- Have your first meal of the day at Foodhallen, a high quality food court with many stalls offering various cuisines from Indian to Mediterranean to Vietnamese to American barbecue. Amsterdam isn’t well-known for its regional food, so I would recommend Foodhallen for its wide-ranging international cuisine.
- Near Foodhallen is Amsterdam’s largest city park, Vondelpark, and it’s a great place to take a relaxed stroll after lunch. Enjoy the many ponds and bridges and bikers weaving their way through the park. Consider getting the full Amsterdam experience and renting a bike to ride through the park.
- Start to really take in the city by heading to De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets) a quaint little neighborhood with local artisan shops, cafes, and bakeries. If you’re into thrifting there are some good places in this area for that as well.
- Head to Museumplein park, home of Amsterdam’s famous art museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Entrance to each is around 25 euros. We opted for the Rijksmuseum, where we took in the famous “The Night Watch” painting by Rembrandt.
- The following morning, before hopping on a three-hour train to Bruges, head to the Albert Cuyp Market. This is a great outdoor market that is something of a food truck heaven, offering a variety of snacks and sandwiches. We chose a stall offering artisan grilled cheese sandwiches. A must-do in Amsterdam is getting some of the Netherlands’ famous stroopwafels, and we got ours here at this market as well, where they were freshly made right in front of us.
- Take a three-hour train ride from Amsterdam to Bruges, Belgium. Kick off your day in this small yet endearing city with a canal boat tour that allows you to take in the city’s storybook architecture and layout. There are docks throughout the city with tours running every half hour for five to ten euros.
- After the canal tour, we stumbled along a great little waffle shop in the center of the city called Chez Albert. I recommend the melted chocolate-covered waffle.
- Right next to the waffle shop is a hidden little shoulder-width alley. Here you’ll find a rustic yet classy bar called De Garre, where I had probably the best beer of my life, the Tripel Van De Garre.
- Continue to take in the rest of Bruges by strolling through the center of the city, taking in sites like Grote Market (the main square of the city), Rosary Quay (a famously scenic spot along one of the canals), Belfry Tower, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
- After a day in Bruges, grab an hour train to the much larger city of Brussels, Belgium.
- We started our day walking through Parc de Brussels, passing by Brussels Palace right next to it, and finally taking in the Old Wall of Brussels, a remnant of the medieval walls that used to enclose the city.
- After walking through the park and the downtown area we worked up an appetite so we stopped for food at Wolf Food Market. Similar but even better than Foodhallen in Amsterdam, this was a street food haven, offering anywhere from poke bowls to award-winning pizza.
- Head to the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, an indoor gallery of restaurants and shops, where you can get an authentic Belgium waffle at Maison Dandy and then a bite of Belgium chocolate at Neuhaus Chocolate store
- After getting some sweets at the gallery, walk a few blocks to the Manneken Pis, a fountain statue of a peeing boy— quite random but an icon of Brussels nevertheless.
- To take in more of the city’s atmosphere, head to the Grand Place, a giant square with masses of people in the center of the city. From here I would recommend walking to Boulevard Anspach, another great walking street with some vintage shops and thrift stores.
- At the end of this boulevard is Moeder Lambic Fontainas, a pub with a great cheese platter to have before your dinner.
- Brussels is one of the best cities in the world for bar hopping, so if you’re into that, be sure to check out the famous Delirium Café, which is essentially an alley of Delirium owned bars in the center of Brussels. I also recommend Au Bon Vieux Temps, a one-of-a-kind 400-year-old bar located inside a church.
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I'm from Williamsport, Pennsylvania and I am a senior at Penn State University studying computer science. I enjoy being physically active, whether that's organized sports, going to the gym, or just spending time outdoors.