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 10th (Sun): see the interesting displays at Musical Instruments Museum (MIM), steep yourself in history at Grand Place, then pause for some photo ops at Manneken Pis, and finally browse the different shops at Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. On the 11th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of 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 see the interesting displays at Belgian Comic Strip Center.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Brussels online journey planner.

Washington DC, USA to Brussels is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 6 hours traveling from Washington DC to Brussels. Expect a daytime high around 40°F in January, and nighttime lows around 32°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Bruges.
Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:

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 12th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Groeningemuseum, take in panoramic vistas at Belfry of Bruges, then sample the tasty concoctions at Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, and finally contemplate the long history of Historic Centre of Brugge.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Bruges online trip maker.

You can drive from Brussels to Bruges in 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. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can drive to Leiden.
Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 12:

Leiden, The Netherlands — 1 night

Museum City

Located in the flower-growing district, Leiden has been called the most beautiful city in the Netherlands.
On the 13th (Wed), examine the collection at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, examine the collection at Museum Volkenkunde, see the interesting displays at Wevershuis Museum, then admire the landmark architecture of Koornbrug Leiden uit 1642-1825, and finally admire the striking features of Rijksmonument Jean Pesijnhofje Leiden.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Leiden visit site.

Getting from Bruges to Leiden by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. In January, daytime highs in Leiden are 45°F, while nighttime lows are 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) so you can fly back home.
Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 13:

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