18 days in Belgium, The Netherlands & Switzerland Itinerary

18 days in Belgium, The Netherlands & Switzerland Itinerary

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Bruges, Belgium
— 4 nights
Ghent, Belgium
— 1 night
Brussels, Belgium
— 4 nights
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
— 4 nights
Zurich, Switzerland
— 3 nights


Bruges, Belgium — 4 nights

The medieval town of Bruges centers around a canal, and the architecture of its historical district has made it a World Heritage Site.
Groeningemuseum and Belfry of Bruges are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get out of town with these interesting Bruges side-trips: Ieper (Ypres) (In Flanders Fields Museum & Menin Gate Memorial). Next up on the itinerary: sample the tasty concoctions at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilica of the Holy Blood, see the interesting displays at Choco-Story - The Chocolate Museum, and admire the striking features of Stadhuis.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Bruges trip itinerary maker site.

Hong Kong, China to Bruges is an approximately 16-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Hong Kong Standard Time to Central European Standard Time is minus 7 hours. Traveling from Hong Kong in September, expect Bruges to be much colder, temps between 22°C and 13°C. You'll have a few hours on the 27th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Ghent.
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 27:

Ghent, Belgium — 1 night

Ghent melds the fairy tale-like beauty of Bruges with its stunning Flemish architecture, while at the same time supporting a vibrant cafe and bar scene.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Tue): explore the world behind art at Museum Voor Schone Kunsten, enjoy breathtaking views from Belfry and Cloth Hall (Belfort en Lakenhalle), steep yourself in history at Saint Bavo's Cathedral, stop by Patershol, then admire the landmark architecture of Ghent Town Hall (Stadhuis), and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Nicholas' Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the historical opulence of Gravensteen, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Kraanlei, then explore the world behind art at Design Museum Gent, and finally take in the waterfront at Graslei and Korenlei.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Ghent trip itinerary builder app.

Getting from Bruges to Ghent by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. September in Ghent sees daily highs of 22°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Brussels.
Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 28:

Brussels, Belgium — 4 nights

The allure of the multi-cultural capital, Brussels, stems from its mix of political intrigue, artistic influence, historical significance, and a thriving social scene.
Grand Place and Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Brussels: Antwerp (Zuid (the South) & Zurenborg). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Atomium, pause for some photo ops at Manneken Pis, admire the landmark architecture of Parc du Cinquantenaire, and steep yourself in history at St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule).

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Brussels online itinerary planner.

Drive from Ghent to Brussels in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train. In September, plan for daily highs up to 21°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Amsterdam.
Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 28 — Oct 2:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands — 4 nights

Known as one of the greatest small cities in the world, Amsterdam charms visitors with its cool and cozy atmosphere.
Van Gogh Museum and The Jordaan are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Amsterdam: Frans Hals Museum (in Haarlem) and The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery (in The Hague). There's lots more to do: get engrossed in the history at Anne Frank House, contemplate the long history of Willet-Holthuysen Museum, stroll around Vondelpark, and take a stroll through De 9 Straatjes.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Amsterdam trip planner.

Traveling by car from Brussels to Amsterdam takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or fly. In October, daytime highs in Amsterdam are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Zurich.
Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 6:

Zurich, Switzerland — 3 nights

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Get a sense of the local culture at Old Town and Museum Rietberg. Venture out of the city with trips to Lucerne (Lake Lucerne, Altstadt Luzern, &more). There's lots more to do: wander the streets of Bahnhofstrasse, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Grossmunster, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Art (Kunsthaus Zurich), and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Zurich.

For photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Zurich tour itinerary builder website.

You can fly from Amsterdam to Zurich in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In October, daytime highs in Zurich are 17°C, while nighttime lows are 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Neighborhoods · Museums · Historic Sites · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 9:

Belgium travel guide

Specialty Museums · Historic Sites · Nightlife
A small country packing a big punch in terms of tourist attractions, Belgium sits at the crossroads of Western Europe, its cities soaked in history and famed for their lively arts, fashion, and dining scenes. Although it advertises itself simply as "A Food Lover's Dream," this country of just 11 million people boasts a rich architectural heritage, world-famous breweries, pristine natural areas, and touching memorials marking major battlegrounds from both World War I and World War II. Put the country's elegant cities of Brussels and Bruges at the top of your itinerary, but don't forget that Belgium's less-explored countryside offers dense forests, rolling hills, and lush valleys.

The Netherlands travel guide

Art Museums · History Museums · Specialty Museums
Low Country
The Netherlands literally means "Low Country", inspired by the country's low and flat geography, where only about 50 percent of the land exceeds one meter (three feet) above sea level. Since the late 16th century, large, flat land areas called "polders" have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes and protected by dikes, amounting to nearly 17 percent of the country's current land mass. The Netherlands is. This is small, densely populated country lies mainly in Western Europe but also includes three islands in the Caribbean; it's the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders with Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany. Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam serve as the three largest and most important cities in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the Dutch seat of government. The port of Rotterdam claims the title as the largest port in Europe, in fact, it's as large as the next three ports combined.

Switzerland travel guide

Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.