Three cities in three nights - Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands
A weekend city break in Benelux
Three countries in three days – seems too good to be true right? Not in Europe, particularly in the North West, where you can visit three great cities, by taking three scenic train rides. The three teeny countries of Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, or Benelux for short, pack in plenty to do, all within a short distance. In need of some train route inspiration? Have a read below…
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Go on, break the status quo and search for trains to Amsterdam instead of flights to Amsterdam. You can now book Eurostar tickets direct to Amsterdam with us! It's just 3h 41m from London St Pancras International and, when you travel on Eurostar, there's no need to arrive hours before departure. Say farewell to lengthy airport queues and ease yourself into the weekend away by arriving refreshed. And, just like you'd expect with an airline, you can download your tickets straight to your phone and scan them at the platform barrier.
Amsterdam needs no introductions of course. There's clear reason it's one of Europe’s most popular cities. Vibrant nightlife and impressive architecture make the Netherlands' capital a great starting point for a weekend in Europe.
Amsterdam is sometimes called the Venice of the North, because of its spiderweb of canals that crisscross their way throughout the city. Take to the waterways by foot or bike - you won't struggle finding one here - or, if the weather's sunny book a a canal cruise.
Anne Frank and Van Gogh
For your history and culture dose, visits to the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums respectively are a must.
Trainline tip - You can't buy tickets on the door at the Anne Frank Museum. Don't get caught out, book your slot in advance on the official Anne Frank Museum website.
I Amsterdam sign
Incase you forget where you are, these giant letters stretching over 20 metres will help remind you. The main I Amsterdam sign is just outside the Rijksmuseum on Museumplein, but there is also another set of letters that travels around the city, popping up from time to time.
Trainline tip - If you want a selfie of you and the sign, try visiting in the earliest or latest hours in the day. Arrive here at lunchtime, and you're in prime "photobombing" territory.
Search your train tickets to Amsterdam today.
Nestled between Brussels and Bruges, Ghent only started gaining popularity in recent years. It’s tricky to understand what took people so long. Its medieval streets that wrap around its bicycle-lined canal are Belgium at its prettiest. Best of all, its small size means that it can be covered easily in a day – but that won’t stop you wanting to come back for more. It’s just two and half hours from Amsterdam by train too, so you’ll get there in plenty of time to start exploring.
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Start your day at the top of the Belfry, a medieval tower slap bang in the city centre, for unbeatable views. Afterwards, walk along St Michael’s Bridge for 360° views of the Old Fish Market, the Castle of the Counts and the famous view of the three towers - allow time to take plenty of photos.
Street art in Ghent
In all its cobbled-street glory, it may come as a surprise that Ghent is also home to a huge street art scene and is the home of several famous artists including ROA, who has produced murals in cities around the world. Vibrant graffiti is dotted all over the city, so it won’t be hard to find it.
Search your train tickets to Ghent today.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
A UNESCO-listed old town, hidden in the gorge of the River Alzette, makes the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg’s capital well worth the four-hour train ride from Ghent. It might have the reputation for all things business and banking, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a more relaxed side and plenty to see and do.
History is all around
You’ll be able to take in spectacular views of the remains of the fortress while wandering the sleepy streets of the old town. But history isn’t just above the ground. A must-visit is Bock Casemates, a 17-kilometre underground tunnel, that was once shelter to 35,000 people during the World Wars. The Luxembourg City Museum will boost your knowledge on this period of the city’s history too.
But, there are modern twists...
Cross the bridge to the Kirchberg district, for the strikingly modern Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (that was designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the architect behind the Louvre pyramid) and the impressive Luxembourg concert hall. It’s a great place to spend your last evening in Benelux.
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Search your train tickets to Luxembourg today.