Are you embarking on a two-week adventure through the landscapes of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg soon? You are in for a sweet treat, and we aren’t just talking about the delectable chocolate that Belgium is known for. Storybook towns, picturesque canals, and cultural marvels await you on your journey!
From the canals of Amsterdam to the medieval beauty of Luxembourg City, this Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary is filled with 14 days of unforgettable experiences in the Benelux nations.
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About this Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary
A vacation to the Benelux region of Europe, which encompasses the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is sure to offer culture, beautiful scenery, and a lot of unique experiences.
Benelux is an economic alliance between the three neighboring countries. But Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have shared historical ties and cultural similarities, as well. And given their close proximity and the ease of traveling between the three, many people visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg on the same trip.
If you are looking to plan a vacation to this region of Western Europe, we have laid out our ideal 2-week Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg itinerary.
How to get around the Benelux Region
Western Europe is well connected by public transportation. You can easily get around the region using mostly trains and buses.
Buying a Eurorail Benelux Pass through Rail Europe would likely save you money if you plan to follow this itinerary.
READ OUR FULL REVIEW OF RAIL EUROPE HERE
If you prefer to road trip in Europe, you can easily get around the three countries by car. However, if you decide to rent a car and drive, be aware that the Netherlands is known for having more cyclists on the road than cars, so be extra cautious and look out for cyclists.
2-Week Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg itinerary in a nutshell
Although this 2-week itinerary for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands takes you to all three countries, you won’t get to see everything this region has to offer in such a short time.
You could easily spend 2 weeks in the Netherlands alone seeing all the best places to visit in the Netherlands.
But with limited time, here is a breakdown of our Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary for 14 days. You’ll spend nearly half your time – 6 or 7 days in the Netherlands, and then split your second week between Belgium and Luxembourg.
- Days 1-3 – Amsterdam
- Day 4 – Giethoorn
- Days 5-6 – The Hague
- Days 7-8 – Bruges
- Day 9 – Ghent
- Days 10-11 – Brussels
- Day 12 – Dinant
- Days 13-14 – Luxembourg City
If you have more than 2 weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, we’ve included a few extra ideas of places to visit that you can add to your itinerary to customize it for your ideal travel style and tailor it for the length of your trip.
Day-by-Day breakdown of this itinerary for the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg
Now that you have a general idea of where you’ll spend your time during this itinerary, let’s break down your travels day by day.
Ideally, you will want to fly into one city and out of another to maximize your time in these three countries. We recommend flying into Amsterdam and out of Brussels, although you could also fly out of Luxembourg City and save yourself the 4 hour train ride back to Brussels from Luxembourg.
Day 1 – Amsterdam
Your first day you’ll basically be familiarizing yourself with Amsterdam. Whether this is the day you land or your first full day in Amsterdam, you’ll likely be a bit jet lagged and don’t want to plan too much.
Spend this day walking around, stop for a photo at the iconic Damrak, go see Dam Square and the Royal Palace. Be sure to get your first taste of Dutch food by indulging in Stroopwafel and Dutch Pancakes.
With full tummies, spend the rest of your afternoon leisurely exploring the beautiful Jordaan District, home to some of the most famous bridges in Europe.
End your day with an evening Flagship Canal Tour. It’s a great way to relax and see the city from the water.
Day 2 – Amsterdam
After breakfast on your second day in Amsterdam, head directly to the Anne Frank House, where you will tour the hidden home where young Anne Frank and her family hid for 2 years from the Nazis. Be sure to book your tickets in advance because this powerful museum sells out.
From there, head to the Bloemenmarkt on the Singel Canal. This is the city’s famous floating flower market. Every Monday through Saturday, vendors sell colorful tulips, both fresh and wooden, as well as Dutch souvenirs and other trinkets. Unless you are visiting the Netherlands in spring, this is the closest you’ll get to seeing the gorgeous tulips the country is known for.
After the Bloemenmarkt, grab some lunch and head to the museum district, where you’ll find Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark. Like for the Anne Frank House, if you want to visit either of Amsterdam’s most popular art museums, you’ll want to book your tickets ahead of time.
Day 3 – Day trip to Zaanse Schans and Volendam
Your third day on this Benelux itinerary will take you to two of the most popular day trip destinations from Amsterdam.
Your first stop will be the charming windmill village of Zaanse Schans.
Located just 15-20 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal by train, there are lots of fun things to do in Zaanse Schans like the Verkade Chocolate Experience at the Zaans Museum, touring a working cheese farm, and going inside a working Dutch windmill.
