Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Museum-Netherlands-2127625-P

Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days Tour

Rick Steves Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
11 days
From: $ 3,195 $ 290 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • More than 20 group sightseeing events
  • Brussels, a traditional Belgian brewery, historic Flanders Fields, a nostalgic Dutch open-air museum
  • See the royal Museums of fine arts of Belgium tour
  • Aalsmeer flower Auction
  • Awesome historic Amsterdam walking tour
  • Visit the Anne Frank House

Short Description

The cities of the Low Countries are a delight to experience. Beginning in the medieval masterpiece of Ghent, your Rick Steves guide will take you on story-filled walks through the hearts of Ghent, Bruges, Delft, and Amsterdam. You'll also visit a traditional Belgian brewery, thought-provoking Flanders Fields, a historic Dutch town, a high-tech sea barrier project, and the world's largest flower auction — ending in Amsterdam with the poignant Anne Frank House, and the brilliantly restored Rijksmuseum. Join us for the Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days!

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Belgium
End City Amsterdam

Travel Theme

Hiking & Walking Cultural

Destinations

Belgium Netherlands

Cities & Attractions

Amsterdam Bruges

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people— half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Belgium and Holland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 19 group sightseeing events, Ghent canal boat tour, Ghent walking tour, St. Bavo's Cathedral tour, Ghent Museum of Fine Arts tour, Tour of Flanders Fields WWI sites, Bruges walking tour, Bruges Memling Museum tour, Chocolate demonstration and tasting, Bruges Museum Pass, Belgian brewery tour and tasting, Deltaworks and tour of Maeslant sea barrier, Delft walking tour, Delft New Church, Aalsmeer Flower Auction, Historic Dutch town visit, Red Light District tour, Rijksmuseum tour, Historic Amsterdam walking tour, Anne Frank House…and more
  • All group transportation from Ghent to Amsterdam
  • 10 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2017
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Belgium

Our adventure begins in medieval Ghent. We'll gather at our hotel at 4 p.m. for an introduction meeting. Then we'll hop aboard a fun and informative canal cruise through the city. Our evening ends with a traditional Belgian dinner together. Sleep in Ghent (2 nights). Boat: 1 hr. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Medieval Masterpiece of Ghent

This morning we'll meet with a local expert for a walking tour of the historic center of Ghent. Together we will visit soaring St. Bavo's Cathedral, home to Van Eyck's sublime altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which was stolen and hidden by the Nazis during WWII. After lunch on your own, we will regroup for a guided tour of the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, where we will get up close to works by Bosch, Rubens, Magritte, and Van Dyck. Your evening is free for more exploring at your leisure. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Flanders Fields and Beautiful Bruges

Today we'll meet our driver and board our bus for the short drive to the WWI battlefields around Ypres. Half a million soldiers were killed here, making it one of the deadliest — and today the most hallowed — stretches of land along the Western Front. With the aid of a local expert, we'll tour the monuments, visit a thought-provoking museum, and see "the fields where poppies grow." After lunch together, we're off to Bruges and our lovely canal-laced and ivy-draped hotel. After check in and some time to relax, we'll regroup for an orientation walk and dinner together. Sleep in Bruges (3 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Gothic Bruges

We'll meet our savvy local guide who will introduce us to the pedestrian-friendly streets and alleyways of Gothic Bruges, including a tour of the Memling Museum — showcasing several of Hans Memling's masterpieces all housed within one of Europe's oldest medieval hospitals. Our afternoon continues with a visit to a Bruges chocolatier, where we'll learn about the artistry and traditions of Belgium's most mouth-watering export. After a free afternoon, we'll regroup for a tour of Bruges' oldest brewery to learn about what makes Belgian beer famous around the globe and enjoy a taste ourselves. The remainder of the evening is free to find the perfect Belgian dinner. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Free Day in Bruges

Today is yours to explore Bruges. Armed with your Bruges Museum Pass, you'll have free entry to any four museums — including the masterpiece packed Groeninge Museum. You may decide to go on a culinary scavenger hunt tasting your way through a myriad of Belgian specialties. Or you can hop on a bike and take a wonderful hour-long ride along a tree-lined canal to the nearby small town of Damme. The choices today are endless. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 6: Challenging the Sea

Today we'll discover how a country stays dry when nearly half of its land is below sea level. Over centuries, the Dutch created an immense system of dams, barriers, and dikes for protection from the North Sea — the Deltaworks. 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 gain a better appreciation of the fragility of the Low Countries. We'll continue on to the traditional Dutch town of Delft for an orientation walk and dinner together. Sleep in Delft (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 7: Delectable Delft

This morning an in-depth walking tour with a local will give us a personal introduction to Vermeer's hometown including the massive Gothic New Church, where generations of the ruling House of Orange are buried and revered. We'll also visit a workshop to discover the qualities that make Delftware so dear. The rest of your day is free to explore the many other charms of Delft or take a short tram ride to The Hague, where you can get up close and personal with paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Mauritshuis, or travel back to an 1880 seaside at the Panorama Mesdag. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 8: Tulips, Countryside and Amsterdam's Red Lights

We'll begin our day in Europe's biggest building — filled with acres of flowers — learning about the worldwide distribution of beauty that begins each day at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Then we'll stop for lunch and exploration in a historic Dutch town on our way into Amsterdam. Upon arrival, we'll take an orientation walk through the city and window-shop the Red Light District, learning about how the Netherlands regulates the world's oldest profession. We will end our day with a traditional rijsttafel dinner together. Sleep in Amsterdam (3 nights). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Vibrant and Historic Amsterdam

This morning get chummy with this great city's gabled houses, bridges and canals learning why the Golden Age glimmered so brightly here. We'll take an historic walk through the heart of the city stopping to visit the Anne Frank House for a thought-provoking look at the hideaway of Anne and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. We'll continue our lessons on Dutch tolerance stopping at a local "coffee shop" to learn about this nation's creative, pragmatic approach to drug policy. The rest of the day is yours to tackle any number of Amsterdam's wonderful museums. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Amsterdam's Art

We'll start the day with a thrill: getting up-close and personal with Rembrandt and Vermeer on our tour of Amsterdam's remarkable Rijksmuseum. You can continue your encounter with artistic genius at the nearby Van Gogh Museum, home to 200 of Vincent's works or enjoy the nearby charm of Vondelpark. This evening we'll meet for our farewell dinner, where we'll share memories and toast new friends. Proost! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is an easy bus ride away. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Tot ziens!

Availability

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Price From $ 3,195
Price Per Day: $ 290 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 875

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Stride Featured in

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8 Rick Steves Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 8
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days Tour

Write a Review

Highlights of the Lowlands

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My first, and definitely not last, Rick Steves tour. Our guide was spectacular and the lodging nice at every location. I was blown away with how good the food was at every group meal.

Company Reviews

Excellent!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Maximum Number of People in Group: 28

Trip ID#:

HeaBelRic

Trip Excludes

  • International flight charges
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Any kind of insurances
  • Personal Expenses

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