I have gained significant value in reading the thoughts of; psudad profchiara pluto77 fschumpert newhiltonmembr razorbackfan zukracer and jerrycoin and several others . brightlybob please jump in also, you've probably worked the halls of NATO or the Hague and any others please join in as well. If it motivates you to help, feel free to mock my ignorance/laziness.
Striking while the iron is hot (coming off the terrific answers to the Paris airport transfer question), I would greatly appreciate it if you would please provide your collective expertise and help me solve my ground transportation issues for my soon to be scheduled trip to Brussels, Ghent, and Amsterdam with day trips to Bruges and Paris. I don't book until next month, but my getting around capabilities may alter the lodging strategy. I'm pretty much going to use EuroRail for getting between cities (but advise otherwise if necessary);
Brussels to Amsterdam - one way about two hours $98-$101
Amsterdam to Ghent (via Antwerp) -one way about two hours $98-$113
Ghent to Bruges - roundtrip - 23 minutes $14 each way
Ghent to Paris - roundtrip (via Brussels) about two hours $95 - $129 each way ( $95 cheaper than most Brussels to Paris!)
Ghent to Brussels - one way 30 minutes $20
I'm open to any and all suggestions/revisions. I'm going with tickets vs. Railpass, because I can't figure out the benefit of a Railpass and it costs more. I noticed train prices vary based on when in the year you travel, somewhat similar to airlines. Any thoughts on how far in advance (assuming pre-paid is the best way to secure seats - please advise otherwise) tickets should be purchased for optimal price?
Lodging Strategy based on superb Insider input;
1 & 2 Brussels Marriott
3 Amsterdam Renaissance
4-10 Ghent Marriott
11 Brussels Courtyard
Local Transportation: Here's where I really need your help, between stumbling into sites in different languages, digging up the proximities of hotels, subways, airports, and different city train stations, my brain is fried and I'm to the point of just going down and robbing the local 7-11 and taking limos, jerrystyle. So please, help a brotha' out. Any research you can save me from doing is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
1) Best way to get from Brussels airport to Marriott (taxi is about $70)
2) How do you get from the Marriott to the Brussels Midi Train Station?
3) How do you get from the Amsterdam Central Station to Renaissance? .3 miles, we can walk, unless it's like Heathrow - Is it?
4) Ghent St. Peter's Station to Marriott has already been generously answered by psudad (hopefully the tram is as easy to find as he says it is)
The trams are very easy in Ghent. Following our arrival at St. Peter's station, we went outside the station and picked up the tram. It takes you within a few blocks of the Marriott. You get out at Korenmarkt (near the McDonalds), walk over the St. Michael's Bridge, take the stairs down on the right side, and walk along the canal to the Marriott. We landed in Brussels and took an express train to St. Peters station in Ghent. Took the tram in Ghent to and from St. Peters station and walked everywhere else.
5) Does anyone know how to get from Brussels midi train station to the Brussels Courtyard? The CY, besides being closer (3 miles) to the airport than the Marriott, with a shuttle (non-free), is only a Cat. 4 and has excellent reviews. The Brussels midi station is further west of the Marriott which is, as mentioned a $70 cab fare to airport, so I'm thinking subway. Has anyone dealt with the Jules Bordet train station? It's walking distance to the CY.
Thank you for your insights.