Life is like a dream.
An independent trip to the Benelux: rich and budget.
In the summer of 2014, we decided to fulfill my old dream – to visit Amsterdam. However, knowing full well that in Europe we had only two months to live, the visit to the Dutch capital did not stop there. Sitting in front of an online map, we chose the future travel itinerary for a long time and scrupulously. And if the discussion began with an innocent visit to two European capitals – Amsterdam and Brussels, it resulted in an almost weekly vacation with a visit to the six beautiful cities of Benelux.
Initially, we planned to visit only Brussels and Amsterdam ..
Travel around Benelux countries: route planning.
So, Amsterdam and Brussels were the mandatory points of the program – the famous capital after all. Further, proceeding from the convenience of location and through prolonged gossip, four more cities were chosen. Even in such small states as the Netherlands and Belgium there are many amazing places for tourists, so the choice was quite difficult. The cities that had to be ruthlessly excluded from the list are Utrecht, Ghent, Dreft and Antwerp. In the end, our future route looked like this:
Amsterdam (2 days) – The Hague (0.5 days) – Rotterdam (0.5 days) – Luxembourg (1 day) – Brussels (1 day) – Bruges (0.5 days) – Charleroi (airport)
Perhaps there were better options for how to spend 6 days in Benelux, but after analyzing your route at the end of the trip, we came to the conclusion that it was planned almost perfectly 🙂 The only thing, because of the location of Bruges in the very west of Europe, had to do a small and not quite convenient hook on the train. In this scheme, Antwerp would be much better suited, but Brugge .. How can I avoid visiting it? This is a truly magical city. In my opinion, the trip turned out to be rich, compact and diverse at the same time.
How can I save money on my own travel?
Since the trip was from the category of “independent”, we decided to provide various ways of saving that would make our trip budgetary and at the same time comfortable. I hasten to share tips that may be useful to you when visiting European countries.
1. Tickets for airplane and bus. At first glance it seems that travel within Europe is a mere penny. However, in order to find really beneficial offers, we had to monitor search sites more than one day. Do not be afraid to experiment, look for non-standard options and combine aircraft with buses and trains. Read more in the article “Top 10 Ways to Buy Cheap Airfares”.
2. Choice of hotels. Given the rich route, from hotels we needed only the most basic amenities and good location. We also did not shy away from modest one-star hotels, which, as it turned out, were pleasant, comfortable and clean in Europe. Tip: book hotels in Holland and Belgium deeply in advance. For a month or a half of options remains much less.
3. Special tourist maps. Discount cards that save travelers are sold in many European cities. They are called rather uncomplicated: Amsterdam Card, Bruxelees Card, Prague Card, etc. We bought such cards in Salzburg, because we visited several museums there and climbed the famous Untersberg mountain. Typically, they include free sightseeing and travel by public transport. The cost of the card depends on the city and the duration of use.
4. Tickets for the train. More details on how we could travel almost Beninux almost unlimited, you can read in the article “How to profitably travel around Europe on trains?”.
5. Nutrition. On nutrition, of course, everything is individual, but I can give general advice:
Do not have dinner and do not eat in the popular tourist spots, as well as near the central streets; take the hotel with breakfast included – more often, it is more profitable; in Belgium, a lot of cafes and restaurants with Turkish and Arab cuisine, where the prices are pleasant, and the food is delicious and satisfying; on weekdays, boldly choose business lunches in restaurants; Look at the supermarkets where you can buy inexpensive food – Carrefour, Aldi, Lidl, Albert.
However, it should be noted that compared to Italy, Spain and, of course, with Eastern Europe, the Benelux countries still have very high prices for housing, transportation and food. What expenses in the end we got, read the article about the final budget of the trip to Benelux.
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Live your dream 🙂
Hi my name is Irina! Welcome to my blog about independent travel .. or how to live 3 years in Europe, go for a year to Asia and eventually stay in Argentina 🙂