The Netherlands and Belgium, two gems in the heart of Europe, promise an unforgettable summer vacation with their unique blend of culture, history, natural beauty, and culinary delights. From awe-inspiring architecture to world-class art, from quaint medieval towns to vibrant modern cities, these countries offer a rich and varied experience. Here are ten reasons why you should pack your bags and explore the Netherlands and Belgium this summer.
- Vibrant Tulip Blooms: Visiting the Netherlands in the summer allows you to witness the stunning tulip fields in full bloom. Keukenhof, known as the ‘Garden of Europe’, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, boasting over 7 million flower bulbs that burst into a riot of color every year.
- Dutch Golden Age Canals: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal ring of Amsterdam on a leisurely boat tour. These 17th-century waterways, lined with quaint houses and vibrant cafes, provide a picturesque backdrop for a summer day.
- Belgian Waffles and Chocolate: Indulge your sweet tooth in Belgium, renowned worldwide for its waffles and chocolates. Visit Brussels’ Grand Place, where chocolate shops and waffle stands offer an irresistible array of sweet treats.
- Architectural Marvels: From the Art Nouveau gems of Brussels to the medieval marvels of Bruges and Ghent, Belgium is an architectural paradise. The Netherlands, on the other hand, offers a blend of historic and modern architecture, from the windmills of Kinderdijk to the innovative designs in Rotterdam.
- World-Class Art: Both countries are havens for art lovers. The Netherlands is the birthplace of legendary painters like Van Gogh and Rembrandt, and museums like the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum showcase their masterpieces. Belgium is home to the famous Royal Museums of Fine Arts, housing works of artists like Rubens and Magritte.
- Stunning Beaches: The Dutch coastline offers beautiful sandy beaches like those at Scheveningen and Zandvoort, perfect for sunbathing, surfing, or enjoying a beachside BBQ. The Belgian coast, with its charming seaside towns like Ostend and Knokke, is equally inviting.
- Festivals and Events: The summer season is ripe with festivals in both countries. Experience the joyous atmosphere at the Ghent Festivities in Belgium or immerse in the vibrant music scene at Pinkpop or North Sea Jazz festival in the Netherlands.
- Diverse Cuisine: Dutch and Belgian cuisines are a treat for food lovers. Try traditional Dutch dishes like Haring or Stroopwafels, and don’t miss out on Belgium’s world-famous fries or a hearty Flemish stew.
- Cycling Culture: The Netherlands, with its extensive network of cycling paths, is a paradise for bikers. Biking around Amsterdam or through the serene Dutch countryside is a quintessential Dutch experience. In Belgium, follow the cycling trails around Limburg to explore its stunning landscapes.
- Historic Battlefields: History buffs should visit Flanders Fields in Belgium, a poignant reminder of the First World War. Similarly, the Dutch province of Gelderland, with its Airborne Museum and national park, offers insights into the Second World War.
A summer tour in the Netherlands and Belgium delivers a potent mix of natural beauty, cultural richness, gastronomic delights, and historical depth. The allure of these two countries lies not only in their popular attractions but also in their less-explored corners and the charm of everyday life. There’s always something new and exciting to discover, making them ideal destinations for an unforgettable summer getaway.
A city as vibrant and intriguing as Amsterdam deserves an exploration that’s equally immersive. The eclectic mix of canals, historical sites, art galleries, and local food, combined with a rich cultural history, make Amsterdam an enthralling destination. While planning your own itinerary can seem appealing, hiring a personal tour guide brings a distinctive flair to the experience. If you’re contemplating whether to splurge on a personal tour in Amsterdam, here are seven reasons why it’s worth every cent.
- Tailored Itinerary: Amsterdam is a city brimming with sightseeing options. A personal tour guide is an expert at tailoring an itinerary that suits your personal interests and preferences. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an art lover, or an adventure seeker, your guide will plan a schedule that ensures you get the most out of your visit.
- Deep-Dive into History and Culture: With a personal tour guide, you’ll uncover Amsterdam’s layered history and diverse culture beyond the surface level. You’ll hear stories and facts about the city that you wouldn’t find in a guidebook. Their in-depth knowledge, supplemented by personal anecdotes, enhances the understanding and appreciation of Amsterdam’s rich heritage.
- Hidden Gems: While the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and the iconic canal tours are must-visits, Amsterdam is also packed with hidden treasures. A personal tour guide knows these off-the-beaten-path locales and can take you to secret spots, from cozy cafés to hidden gardens, enriching your Amsterdam experience beyond the typical tourist spots.
- Efficient Use of Time: A personal tour guide knows Amsterdam like the back of their hand. They can efficiently navigate through the city, ensuring that you avoid crowded places and long lines, saving you precious time. This efficiency means you get to experience more of what Amsterdam has to offer in less time.
- Local Insights: Local guides bring a personal touch to your tour. Their insights about local customs, traditions, and lifestyle can help you connect with the city on a deeper level. Whether it’s about finding the best Stroopwafel in town, navigating the bike-filled streets, or understanding the city’s progressive policies, their perspectives offer a glimpse into the authentic Amsterdam.
- Safety and Comfort: Traveling in a foreign city can sometimes be daunting. A personal tour guide ensures that you’re always safe and comfortable. They can handle any unforeseen issues, provide language assistance, and even help with local etiquette, giving you peace of mind to fully enjoy your tour.
- Flexibility: Unlike group tours that are strict with schedules, a personal tour offers more flexibility. Want to spend more time at the Rijksmuseum or explore the Jordaan district at a leisurely pace? Your guide can adjust the tour schedule to cater to your needs, ensuring a comfortable and personalized travel experience.
Investing in a personal tour guide in Amsterdam unlocks a world of unparalleled experiences. It’s more than just sightseeing; it’s about immersing yourself in the city’s ambiance, understanding its spirit, and making unforgettable memories. Amsterdam, with its spellbinding charm, awaits your exploration, and a personal tour guide is your ticket to uncovering this enchanting city’s true magic.
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What I love most is taking my guests on a tour for several days and show them all the highlights of Holland and Belgium.
My 11 guests from Indonesia booked me for a couple of days. The first day we did a tour in and around Amsterdam. We visited The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, ate apple pie in the city, and went to Volendam.
The day after we went with 2 luxe vans on a tour to Bruges and Gent.
We had great days!
Do you want to visit the main highlights of The Netherlands and Belgium? Book a tour right now.