the city.
Meet your guide this morning to bring you on a tour introducing you to one of the most important industries in the country - alcohol! The first port of call today is the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience at the Amsterdam Museumplein which offers an interactive way to experience the dazzling world of cocktails and bartending. Discover everything there is to know about Lucas Bols, the World's oldest distilled brand which has been based in Amsterdam since 1575. The tour ends in the revolutionary Mirror Bar, where professional bartenders shake a Bols cocktail based on your own flavor preferences.
Next on today's agenda is the Brewery ‘t IJ which was founded in 1983 next to the river ‘het IJ’. This brewery only brews biological beer and produces around 250.000 liters of beer annually. Most of this beer is used in the tasting room as opposed to being distributed across the country and beyond. The remainder finds its way into biological and liquor stores in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands. All beers are brewed using traditional methods.
At days end you will be returned to your hotel (entrances included. Use your city pass if you have it included in your itinerary or local taxis. Please let us know if you would like a private vehicle and driver for this day’s activities.)
Meet your driver in the lobby of the hotel this morning before departing for Maastricht. En route, you'll get to visit two interesting breweries and have time for lunch at leisure (not included). The Mill Brewery in Bodegraven is located in a historic windmill called De Arkduif and dates back to 1697. This brewery produces a wide range of beers; most of it is brewed only once a year and their brewing style is similar to the ones used by US based micro-breweries. Enjoy some free time for lunch at the restaurant at the brewery before continuing on towards the town of Arcen where you'll get to visit the Hertog Jan Brewery. The brewery is still in the same place where four fellow brewers started the brewery 100 years ago. From here, you'll be brought to your accommodation in Maastricht. (includes entrances to both breweries).
The Hilton Brussels City Hotel (4*) is situated in the centre of downtown Brussels, within yards of Gare du Nord station and in close proximity to the Rue Neuve shopping district and the World Trade Center. The Hilton Brussels is the ideal place to stay when you are visiting Belgium’s capital. After a busy day in Brussels or a long journey, you can relax and rejuvenate in the Scandinavian Wellness and Health Club and sample the delicious Flemish cuisine on offer in the Bien Belge Living Lounge restaurant and bar. Offering responsive service and stylish contemporary comfort in an enviable location, this Brussels hotel has everything you need to make the most of your stay in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.
Maastricht offers many museums, churches, historical buildings, hidden alleys and spacious squares. You can find any form of architecture here, ranging from Roman excavations to the modern design of the Bonnefantenmuseum. Exhibitions at NAi Maastricht inform you about architecture in the European region around Maastricht. It is a great city with many historical structures and squares, and one place in particular that you cannot miss visiting and that’s ‘het Vrijthof’ - a beautiful square in the center of the historical part of town, paved with old cobblestones and surrounded by trees. Many very nice restaurants and cafes encircle the square. This square has attracted people since medieval times when pilgrims came to see the grave of Saint Servatius, located in the St. Servatius Basilica, a Romanesque cathedral with crypts and treasures.
Another basilica worth visiting is the Basilica of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwebasiliek); a renowned Roman Catholic basilica dating back to the 11th century. The main attraction is the miraculous statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea. Besides the chapel with the statue of Our Lady, there’s much more arts and crafts to be admired. The treasury of the basilica holds a large number of objects of religious arts and crafts. Marvel at the richly embroidered copes and chasubles, relics in beautiful holders, processional banners, church silver and statues.
Maastricht’s main art museum is the Bonnefantenmuseum. This museum holds a mixture of medieval and contemporary art. The structure itself is a great architectonic highlight. Other museums are the Natural History Museum, Architecture Institute Maastricht and Fort St. Pieter.
Depart Maastricht for Brussels, stopping off en route at the Brand Brewery in Wijlre. Enjoy a visit of the brewery, which is a well known brewer in the province of Limburg. The brewery has a rich history going back to the 14th Century. A museum was opened in 2008 with the slogan: feel, smell and taste which may also be interested in discovering. After time at the brewery, you'll be transfered to your accommodation in brussels by your private vehcile and driver. (entrance included).
Explore two of Belgium's most beautiful cities on foot today in the company of a professional English speaking guide - Brussels and Bruges. During your guided tour of Brussels you will visit the monumental square; Grand Place, and discover the center with its impressive buildings, churches, the Royal Palace and Manneken Pis. Your driver and guide will accompany you to Bruges, the transfer should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Explore Bruges’ romantic canals, medieval buildings and many churches and cathedrals. See the marvelous market square, city hall, the belfry and its halls. The city center is car free, so most of this tour will be done on foot.
Enjoy some free time at lunch at your restaurant of choice (not included).
This afternoon, you'll be brought to the Brewery De Halve Maan, the only active family brewery in the centre of Bruges today. Xavier Vanneste, son of Mrs Véronique Maes, restarted the old brewery after a thorough renovation of the remaining installation. He launched this new beer under the name ‘Brugse Zot’ for which a unique recipe has been developed. By the end of 2008, "Straffe Hendrik" a beer once developed and brewed by the Maes' family returned to Bruges and is now being brewed, at the brewery following its original recipe. Entrance to Brewery De Halve Maan is included. After this visit you will be returned to your accommodation in Brussels.
Enjoy a guided shared full day tour to the beautiful towns of Ghent and Bruges. After an hour's drive you will arrive in Ghent, where you visit St. Bavo's Cathedral, home to the world famous 'Mystic Lamb' painting. The city tour will introduce you to all the important buildings from the Middle Ages, such as the Belfry, St Nicholas' Church and the Earl's Castle. In Bruges, you will visit the Lake of Love and the Beguinage and enjoy a walking tour where you will discover the Church of Our Lady with the statue by Michaelangelo, the Market Square with its belfry and the Holy Blood Chapel.
Relax on your private airport transfer to Charleroi with private vehicle and English speaking driver.
February 19, 2014
"Lynne Pettit is a particularly good tour planner and contact person because she is knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She makes sure she understands exactly what you want to get from your trip and plans the tours accordingly. In my case, she was right on the mark!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery lWestlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
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