Which country is cheaper, the Netherlands or Belgium?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Belgium or the Netherlands? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions
In reality, a more common question is actually, should you visit Amsterdam or Brussels, as these are the cities where you're likely to spend the most time. Even so, both the Netherlands and Belgium have several great places worth exploring outside of these famous cities.
Amsterdam has a bit more of a personal feel. The architecture and canals make a beautiful setting with a lot to offer visitors. Brussels is a very international city and is the base for many international businesses and European institutions. This international vibe makes it a fascinating place to spend some time as well.
The Netherlands is a bit more expensive than Belgium. Accommodation can be quite pricey, even if you plan to stay in one of the many hostels. Restaurants are also very expensive, even by Western European standards. Ultimately, you should base your decision on what you want to see and what you enjoy doing while you're traveling.
Belgium is a tranquil, diverse, and quaint country. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the history and culture, nightlife, food, and shopping.
Belgium is a smaller but diverse nation with a long history, lots of attractions, and a mix of cultures. As it's at a crossroads in Europe, visitors can see influences from the native Belgian and Flemish people as well as from nearby France, Germany, and Holland. Historic and world-class cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent offer amazing cuisine, historic art and architecture, and fun activities for all types of travelers. Smaller cities such as Bruges, Liege, and Leuven let you delve into history in their historic old towns with cathedrals, charming cafes, art galleries, and carriage tours. And as a smaller country, it's easy to get around to see everything on the trains in just a few hours at the most between destinations.
The Netherlands is a vibrant, historic, and beautiful country. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, water sports, and shopping.
The relatively small country of the Netherlands is densely populated and is host to world-class cities, amazing history, and plenty of cultural attractions. Also commonly referred to as Holland, much of this country's land has been reclaimed by the sea and is crisscrossed by canals and man-made waterways historically used for shipping and trade. Today, the Netherlands is a modern, diverse, and developed nation that still offers plenty of historic and cultural charm with beautiful old buildings, windmills, farmland, cheese shops, and bike paths. Amsterdam is the most popular city for visitors, as it contains famous museums and historic architecture along canals and streets filled with bicycles. Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht also have museums, history, and culture to explore, even though they see less tourists than Amsterdam.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Belgium and the Netherlands. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Both Belgium and The Netherlands offer a variety of museums and places of interest, but The Netherlands generally has more to choose from.
The museums and tourist attractions in The Netherlands are world-renowned. With art, culture, history, science, nature, and more, this country has a large number of must-see museums that should be on everyone's itinerary. Amsterdam offers a number of famous art museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Also here you'll find the famous Anne Frank house, dedicated to the young girl that hid with her family in the attic during the Holocaust. Even more art museums, historic and modern, are found in the major cities such as the Mauritshuis, Escher in Het Paleis, the Groninger Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum and Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam. If you're looking for some family-friendly activities, check out the Naturalis in Leiden (a natural science museum), the NEMO Science museum in Amsterdam, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, and the Open Air Museum of Arnhem. Also, many of the castles around the country have been turned into museums for exploration and historic purposes.
Many visitors head to Belgium specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. From art to history to culture, you'll find something for everyone. Some of the most popular art museums include The Magritte Museum in Brussels, François Duesberg Museum in Mons, and the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent. But it's not all about art, as visitors also love the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp which focuses on the city's history as a maritime port. Also, science lovers should check out the Euro Space Center and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. For interesting history lessons, visit the Gallo-Roman Museum, Dossin Casern, and the In Flanders Fields museum.
You'll find great culture, arts, and history when visiting both Belgium and The Netherlands.
Belgium is an extremely popular destination for those that want to visit historical and cultural sights and attractions, as it offers plenty. Although it's a smaller country, the history and culture here is packed into its cities and small towns. You'll find museums that focus on art, history, science, and more in many of the cities and town. For example, visit the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Castle of the Counts in Ghent, or the grand cathedrals of Antwerp. Large castles dot the countryside, many with grand views such as the one in Bouillon. Theaters are everywhere, too, so you can take in a play, opera, or the ballet in addition to enjoying the cafe culture and the unique cuisine.
See also 14 Free Things to do in Brussels.
The Netherlands has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. With cities dating back thousands of years, a large collection of art and history museums, numerous historic sites such as castles, windmills, forts, and cathedrals, and historic architecture everywhere you look, it's no surprise that people visit the Netherlands for its deep history and unique culture. Historic cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Arnhem, and many others provide that quintessential Dutch vibe with historic buildings lining beautiful canals. You'll also find old castles and forts along with world-class art museums. Don't miss the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Also, make sure you add the historic Open Air Museum of Arnhem to your list, as well as the Mauritshuis in the Hague. Just north of Amsterdam you can find the Zaanse Schans, a town with historic windmills along the river that showcases the life and history of this water-borne nation. No matter what your interests may be, you'll find something for everyone in this culturally rich country. Even if history isn't your passion, you can't miss the beauty in it.