After a lovely morning in Zaanse Schans, grab lunch and then make your way to Volendam. Volendam is a quaint fishing village about 20 kilometers north of Amsterdam.
You’ll want to spend some time strolling through the cute streets in the oldest part of the village center. Wander along the harbor, admiring the view and taking in the atmosphere in the town, and stop into one of the restaurants to try smoked eel, a specialty in Volendam.
If you’re looking to commemorate your trip, you can also have your photo taken in traditional Dutch costumes, including wooden clogs! While it may be considered a bit touristy, it is one of the best things to do in Volendam!
While you can get to both Zaanse Schans and Volendam by public transport, you have to take the train back to Amsterdam from Zaanse Schans and then transfer to a bus to go to Volendam. This is one of those instances where a guided tour works best and saves you about an hour of commute time.
Day 4 – Giethoorn
A day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam is a wonderful way to spend your fourth day in the Netherlands. However, if you want to experience the “village with no roads” without crowds of other visitors, we recommend you spend one night in Giethoorn.
Getting to Giethoorn takes a bit of effort, as you’ll either have to rent a car, book a guided tour, or have to take a train to Zwolle or Steenwijk and then transfer to a bus. If you are traveling by public transport, it will take you at least 2 hours to get to Giethoorn.
Once there, you’ll want to rent your own whisper boat and let yourself get lost in the enchanting canals that wind around thatched-roof homes, beneath tall canopies of trees, and under small pedestrian bridges. It is such a peaceful and serene experience, particularly after leaving the bustling streets of Amsterdam.
Day 5 – The Hague
WHERE TO STAY IN THE HAGUE: Babylon Hotel
Whether you spend the night in Giethoorn or head back to Amsterdam on day four, on your fifth day on your Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary, you’ll want to pack up and head to The Hague.
The third largest city in the Netherlands and the seat of power for the Dutch Royal Family, there are a lot of things to do in The Hague for families.
Spend your first day exploring the Old City, Binnenhof Castle, and visiting Madurodam, a park with miniature replicas of Dutch buildings and landmarks.
Day 6 – The Hague (or a day trip to Rotterdam, Delft, or Gouda)
On day six, spend a fun day at the beach, walking along the Scheveningen Pier, ride the ferris wheel, and visit the SEA Life Aquarium.
If the beach isn’t your scene or you’re visiting during the cold months, you can easily day trip to Rotterdam to see the Cube Houses, visit the charming city of Delft, known for their ceramics that make great souvenirs from the Netherlands, or visit the town of Gouda – the birthplace of one of the most famous Dutch cheeses.
Day 7 – Bruges
On day seven, bid farewell to the Netherlands and take the morning train from Den Haag Centraal to Bruges, Belgium. Your train ride will take approximately 3 hours, with a couple transfers in cities like Rotterdam, Antwerp and/or Ghent.
Many people choose a day trip to Bruges from Ghent or Brussels, but this enchanting city is well worth spending a night or two. It is especially magical at night and early in the morning before the day trip crowds descend.
However, if you prefer to stay in fewer hotels and pack up and move around less, you can easily take day trips to both Bruges and Ghent from Brussels or even book a guided day tour to both cities.
Spend time wandering through the colorful Market Square, climb the Belfry for awesome views of the city, visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood to see the holy relic believed to contain the blood of Jesus Christ.
After a leisure lunch in Market Square, take a canal cruise and admire the swans at Minnewater Lake. There are so many things to do in Bruges, you could definitely spend a couple days here.
Day 8 – Bruges
On day 8, wake up and walk the cobbled streets of the historic center Bruges before they get too crowded. This is the perfect time to take photos of this UNESCO World Heritage site that looks like a page from a storybook.
You’ll want to wander through the serene Begijnhof, currently home to the Benedictine nuns, but previously was the home of beguines – a group of widowed women who chose not to remarry and live a holy life in a setting similar to a convent.
After a walk through the Begijnhof, stop in for Belgian waffles somewhere, and then take a group tour De Halve Maan Brewery – the only brewery in the world that transports its beer through a pipeline to the bottling plant. You’ll learn how their beer is made, transported, and then of course, you’ll want to sample one!
Finally, visit the Church of Our Lady. This beautiful church contains one of Michelangelo’s most famous sculptures, Madonna and Child.
