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Brenda
Long Beach

Amsterdam, Brussels

Amsterdam or Brussels/Brugge?

I'm a solo traveler with four extra days after I leave London. I'll be traveling on this last leg in the middle of October. I enjoy museums, a little bit of nightlife, good food, and just walking around and soaking up the local color. Which direction should I go and why?


14 Answers

top answer by
John

I'm tempted to be a contrarian  here and say Brussels but if you've never been ,I'd go to Amsterdam over Brussels.However I feel compelled to point out that Brussels is a lot more interesting and fun than the others seem to think.For one thing there are few cities in the world where you can so readily indulge in two great passions- beer and chocolate.The Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts is first rate.The food is better than in Amsterdam.I've always wanted to go to the Horta Museum.The Grand Place is wonderful.Still , maybe another trip.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brussels (city)
  2. Amsterdam (city)
  3. Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts (attraction)
  4. Horta Museum (attraction)
  5. Grand Place (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Tim from Amsterdam

Brussels/Bruges do not compare to Amsterdam. Amsterdam has a larger more beautiful city center, better selection of bars and restaurants, night life, museums - you name it. You really can't compare. Don't get me wrong, I love Brugge - it's like a fucking fairytale. It's a beautiful place for a day or two, but it has a small center. Brussels is not my favorite place, I've been there a number of times - there's a nice old square and a small peeing statue, as well as some good restaurants and bars, but that's about it.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brussels (city)
  2. Bruges (city)
  3. Amsterdam (city)
3 thanks


answered by
Brian from Portland

You can actually hit up all 3 in 4 days. But if nightlife is important to you, Amsterdam is the place for you. Brugge is essentially dead at night, Brussels is not my favorite city in the area. I would recommend Ghent or Antwerp over Brussels. 


2 thanks


answered by
Luke from Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Amsterdam - no doubt, very cool place, cafes, canals, bicycles, a really great city with a lot of character

Brugge is quaint but not nearly as vibrant (if sticking to Belgium skip Brugge and go to Ghent)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Ghent (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Geet from Paris

Amsterdam is your best option because its easy to see most good stuff in a few days, lots of parks and you can walk around pretty much anywhere. Enjoy. 


2 thanks


answered by
Petra from Torhout, Belgium

You can easily do both in 4 days, because both cities aren't very big and there is a good connection by train. But Belgium has nicer cities than Brussels. If you like medieval cities, I would recommend Bruges or Ghent instead! They are a lot cosier than Brussels and have some nice museums. And don't forget to try our famous fries, Belgian chocolate and definitely our beer. It's the best in the world!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Belgium (country)
  2. Brussels (city)
  3. Bruges (city)
  4. Ghent (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Jacqui from London

Amsterdam for sure! 

I have been to Amsterdam 3 times previously and just booked another long weekend there in May because I love it so much and there are still so many things to see and do.

I did stay in Brussels for 3 nights last summer and it was more than enough time. I feel that it is a city I wouldn't have to go back to. 

For things to do, places to see and what to expect, here is a guide (by me) for Amsterdam: http://www.neverendinghoneymoon.net/tips-for-exploring-amsterdam/ 

Enjoy! 

Jacqui 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Brussels (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Christina from West Hollywood

I would say Amsterdam! I went to Bruges for 2 days, and it was plenty of time to get a feel for the city. I can't speak for Brussels, but if you have 4 whole days, I'd go for Amsterdam!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Filip from Bertem

Hey Brenda, 

Go to Ghent, it's a nicer place to stay, better restaurants, bars, ... and better shopping should you be so inclined. From Gent you can make a day trip to Bruges and spend an afternoon in Brussels.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ghent (city)
  2. Bruges (city)
  3. Brussels (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Charlotte from Amsterdam

I totally agree with the answer given by Sabine. I live in Amsterdam and work in Brussels on day per week, very boring city. Go to Antwerpif you want to tick another country on your list. You can see Antwerp in a day, visit the museum MAS and Antwerp is known for its shopping!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Antwerp (city)
  2. MAS (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Visit Amsterdam for sure! It has everything you are looking for. Great museums Anne Frank HouseRijksmuseum AmsterdamJewish Historical MuseumVan Gogh MuseumStedelijk Museum Amsterdam and lots more. I think the Rijksmuseum is a MUST see if you are just doing one museum. It has all the Dutch masters (including Van Gogh). And it is a beautiful building. You can either walk around OR rent a bike and soak up the local color :-). 

Bruges is beautiful, but very small. After 1 day you have seen it all. And also a bit harder to reach. Brussels in my opinion is quite a boring city and not really beautiful (just a small part is nice). 

Good luck with your planning!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  2. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  3. Jewish Historical Museum (attraction)
  4. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  5. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (attraction)
  6. Bruges (city)
  7. Brussels (city)
1 thanks


answered first by
Karla from London

Hi Brenda,

I just went to Amsterdam on Valentine's day and absolutely loved it. It is a very romantic and fun city. I recommend if you have four days, stay in Amsterdam and get a train to Brussels to spend a day there. It is very close but small enough that in one day I think will be enough. In Amsterdam I stayed in a flat from AirBnb (highly recommend it). Rent a bike in Amsterdam which is very lovely, take a canal boat tour to see the city from another perspective. Go to the Van Gogh Museum (behind the museum is the  i AmSterdam sign), go to the Anne Frank House, Red Light District for sure, go to the famous The Bulldog Coffeeshop Leidseplein, the area of Jordaan is lovely to see. The centre is full of lovely restaurants and it is really easy to move around, definitely try the waffles but you can also wait for that in Belgium. Those for me were the top things to do in Amsterdam. 

Hope this works

Have fun!

KM


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Brussels (city)
  3. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  4. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  5. Red Light District (attraction)
  6. The Bulldog Coffeeshop Leidseplein (restaurant)
  7. Jordaan (neighborhood)
1 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Maxime

Brussels (you'll land or arrive there probably) and after Brugge will be a magnificent cocktail: chocolate, beers, real gastronomie, cathedrals, Brugge as the Venice from the North is very beautiful...Feel free to ask more details


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brussels (city)
  2. Brugge (attraction)


answered by
Eline from Amsterdam

Amsterdam, definitely!! :-)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)




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