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.
On the 12th (Tue), examine the collection at Musical Instruments Museum (MIM), contemplate the long history of Grand Place, then pause for some photo ops at Manneken Pis, and finally browse the different shops at Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule), then admire the masterpieces at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, then see the interesting displays at Atomium, and finally see the interesting displays at Belgian Comic Strip Center.

For ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Brussels trip planner.

Washington DC, USA to Brussels is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central European Standard Time is 6 hours. January in Brussels sees daily highs of 40°F and lows of 32°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can go by car to Bruges.
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 13:

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): explore the world behind art at Groeningemuseum, admire the landmark architecture of Belfry of Bruges, then sample the tasty concoctions at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, and finally steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Brugge.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Bruges trip app.

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 14th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Leiden.
Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 14:

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 15th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, see the interesting displays at Museum Volkenkunde, then examine the collection at Wevershuis Museum, then admire the striking features of Koornbrug Leiden uit 1642-1825, and finally contemplate the long history of Rijksmonument Jean Pesijnhofje Leiden.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Leiden trip builder website.

Drive from Bruges to Leiden in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a train. In January, daily temperatures in Leiden can reach 45°F, while at night they dip to 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight back home.
Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:

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