Spend your evening taking in the beauty of this town before you have to say goodbye. Follow your nose into any of the countless chocolate shops and buy whichever truffles your heart desires! Or, take a chocolate making class and learn the art of making the country’s famous chocolates.
Day 9 – Ghent
Ghent is located about halfway between Bruges and Brussels. It is only 22 minutes by train.
Begin your morning at Graslei and Korenlei, picturesque canals lined with historic guild houses that reflect on the water. Wander through the cobblestone streets and discover landmarks such as Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, home to the famous Ghent Altarpiece.
Make your way to the medieval fortress, Gravensteen Castle. This castle, surrounded by a moat, will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time to an age of knights and court jesters.
For lunch, indulge in local delicacies at one of the many eateries in the Patershol neighborhood, known for its quaint atmosphere and diverse culinary offerings. Then spend your afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts or take a leisurely boat tour along the canals to admire Ghent’s architecture from a different perspective.
As the day winds down, enjoy the sunset over the city then finish your day with dinner at one of the riverside restaurants, savoring Belgian specialties like moules-frites.
Day 10 – Brussels
WHERE TO STAY IN BRUSSELS: Ibis Hotel Brussels
On day 10 of your 2-week Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary, you’ll take a short train ride to the Belgian capital of Brussels where you’ll spend 2 days.
After dropping your luggage off at the hotel, take a stroll through the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert before making your way to Grand Place.
Grand Place is Brussels’ main public square. Surrounded on all four sides with beautiful historic buildings crowned with opulent gold accents, the square is not only picturesque, it is typically teeming with activity.
A short walk from the square, you’ll find one of Europe’s most famous statues – Manneken Pis. Pause to admire this 24-inch statue of a little boy peeing in a fountain before continuing your journey through the city. Be sure to stop somewhere for Belgian Frites or waffles. You won’t tire of these two foods in Belgium!
Take time finding the numerous murals of comics scattered around the city center. You can buy a fun digital game to guide you through Brussel’s Comic Book Route – escape room style!
Make your way to Mont des Arts or head to Place Sainte-Catherine for dinner. This plaza is another area lined with restaurants and always bustling with activity.
Day 11 – Brussels
On day 11, you’ll want to take a brief walk to Mont des Arts, if you didn’t visit it on your first day in Brussels. This is one of the most photographed spots in Brussels, and if you get there in the morning, the historic site, which sits between Grand Place and the Royal Palace, won’t be near as crowded.
If you’re visiting from July through late September, head to the Royal Palace next. You can only tour the official palace during those months, as it is the administrative offices of the Belgian monarchy and closed to the public the rest of the year.
Across from the Royal Palace, Parc de Bruxelles, is the largest green space in the city and is a beautiful, shady park with walking trails, fountains, and outdoor cafes where you can stop for a mid-morning snack.
In the afternoon, head to the Atomium. It is about a 15 minute metro ride from the city center. This massive public art sculpture shaped like an atom is actually a building. You’ll definitely want to book tickets to go inside, as the interior is often compared to the inside of a spaceship.
After visiting Atomium, head to Miniature Europe. Like Madurodam, this miniature world has 350 tiny replicas of buildings and monuments from 90 different European cities.
Day 12 – Dinant
WHERE TO STAY IN DINANT: Les Terrasses de Sax
Your time in Belgium is winding down. On day 12, head east to Dinant. When you arrive at the train station, stroll along the riverbank and cross the Charles de Gaulle Bridge adorned with saxophones, paying homage to Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone who was born in Dinant.
Stop off at your hotel to store your bags, before heading to the Citadel of Dinant. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Meuse River, the citadel provides a stunning introduction to the town below.
Continue your day by visiting the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, an impressive Gothic masterpiece with its onion-domed bell tower.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the riverside cafes while taking in the scenic surroundings.
In the afternoon, cruise along the Meuse River or visit the Maison de Monsieur Sax, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Adolphe Sax.
As the sun sets, find a cozy spot along the river to enjoy the town’s illuminated beauty on your last night in Belgium.
Day 13 – Luxembourg City
Your final two days on this Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary will be spent in the tiniest country in the Benelux region. Take the train from Dinant to Luxembourg city where you will spend your first day exploring the medieval charm of the beautiful, clean, and safe capital.
After getting your luggage situated at your hotel, take a leisure stroll and cross the Pont Adolphe, one of the most picturesque bridges in the city. From the bridge, you’ll have a great view of Constitution Square and the two-tiered city in the background.
