5 days in Belgium & South Holland Province Itinerary

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Brussels, Belgium
— 2 nights
Bruges, Belgium
— 1 night
Leiden, The Netherlands
— 1 night


Brussels, Belgium — 2 nights

Capital of Europe

The allure of the multi-cultural capital, Brussels, stems from its mix of political intrigue, artistic influence, historical significance, and a thriving social scene.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Wed): see the interesting displays at Musical Instruments Museum (MIM), see the interesting displays at Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate (Musee du Cacao et du Chocolat), then don't miss a visit to Grand Place, then pause for some photo ops at Manneken Pis, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule), then explore the world behind art at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, then see the interesting displays at Atomium, and finally examine the collection at Belgian Comic Strip Center.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Brussels online trip planner.

Washington DC, USA to Brussels is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington DC to Brussels is 6 hours. In January, daytime highs in Brussels are 40°F, while nighttime lows are 32°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can drive to Bruges.
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:

Bruges, Belgium — 1 night

Venice of the North

The medieval town of Bruges centers around a canal, and the architecture of its historical district has made it a World Heritage Site.
On the 15th (Fri), get engrossed in the history at Groeningemuseum, then enjoy breathtaking views from Belfry of Bruges, then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, and finally steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Brugge.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Bruges online vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Brussels to Bruges takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Bruges are 44°F, while nighttime lows are 35°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Leiden.
Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:

Leiden, The Netherlands — 1 night

Museum City

Located in the flower-growing district, Leiden has been called the most beautiful city in the Netherlands.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sat): examine the collection at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, see the interesting displays at Museum Volkenkunde, see the interesting displays at Wevershuis Museum, then admire the landmark architecture of Koornbrug Leiden uit 1642-1825, and finally contemplate the long history of Rijksmonument Jean Pesijnhofje Leiden.

To find other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read our Leiden trip website.

Getting from Bruges to Leiden by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 45°F, and evening lows to 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:

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.

South Holland Province travel guide

Gardens · Specialty Museums · Landmarks