Visit Brussels, the Netherlands and France during this nine-day rail journey through Western Europe from London!
Famed for its canals and charming streetscapes, your first three nights in Amsterdam will be everything you imagined it to be and more.
When you visit Brussels, you have two days to discover the medieval streets and architecture, lively squares and boulevards, impressive landmarks and delicious cuisine. Then, you'll travel to beloved Paris for a three-night stay and enough time to discover all the crowd-pleasing, iconic sights and attractions. Make stops at the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Musée Picasso, and the Louvre.
Day 1 London to Amsterdam
Take Eurostar directly to Amsterdam. Arriving in your hotel, check-in and explore Europe's most diverse destination. Visit some of the city's world-class art museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum or the Stedelijk, and stroll along the beautiful canals lined by trees and interesting houseboats.(Overnight in Amsterdam)
Day 2 Amsterdam
Today, have breakfast and then begin exploring this fantastic city with your 2-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Stroll through the suburbs of Oost or take a photo of or with the "I Amsterdam" letters. You may also want to discover the Begijnhof—one of Amsterdam's secret, secluded gardens. A visit to the Anne Frank Museum, which will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your trip. Ann Frank and her family hid in the canal house during World War II for two years. (Overnight in Amsterdam)
Day 3 Amsterdam
On your final day in the city, take advantage of the canal cruise included in your pass for a unique viewpoint. Then hop back onto the bus and head out to the beautiful Vondelpark, where you can picnic with its many sculptures (including one by Picasso). Additionally, you can shop at Magna Plaza, take a peaceful stroll through Amsterdamse Bos (a forest with lakes, meadows, and cafes), or catch a film at the art deco Pathé Tuschinskitheater in Southern Canal Ring. (Overnight in Amsterdam)
Day 4 Amsterdam to Brussels
After breakfast this morning, take an IC train from Amsterdam to visit Brussels. When you arrive, check into your hotel then spend the rest of today at your leisure, either relaxing or exploring. Visit Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its leading market square, local bars and cafes. Often accompanied by concerts and a light show at night, there is a daily flower market between March and October. Other interesting stops include Hôtel de Ville, Place du Châtelain Market and the collection of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi and Meso-American masks by the Musée du Cinquantenaire. (Overnight in Brussels)
Day 5 Brussels
Spend the morning enjoying breakfast, and then continue to get to know this fantastic city. With its lively squares and boulevards, picturesque medieval streets and architecture, delicious cuisine and impressive landmarks, there is no telling what you will discover. Visit the Église Notre-Dame du Sablon in the Royal Quarter, the Napoleon III-styled palace of St-Gilles Town Hall, or Place du Jeu-de-Balle Flea Market for the quintessential Marolles experience.
No trip to Brussels would be complete without sampling a pistolet (small round bread filled with delicacies) and some chocolate! At the Belgian Chocolate Village—a chocolate museum—you can experience a tasting room, workshop, and tropical greenhouse with cacao trees. For a mesmerizing array of cheeses, head to Crèmerie De Linkebeek in Grand Palace & Îlot Sacré.
Enjoy one of the city's finest exports in the evening – beer with a 2.5-hour organized tasting. Dine on a frites and a filling bowl of moules at any traditional restaurants around the Grand-Place. Chez Leon is highly recommended!
There's so much to see when you visit Brussels! (Overnight in Brussels)
Day 6 Brussels to Paris
Following breakfast, travel on your own and board a high-speed direct Thalys train to Paris. Check into your hotel when you arrive and then begin exploring the charms of Paris. Maybe visit the iconic Eiffel Tower in the Champ de Mars park. It towers more than 1,000 feet, and the it is one of the world's most photographed attractions. Next, there's the Champs-Élysées, the most famous avenue in the city. It may even be more famous than London's Piccadilly Circus or New York's Times Square. If time permits today, go to Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Roman Catholic church perched atop Montmartre. (Overnight in Paris)
Day 7 Paris
Today, have breakfast and begin exploring all the other places you didn't visit yesterday. Use your 2-day Paris Visite card to get around the city. Visit Musée Picasso, home to the world's most extensive public collection of Picasso's works. Next, stroll through Père Lachaise (Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frédéric Chopin, and Jim Morrison are buried here), and make a stop at the beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont, located in the 19th district.
Other must-see places include Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, Marché des Enfants Rouges, Ile Saint-Louis for shopping, and Rue des Martyrs, Paris’ 200-year-old bustling street market packed with fromageries, boulangeries, and boucheries. You could also spend the day enjoying all the delicious Parisian cuisine, such as steak-frites, fresh baguettes, croque-monsieur (a crispy ham and cheese sandwich with Béchamel sauce), duck confit, jambon-beurre (fresh half-baguette with cool butter and garnished with cooked ham and optional cornichons) or street-stand crêpes. (Overnight Paris)
Day 8 Paris
You may think you've seen it all after two full days of exploring but you haven't! There are still plenty of landmarks and, off the beaten path, experiences to enjoy, like the Centre Pompidou's vast public library, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, and the Jardin des Plantes, one of the unique botanical gardens in France.
In the Marais neighborhood, known as "Old Paris," cobblestone streets greet you, hidden courtyards, and cozy cafes and bakeries. Peruse the sky-lit passages with its boutiques, bookstores, antique shops, and Parisian gems. Lastly, visit the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is the world's largest museum, located on the Right Bank of the Seine. To best experience this sprawling historical monument, research the works or wings you want to visit and save the rest for future visits. (Overnight in Paris)
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and finish any final exploring before continuing your onward journey. If you'd like to extend your vacation, perhaps riding the rails to another destination, contact me, and I will make all the arrangements for you. Let me know when you are ready to visit Brussels!