Walk by and admire Constitution Square and the Monument of Remembrance before checking out Place d’Armes. This central square in the new city is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch, depending on what time you arrive in Luxembourg City.
You can tour the Grand Ducal Palace if you are visiting during summer. Like in Brussels, the palace is only open during certain times of the year. You’ll also want to stop inside Notre Dame Cathedral and explore the crypt below before heading down to the lower level of the city and into the casemates.
Touring the Bock Casemates is one of the best things to do in Luxembourg City. The new city is built on a network of underground tunnels called the casemates. These tunnels date back to 1745 when medieval fortifications were built as a stronghold to protect the city.
After exploring the casemates, continue to the lower portion of the city which is the historic quarter of Luxembourg city. This preserved area is a great place to visit both during the day or night.
Day 14 – Luxembourg castles day trip
On your final day of your Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary, you’ll head out of the city on a guided day tour to see the beautiful nature and some of the castles that the small country is known for.
Explore scenic trails, vast forests and ancient ruins before heading to Vianden Castle. Located in the northern part of the country along the German border, this imposing castle overlooks the town of Vianden and is one of the largest fortified castles west of the Rhine River. Set against Luxembourg’s stunning natural scenery, it is often considered one of the most beautiful castles in the world.
After your day trip, head back to Luxembourg City for a final night, or to make your way back to Brussels for a flight out the next morning. Wherever you spend your final night, you’re sure to sit back and reflect on all the experiences and memories made on your trip!
Best time of year to travel to the Benelux region
The Benelux region is a great year-round destination. The holiday markets, particularly in Belgium and Luxembourg make it a great place to spend Christmas in Europe.
Of course, spring a popular time to visit as the weather becomes milder, and the landscapes burst into vibrant colors. Tulip season in the Netherlands, particularly in April, is a highlight.
Summer, which is when we personally visited, is the peak tourist season, and it brings warm temperatures and longer days. It’s ideal for exploring the cities and enjoying outdoor cafes and activities.
Fall offers crisp weather, a jacket will be needed, but the crowds begin to thin out compared.
Tips for following this Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands itinerary
If you like this Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary for 2 weeks, here are a few travel tips that will make following this travel route easier.
Travel with minimal luggage
If you plan to move around a lot and switch hotels every few days, it is imperative that you travel with minimal luggage. We typically carry backpacks like this one or a carry-on rolling bag, like this one.
Having smaller, more portable bags makes getting on and off trains and navigating to your hotels from the train stations much easier.
Book hotels close to the train stations
We typically book hotels that are within a 10 minute walk from the train station. This allows us to drop off our luggage at our hotel shortly after arriving in a new city and begin exploring luggage-free.
Store luggage at your hotel when you arrive in a new location
Most hotels will allow you to store your luggage for the day if you arrive before your room is ready to check in. Keep in mind, if you book an Airbnb or a guest house, this isn’t always an option. So, that is something to consider when selecting your accommodations.
Don’t like moving around as much? Consider day trips
If the idea of packing up and switching hotels every few days sounds exhausting and unappealing you can still follow this basic itinerary and limit your hotels to 2 or 3.
The Hague and Giethoorn can both be done as day trips from Amsterdam. So, you could spend the first 6-7 nights in Amsterdam and take short journeys out to explore much of the small country of the Netherlands.
Best guided day trips from Amsterdam
Additionally, you could spend another 7 days in Brussels and take day trips to Bruges, Ghent, and even Dinant and Luxembourg City, although that is admittedly, a long day trip.
Best guided day trips from Brussels
Other places to visit if you have more time
If you have additional time, you could easily add cities like Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Antwerp to your itinerary. There are so many great places to visit in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg!
Is a 2 week trip to the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg enough?
Two weeks is a good amount of time to see the highlights on this Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg itinerary, however the amount of time you’ll have in each country will be limited.
If you love museums and culture, you could definitely spend a lot more time in the large cities exploring the many museums offered. History lovers could spend more time in Belgium exploring the multiple World War monuments and battlefields.
Additionally, if you simply love to travel slowly, have more time to relax, sleep in, take your kids to playgrounds, join walking tours, and do less in a day, you could either extend this itinerary to allow more time in each destination, or dedicated the full 2 weeks to one single country, like the Netherlands.
If you’re limited to 2 weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, just prioritize the places and experiences that matter most to you.
Do you have a question or comment about this Netherlands Belgium and Luxembourg itinerary? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts or your own ideas in the comments below.
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