Frommer's Belgium, Holland & Luxembourg


"Complete, concise and filled with useful information." —NY Daily News

You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might go-they've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ...

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"Complete, concise and filled with useful information." —NY Daily News

You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might go-they've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!

From the cultural scene in Brussels to spectacular fields of tulips in bloom, these three countries offer a wealth of sightseeing and activities. Frommer's is on top of it all, with complete coverage of Amsterdam's notorious nightlife, evocative medieval architecture in Brugges, market towns, cafes, pubs, art museums, and of course, world-class shopping. It's all at your fingertips, in true Frommer's style, with dozens of accurate maps, candid reviews of the best hotels and restaurants in all price ranges, detailed practical tips, and more. We offer a wealth of sightseeing, sports, strolls, and special moments-from highlights for the first-time visitor to off-the-beaten-track discoveries that will impress even the most seasoned traveler.

Experience a place the way the locals do. Enjoy the best it has to offer. And avoid tourist traps. At Frommer's, we use 150 outspoken travel experts around the world to help you make the right choices. Frommer's. Your guide to a world of travel experience.Choose the Only Guide That Gives You:
*Outspoken opinions on what's worth your time and what's not.
*Exact prices, so you can plan the perfect trip no matter what your budget.
*Off-the-beaten-path experiences and undiscovered gems, plus new takes on top attractions.
*The best hotels and restaurants in every price range, with candid reviews.
*The expert guidance you need to take charge and travel with confidence.Great trips begin at
*Book flights, hotels, and rental cars.
*Get free updates on attractions and prices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Complete, concise and filled with useful information." —NY Daily News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470382271
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/27/2009
  • Series: Frommer's Complete Series , #634
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author George McDonald is a former editor-in-chief of the in-flight magazine of Sabena Belgian World Airlines and deputy editor of the in-flight magazine of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. He has lived in both Belgium and the Netherlands and written extensively about both countries for international magazines and travel books. McDonald is the author of Frommer's Amsterdam and a contributor to Frommer's Europe and Frommer's Europe from $70 a Day.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps x
1 The Best of Belgium, Holland & Luxembourg 1
1 The Best Travel Experiences 2
2 The Best Castles & Stately Homes 4
3 The Best Museums 5
4 The Best Cathedrals & Churches 6
5 The Best Offbear Trips 7
6 The Best Outdoor Activities 7
7 The Best Romantic Getaways 8
8 The Best Deluxe Hotels 9
9 The Best Restaurants 10
10 The Best Moderately Priced Hotels 11
11 The Best Cafes & Bars 12
12 The Best Shopping 13
2 Planning a Trip to the Benelux Countries 14
1 Visitor Information 14
2 Entry Requirements & Customs 15
3 Health & Insurance 18
4 Tips for Travelers with Special Needs 19
5 Getting There 22
6 Getting Around 28
7 Tips on Accommodations 30
8 Tips on Dining 31
3 Getting to Know Belgium 33
1 The Regions in Brief 33
2 History 101 35
Dateline 35
Did You Know? 39
The "Typical" Belgian 42
3 Rubens, Brueghel & Magritte: Belgium's Influence on Art 43
4 Architecture Through the Ages 44
5 A Taste of Belgium 45
4 Planning a Trip to Belgium 49
1 Visitor Information & Money 49
The Belgian Franc 50
2 When to Go 50
The Euro 51
Belgium Calendar of Events 51
3 Getting Around 54
Fast Facts: Belgium 55
5 Brussels 58
1 Frommer's Favorite Brussels Experiences 58
2 Orientation 60
Neighborhoods in Brief 62
3 Getting Around 62
Fast Facts: Brussels 64
4 Where to Stay 66
Family-Friendly Hotels 75
5 Where to Dine 76
On Your Guard in the Ilot Sacre 77
Family-Friendly Restaurants 79
Fish Market Gems 84
6 Seeing the Sights 85
Christmas in the Grand-Place 91
Walking Tour: Ilot Sacre to the Marolles 97
7 Sports & Recreation 99
8 Shopping 100
Belgian Specialties: Chocolate & More 101
9 Brussels After Dark 104
Puppet Shows: A Belgian Passion 105
10 Side Trips from Brussels 109
6 Bruges 112
1 Frommer's Favorite Bruges Experiences 112
2 Orientation 113
3 Getting Around 114
Fast Facts: Bruges 116
4 Where to Stay 116
5 Where to Dine 121
6 Seeing the Sights 123
Folklore Events in Bruges 130
Walking Tour: Through the Heart of Bruges 131
7 Shopping 133
8 Bruges After Dark 134
9 A Side Trip from Bruges 135
7 Ghent & Antwerp 137
1 Ghent 137
2 Antwerp 148
Fast Facts: Antwerp 152
3 Side Trips from Antwerp 162
8 The Belgian Coast & Ypres 164
1 Knokke-Heist/Het Zoute 166
2 Ostend 169
3 Oostduinkerke & Koksijde-Bad 176
4 De Panne 178
5 Ypres 181
9 Liege & the Meuse Valley 185
1 Liege 185
The Belgian Rome 190
Prolific Touch 196
2 Huy 197
3 Namur 199
4 Dinant 203
Sax Appeal 204
10 The Ardennes 206
1 Bouillon 208
Duke of Hazards 210
2 Bastogne & Han-sur-Lesse 211
The Battle of the Bulge 212
3 Durbuy 214
Skiing the Ardennes 216
4 Spa 216
5 The Ambleve Valley 219
6 The East Cantons 220
11 Hainaut: The Green Province 223
1 Tournai 223
2 Mons 229
3 The Hainaut Lakes 234
12 Getting to Know Holland 235
1 The Physical Landscape 235
Hole Land? 238
2 History 101 238
Dateline 238
3 Art & Architecture 242
4 Sports & Recreation 246
5 A Taste of Holland 246
13 Planning a Trip to Holland 249
1 Visitor Information & Money 249
The Dutch Guilder 250
2 When to Go 250
Holland Calendar of Events 251
3 Getting Around 254
Sightseeing Tips 257
Fast Facts: Holland 257
14 Amsterdam 260
1 Frommer's Favorite Amsterdam Experiences 261
2 Orientation 261
Neighborhoods in Brief 263
3 Getting Around 264
Fast Facts: Amsterdam 266
4 Where to Stay 268
Family-Friendly Hotels 283
5 Where to Dine 286
Family-Friendly Restaurants 299
6 Seeing the Sights 305
A New Museumplein 307
Walking Tour: The Golden Age Canals 320
7 Sports & Recreation 325
Skating on the Dutch Canals 327
8 Shopping 327
VAT & the VAT Refund 330
9 Amsterdam After Dark 331
Smoking Coffee Shops 335
15 North Holland Province 338
1 Haarlem 338
2 Zandvoort 342
Hot Jets 344
3 The IJsselmeer 344
Cycling Along the Ijsselmeer Shore 348
4 The Zaanstreek 349
5 The Tulip Trail 350
6 The Cheese Trail 352
Need a Refreshing Swim? 353
7 Den Helder & Texel Island 354
8 Castle Country 356
16 South Holland Province 359
1 The Hague 360
2 Scheveningen 371
3 Rotterdam 376
Windmills of Kinderdijk 381
4 Delft 387
5 Gouda 390
6 Leiden 393
17 The Northern Provinces 398
1 Friesland 398
Mata Hari 403
Walking on the Wadden Sea 405
A Museum Route 408
2 Groningen 410
3 Drenthe 415
Westerbork Camp--A Memorial 417
18 Central Holland 419
1 Utrecht Province 419
2 Gelderland 427
A Bridge Too Far 431
3 Overijssel 433
The Hanseatic Towns 436
4 Flevoland 437
19 The Southern Provinces 441
1 Zeeland 441
The Delta Expo 446
2 Noord-Brabant 452
Canoeing in the Biesbosch 459
3 Limburg 462
The Maastricht Carnival 470
20 Getting to Know Luxembourg 479
1 The Physical Landscape 479
2 History 101 480
Dateline 480
The Mysterious Maiden Melusine 485
3 A Taste of Luxembourg 486
21 Planning a Trip to Luxembourg 487
1 Visitor Information & Money 487
The Luxembourg Franc 488
2 When to Go 488
Luxembourg Calendar of Events 489
3 The Active Vacation Planner 490
4 Getting Around 491
Fast Facts: Luxembourg 493
22 Luxembourg City 495
1 Frommer's Favorite Luxembourg City Experiences 496
2 Orientation 496
Who, Us? 497
3 Getting Around 497
Fast Facts: Luxembourg City 498
4 Where to Stay 499
Family-Friendly Hotels 502
5 Where to Dine 504
Family-Friendly Restaurants 505
6 Seeing the Sights 506
7 Outdoor Activities 509
8 Shopping 510
9 Luxembourg City After Dark 510
23 Around the Grand Duchy 512
1 Exploring the Grand Duchy 512
2 Valley of the Seven Castles 513
3 The Luxembourg Ardennes 515
4 The Moselle Valley & Southern Luxembourg 520
Index 527
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Poor all-round guide; STRONGLY recommend another guide.

