(Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp)
The early morning light drapes itself across meandering canals, old stone bridges and vibrantly-painted building facades. As you bicycle past the flower market, with its kaleidoscopic colors and dizzying fragrances, you’ll finally understand the allure of Holland.
And when you experience the bucolic splendor, fantastic museums, incredible food and medieval abbeys where the monks still run their own breweries, you’ll realize Belgium isn’t too shabby either. Stroll through cityscapes and country roads that offer artistic wealth, innumerable monuments, historical buildings and quaint, old churches. In the evenings, relax in exclusive accommodations hand-selected for their sophisticated and luxurious ambiance.
Explore the old and new parts of beautiful Amsterdam and visit the Royal Palace, the National Monument, the Skinny Bridge, and the beautiful houses along the canals. If you feel a sudden urge to be skilled in the art of flirtation, head to the famous Red Light District where the working girls strike come-hither poses in windows and beckon to passers-by. A short train ride through picturesque landscapes and you arrive in lovely Brussels where you’ll enjoy a private guided tour of monumental square, Grand Place and the city center. In Antwerp, take a tour of some of the oldest breweries and sample wheat beers, pale lagers and golden ales. In Bruges, visit a chocolate factory and experience what Heaven must be like when you sample the mind-blowing confections on display. This trip promises moments of the most delicious kind.
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Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
A welcome package with your vouchers, a city map, train tickets (if relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be presented 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.
A great way to see the city and experience it in local fashion is to rent a bike for a day or even a few hours. Amsterdam is one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world and bicycles have sometimes more space on the road than their fellow pavement users. Expect to pay EUR12 per day for a bike rental. For bike hire contact:MacBike, Mr Visserplein 2 or Weteringschans 2. Tel: +31 (0)20-620-0985 or Rent-a-Bike, Damstraat 20-22. Tel: +31 (0)20-625-5029. From the picturesque Jordaan district where streets are named after flowers to the artistic Westerpark where open-air concerts, theatre and exhibitions take place, Amsterdam abounds with walking opportunities that combine well with cultural heritage. Amsterdam's infamous Red Light District is in the very centre of the city, concentrated on two canals (Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal) and the interconnecting streets. It is definitely an eye-opener, the working girls sit or stand in windows beckoning at passers-by.
Boutique hotel Estheréa (4*) is housed in a row of 17th century buildings on the Singel, Amsterdam's oldest major canal and part of the ring of canals added to the official UNESCO World Heritage list in 2010. The rich, colourful interior includes woollen carpets, crystal chandeliers, mahogany panelling, luxurious fabrics, extravagant wallpapers, flowers, plants, and fish.
Take a shared city tour where you will see by luxurious coach, the old and new parts of this beautiful city with its many historical buildings and interesting sights. You will get to see for example the Royal Palace, the National Monument, the Skinny Bridge, the Albert Cuyp Market and the beautiful houses along the canals. You will also see a windmill on the Amstel River and a visit will be made to a diamond factory, where you get to view the traditional way of polishing. An included hour-long canal cruise will offer an interesting new perspective to this beautiful city.
Enjoy dinner at leisure. There are lots of good places to choose from - Here are some suggestions: De Kas, Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, Tel: (0)20-462-4562. An old greenhouse converted into a beautiful dining room. You can be sat at the chef’s table, under the 8-metre high glass conservatory or if the weather permits on the patio, it is an absolute delight to experience some of the greatest cuisine in Amsterdam. The daily harvest defines the menu. 11 Oosterdokskade 3-5 Tel: (0)20-625-5999. Not to be missed, 11 mixes with perfection great quality food, brilliant atmosphere and a unique location. Although the entrance could put some people off, it is worth going to the 11th floor of the Post CS building and admire the view over the city. EUR29.50 for a 3-course dinner.
Begin with a visit to the Aalsmeer´s world famous flower auction (closed Sundays and replaced by a visit of a traditional wooden shoe maker). Continue to Rotterdam, the second largest city of the Netherlands, characterized by its contemporary and fascinating architecture. The next stop is at the picturesque town of Delft. During your visit to the Delft Blue Pottery Factory, you'll learn about the historical developments of these ceramic techniques. From Delft you drive to The Hague for a city tour. Pass by the highlights of their governmental city like the House of Parliament and the Peace Palace. During this excursion you can visit Madurodam. This miniature city offers you the highlights of the Netherlands on a scale 1:25.
Spend the morning today (6hrs) in the company of a private driver as you explore Delft before being dropped off at Rotterdam train station. Enjoy a visit of Delft, one of the most charming towns in Holland. The market place, the 'new' Church and the wonderful historical town hall in combination with narrow canals, and little shopping streets make it very special.Delft is known worldwide for its porcelain so a visit to learn more about this artisanal craft is a must. Visit the Delft Blue Factory and see firsthand what goes into the art of painting the vases and plates as well as the firing process as the ceramic is baked. Admire the many historical pieces of Delft Blue art on display before continuing onwards to Rotterdam Central Station where your guide and driver will bid you farewell. (Please note that this service does not include a guide. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to add a proivate guide to your itinerary today). (Entrance fee to Delft factory not included and is approx. 3,5euros per person).
