A Road Trip from Amsterdam to Belgium

April 18, 2017

Amsterdam is the perfect gateway to Europe when you travel by ferry from the UK, with Holland, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg all before you, waiting to be explored. Taking a closer look at Belgium, keep reading to find out some of the most fascinating cities and unique delights you’ll find on your excursion.



Arriving in the Dutch capital puts you in one of the world’s most famous capitals, with a wealth of culture and history to take in. Take a cruise along the canals to see the city at its best, and admire the unique architecture of the gabled houses and medieval churches. Don’t miss the Rijksmuseum and its stunning collection of Dutch art, or the nearby Van Gogh Museum. The Red Light District is also worth a wander during the day to see the city’s oldest streets. It’s here you’ll find some of its quirkiest bars and cafes.


The Hague

Travelling on the A4 southwest from Amsterdam will take you to The Hague, the Netherlands’ third largest city and home to its government and monarchy. This historic city can boast serious importance on the world stage, too, as it’s also home to several international courts of the United Nations, and other important international institutions. It’s a fascinating mix of the old and new, with stunning modern architecture alongside medieval halls and 18th century palaces.



Next on the route to Belgium is the last in the Netherland’s trio of big cities, Rotterdam. This eccentric port offers something a bit different to the tourist-centric Amsterdam, with incredible modern architecture, vibrant nightlife, and exciting food scene. There are also plenty of museums and art galleries, as well as amazing street art throughout the city. Check out the Museum van Boijmans Beunigen, one of the oldest museums in the country, housing a wide variety of artwork from the likes of Rembrandt, Monet, and Van Gogh, and a fantastic collection of Dalí surrealism.



From Europe’s biggest port to Belgium’s biggest port, Antwerp is the next stop as you leave the Netherlands on the A16. Antwerp is another interesting mix of old and new, with some truly stunning medieval architecture at its heart, and an effortlessly cool modern culture revolving around fashion and design. The soaring gothic cathedral is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, and the market square offers perfectly picturesque Flemish architecture. Visit the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) for a look at the city’s past in possibly the most unique gallery you’ll ever visit.



Next, head west to Ghent, one of Europe’s best keep secrets. This city offers everything you could want in a historic European destination, but without the crowds of tourists you find in other larger and more famous places. Ghent has gorgeous canals with fantastical medieval buildings, elegant waterside cafes and restaurants, as well as a lively nightlife and rich cultural scene. Though typically quiet, you may find a queue of tourists at the Ghent Altarpiece, a breath-taking series of van Eyck panels, considered one of the world’s most precious artistic treasures.



Finally we reach Belgium’s capital and largest city, Brussels. As the centre of the EU, Brussels has a distinctly multicultural and vibrant feel, reflected in its exuberant mix of architecture. There are magnificent classical establishments such as the Palais de Justice, the world’s largest courthouse, as well as elegant Renaissance squares like the Grand Place, and the glass and steel facades in the European Quarter. A visit to the Grand Place is essential, with its glittering array of 17th century guildhalls and towering city hall. It’s also a great place to sample some of Belgium’s most famous export, with a tantalising array of chocolatiers in the city.

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