    I usually use "Let's Go", "Lonely Planet", and "Rough Guides." If I am staying in a place for a while, I use the "Rick Steves", "Insight" and "Eyewitness" Guides because I would rather get more information about the place than about where to stay and how to get around.

    This is my first "Frommers" guide and I was sorely disappointed. I had originally bought it because I was going to spend about 2 weeks between the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and didn't want to carry around 3 different guides. I now realize that that was a mistake. (This was because I was already carrying 3 separate guides for 3 other countries I was visiting).

    I was prepared for it to be less comprehensive; but not this bad. Only the MAJOR places are covered in the book, which is fine; but there is a pathetic amount of history or background information on any of these (except for Grand Place in Brussels, where they did a decent job!). By my third day, I had learned to make a bee-line for the tourist office to supplement my lack of information. In the end, I spent more on the supplementary information and tour guides I bought at the Tourist Office than on this guide.

    There are few maps, and they are hard to follow, and NO helpful hints or insider tips to get you around. The restaurants and hotels recommended were generally pricey, which would have been ok if they really were good. But that wasn't always the case.

    If you use public transportation when you travel to get around, you can't rely on this guide to help you out. They gives you vague directions for that too.

    So where does most of the space in the book go?? Its the large script and spacing between text. I found a lot of seniors running around with this guide. However, if my parents or any other seniors I know needed a guide, I would recommend that they invest in a magnifying sheet, along with a different guide, rather than this piece of crap. It would be much more worth your money and energy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

    Helpful, but bulky to carry

    I found this book helpful to me in my travels. If you have a kindle, probably best downloaded b/c it is bulky to carry and to use while traveling. Especially appreiciated the various sections such as "shopping" "dining" "accomodations." Made it easy to target subjects of interest. Interesting side facts too, one each place.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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