Consider adding a professional guide to your day's itinerary to get the most out of your day exploring. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you are interested in adding in this service to your itinerary.
Depart by high speed train from Rotterdam to Brussels, Belgium. The train journey typically takes 2 hours.
Meet your guide on the arrival platform in Brussels. Your private driver will be waiting in front of the train station for you and after getting settled, you can enjoy a guided tour of Brussels on foot and by vehicle. Visit the monumental square, Grand Place and tour the city center with its impressive buildings, churches, the Royal Palace and Manneken Pis. Enjoy a visit of the Atomium, a landmark that was built for the World Expo in 1958. The Atomium is a visual representation of the concept of an atom. It represents an iron atom and is magnified 150 billion times. From here you will be brought to your accommodation where you will have time to get aqauinted with your surroundings before considering plans for the evening.
The Steigenberger Grandhotel (5*) is directly located on the legendary and very fashionable Avenue Louise, offering exceptionally stylish accommodation in sophisticated surroundings. The main tourist attractions, stations, and most elegant boutiques in Brussels are all within easy reach of the hotel. All of the 267 hotel rooms are designed to inspire, reflecting the beauty of the hotel's scenic location while ensuring your comfort and convenience. Experience a home away from home when you stay at the unique and exclusive Steinberger Grandhotel.
Meet your driver in front of your hotel this morning in Brussels and relax on the drive to Bruges. The travel time is about 1 hour and 15 mins. Upon your arrival to the beautiful city of Bruges, you will have some free time to explore the city with its 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 it allows for great freedom for pedestrians within the core of the city.After some time at leisure in Bruges, enjoy a visit of a chocolate factory and spend time in the small chocolate museum. You will discover the origins of cocoa, its value through the centuries, the manufacture of chocolate and finally, you will have the opportunity to taste homemade hot chocolate and chocolates.From chocolate to lace..Visit a lace museum, a craft that has been carried out in this city for generations, and learn everything about the history of lace as you see a demonstration on how lace is made.At days end you will be brought to your hotel in Bruges.
Bruges is the most romantic city in Belgium and maybe in the whole of Europe with medieval bridges spanning meandering canals. Discover the 'Venice of the North' with your own English speaking guide as you walk through the city. Your guide will introduce you to the main sights and give you the history of the town as you stroll by the artistic wealth of the innumerable monuments, historical buildings and churches. You will also get the chance to admire the marvelous market square, city hall, the belfry and its halls and the numerous canals and the typical God houses (late medieval-looking houses bearing a name and a year on the outside wall) which can be seen everywhere in the city. (The city centre is car free allowing for a pleasant, trafic-free walking tour). (No transportation included).
Hotel Die Swaene (4*) overlooks one the most picturesque canals of Bruges. It is considered one of the most romantic hotels in Europe. The rooms are elegantly furnised and all uniquely decorated. The hotel's public areas have an atmosphere of times past. A magnificent new wing, the Canal House, which has been inaugurated, has eight rooms and two suites. The sunny terrace provides spectacular views of the canals and water activities. Die Swaene has everything you need to make your visit unforgettable.
Todays' destination is Antwerp - home of many special beers! After meeting your driver at your hotel, you have the option of visiting a brewery in Bruges - the "De Halve Maan". The artisanal brewery "De Halve Maan" is the only family brewery in the centre of Bruges that is still active. 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. Today Brugse Zot is the one and only beer really brewed in Bruges’ towncenter!
From Bruges, you willbe transfered to Antwerp. The journey should take approximately 1hour and 15 minutes. The next port of call is another Belgian brewery - the well known Duvel Brewery, which is located just south of Antwerp. Duvel beer is powerful with a strong taste that requires a special way of pouring. See the process and appreciate the sophisticated and carefully cotrolled brewing process used to ensure quality always predominates. Of course a tour of a brewery would be incomplete without trying the product - enjoy sampling the beer at its origin.Finally, you will be driven to your hotel in Antwerp at days end.
Located in the heart of historic Belgium, the Hilton Antwerp Hotel (4*) offers the most central location in Antwerp and is an ideal base to discover the beautiful and historic city. Enjoy Belgian cuisine at the hotel’s bistro-style Terrace Café and experience spectacular views of the Cathedral of Our Lady. After exploring the stunning city of Antwerp, relax with a refreshing cocktail or a malt whisky at the nautical themed Maritime Bar or indulge in high tea served in the refined Lobby Lounge.
Take a private airport transfer today in Antwerp.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Belgium for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTThe Netherlands is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Netherlands for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/netherlands.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Amsterdam. Government: Constitutional monarchy since 1848. Language: Dutch is the official language. English, German and French are widely spoken. Religion: 31% Roman Catholic, 13% Dutch Reformed Church, 7% Calvinist, 5.5% Muslim, 43.5% other religions or none. Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are in use. Telephone: Country code +31 (followed by 20 for Amsterdam, 10 for Rotterdam and 70 for The Hague). Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is universal. Internet: There are many Internet cafes and some Internet access centers.
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