Incredibly beautiful. The tulips were amazing - we're glad we went during the Spring to see them. It brought the atrocities of the holocaust down to a personal level. "The day at WWI sites with our guide Kristin, the deltaworks (not just a "guy" day! Belgium is right up there with Germany, England, and the Czech Republic as one of the world's great beer countries. See more ideas about Netherlands, Rick steves, Amsterdam. This tour does not have the "big ticket" draws like London, Paris, or Rome, but has its own charms. The amount of time in each location was good, I would have enjoyed one more day in Ghent, when it would be a regular weekday so there would be more vendors open. The Tropical Museum in Amsterdam provided an excellently-curated history of Holland's colonial period in a beautiful building, and Escher in the Palace in Hague was a knockout.". We brought our four grandchildren on their first trip to Europe and it was wonderful. "Seeing Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring.". Loved it. By Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw. Enjoyed the free time along with a good selection of interesting sights. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. "Arriving in Amsterdam was akin to being dropped onto another planet. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. "My WOW moments, The Rijksmuseum, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb @ St. Bavo's in Ghent. Great trip !! Rolinka was an excellent tour guide. As usual with RS tours, well-planned, excellent guides, good balance of group time and free time. The itinerary is an excellent mix of art museums, nature (tulips and canals), and WWI &II history. The tour was a well managed, well planned tour which was fun and exceed our expectations. We'll explore these feats of modern engineering, culminating with a tour of one of earth's largest moving structures — the Maeslant storm surge barrier — and a better appreciation of the fragility of the Low Countries. Tim was a incredible guide and continually looked after the group and adding special items along the way such as regional treats. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own. Sleep in Bruges. I recall the guide in the Rijksmuseum going into incredibly detailed insights into Rembrandt's Night Watch. everything was a suprise, "loved Ghent and the Industrial Museum for textiles!!!". Both, while vastly different, were even better than expected. Although the weather was unseasonably cold and wet, our group was in high spirits and my experience wasn't compromised a bit. Also the little side stops for lunch, like the town of Zierikzee, as we headed to our new cities were very cool. and we had to ingress and egress? The cooler weather was delightful, the food was good, and the hotels were comfortable. To learn more about the Netherlands past and present, check out some of these books and films. Rode along the canal, passing horses, cows, pretty homes and a windmill. Lots of wow moments though, loved seeing the sites in Belgium and Holland.". Knew not much prior. Rick Steves tours seem to attract very gregarious type of people who generally manage to get along which is important to me as a single woman traveling. This evening we'll meet for our farewell dinner, where we'll share memories and toast new friends. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam, head to Haarlem (sleep in Haarlem) Day 2: Sightsee in Haarlem (sleep in Haarlem) Nina was an amazing guide: funny, knowledgeable, clear, and well-organized. I guess I don"t consider 26 small group. Bruges and Delft were both beautiful places to visit and exploring them was fantastic. We have always enjoyed our RS tours and look forward to meeting the interesting tour members to interact with as we learn about the history, culture, transportation systems and architecture of the countries. "The Van Gogh museum or strolling around in Bruges. Nico's language skills added much to the success of the trip, as also did his wonderful interpersonal skills. But Belgium rewards with richer sights than you might expect — and fewer tourist crowds. We had a guide NICO who was by far one of the best I have ever had in the 50+ countries I have visited. "For me I think it was not a wow moment, but a wow day. I was able to take pictures without strangers in them.". "Delft was a favorite of mine. In typical Rick Steves fashion it was a well organized tour that was educational and entertaining. "It's hard to choose just one, but I'll pick the one that was most unexpected...visiting the Watersnood Museum and learning how the Netherlands reacted to a flooding tragedy, embraced their water management challenges (windmills! After a free afternoon, we'll regroup for a brewery tour to learn about what makes Belgian beer famous around the globe — and enjoy a taste ourselves. The theme of Flower Power brought back memories of the 60 & 70's in such a unique way. There was a good mix of organized time and "free" time. The boat tour through the fields around the gardens is worth it as well.". I personally enjoyed my visit to the Groeninge Museum in Bruges. It is a perfect trip for travelers that want to experience several smaller cities in a country and then get a taste of a larger urban area like Amsterdam. Negative comments: When our energy was low, Tim always gave us a sugary treat; always delicious! The water control project and exhibit at the WaterSnood Museum was quite interesting". Rolinka and the lively group made for a pleasant time. Rick Steves and company know how to design a tour. Almost every day we viewed fabulous great paintings from many periods in history. "Seeing the tulips and other beautiful flowers at Keukenhof.". The tour had great preplanned tours and events and just enough free time. I experienced many wow moments at the various museums, seeing paintings I knew of but had never seen in person. Brugges was unbelievably beautiful. Bruges is worth visiting, a really nice Mediëval city. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. We did have weak audio devices for the first few days. Very well organized with excellent guides and docents. Rick Steves' Europe. Walking the former World War l battlefields with a Sergeant Major in the Belgium army who took us through the back story and events while leading us personally over hallowed grounds was very, very special. He shows travelers how to delve into European culture, make friends with the locals, and experience each region's natural wonders -- economically and hassle free. However that is good to know. I was motivated to take this tour after watching the movie "The Monuments Men," which highlighted the Ghent Alter Piece and the Bruge Madonna. There was so much to do during free time, I couldn't get it all done. It was completely unique and different from anything I've ever seen in Europe or in the US. We felt cared for, our hotels comfortable and close to the areas we visited and the "on your own" visits. I really enjoyed all of our days except maybe the one looking at all the ways they deal with water. Group meals were wonderful. Definitely met expectations.". We owe the Monuments Men for making it possible for us to see the Ghent Altarpiece and Bruges Madonna and Child. The medieval character and charm of the city was enchanting.". That was the day we visited WWI battlefields, cemeteries, Flanders Fields and trenches. Rick Steves Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent. Overall, my wife & I had a fun time, met a lot of nice people, ate some delicious food & chocolate, drank some fabulous beer (Belgian) & saw some incredible sights/architecture. "Anne Frank Home was a highlight for all grandkids.". Also, our visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was very moving. This morning we'll meet with a local expert for a walking tour of the historic center of Ghent. really?? 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