See also Free Things to do in Amsterdam.
Belgium and The Netherlands are similar when it comes to the great big city activities.
Belgium has some large cities, so you'll find plenty of things to do when visiting. Brussels and Antwerp are both popular destinations for visitors because of the large number of attractions and activities. In both of these cities you'll find a wide array of hotels, restaurants, historical sites, museums, and activities for every type of traveler. In Brussels, tour the Grand Palace, climb the Atomium, and go shopping at the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. In Antwerp, after admiring the historic railway station, check out the Meir area for some shopping and chocolates, the Cathedral of Our Lady Antwerp, and the windows of the Diamond District.
Because of the large cities in The Netherlands, visitors will find many sights and attractions. Amsterdam is a very popular destination for travelers coming to Europe because it offers historic architecture, world-class art museums, boat trips along the scenic canals, the infamous red light district, and more. Rotterdam and The Hague also offer plenty of big city activities such as museums, theater productions, and great cuisine. While Amsterdam is often included in many traveler's European tours, the other cities in the Netherlands get overlooked despite their terrific attractions.
Belgium and The Netherlands are somewhat similar when it comes to visiting the great smaller towns and villages.
Belgium offers plenty of small towns along with charming sights and activities, too. Some of the more popular small towns to visit draw large crowds to see the old cathedrals, local markets, narrow canals, historic homes, and delicious local cuisine. Bruges is one of the most popular towns for travelers because it has several gorgeous cathedrals, scenic canals, museums, and terrific restaurants all packed into a small walkable area. Other popular smaller towns include Spa, where you'll find relaxing hot springs; Bouillon, home of a beautiful castle; Durbuy, with its winding narrow streets; Dinant, with cliffs above a scenic river; and Rochefort, famous for its beer from the historic monastery. But dozens more small towns are dotted around the countryside, and if you have the time, are worth visiting.
As The Netherlands is a destination with many small towns and villages, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. If you seek small towns with plenty of charm and history, Holland offers plenty of them. Many towns and smaller cities here have a historic vibe with canals, windmills, local agricultural products, museums, and more. Gouda, Leiden, Arnhem, Haarlem, Naarden, Edam, and Giethoorn are just some of the places worth visiting. They offer local cuisine, cute cobblestone lanes, historic churches, and friendly people.
With more venues to choose from, The Netherlands is more regarded as a theater destination.
While in town, many visitors enjoy seeing a show in The Netherlands. Amsterdam has a vibrant theater scene with a huge number of venues such as the International Theater, Royal Theater Caree, DeLaMar Theater, and even De Kleine Komedie which is one of the oldest theaters and puts on a variety of comedy acts. Other cities such as Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, and Leiden have terrific theater and musical venues with plays, concerts, comedy, and kid-friendly productions.
Belgium offers a number of shows and performances. While Brussels has the most theater productions, Antwerp, Ghent, and others host a variety of shows and concerts, too. The most popular theaters in Brussels include the Théâtre Royal du Parc, Vaux-Hall, and the KVS. For other interesting performances, don't miss the Royal Toone Theatre with its myriad of puppets or La Montagne Magique (Magic Mountain) which offers youth and children's productions in French. In Antwerp, a few of the most popular theaters are Koningin Elisabethzaal, De Roma, Stadsschouwburg, and Bourla, among others.
Both Belgium and The Netherlands offer great local cuisine and restaurants.
Belgium has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. While Belgium is famous for waffles, beer, and chocolate, plenty of other traditional dishes should be on your list as well. Furthermore, as a modern and diverse nation, you can find cuisine from all over the world in the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp. World-class chefs have started terrific restaurants serving a wide variety of dishes. But if you're after some traditional fare, try the mussels (moules), fries with garlic-mayo, Flemish stew, or Croquettes, and Vol-au-vent.
There are many up and coming restaurants in the The Netherlands area. Traditional Dutch foods often include fried snacks such as krokets, small pancakes known as Poffertjes, fried fish, and world-famous cheeses. Furthermore, plenty of terrific restaurants serving a variety of European and global cuisine can be found across the country, especially in the larger cities. Food here tends to be fresh, and the dining and restaurant scene is very active.
For nightlife, head to The Netherlands instead of Belgium.
The Netherlands is a party destination, and you'll find plenty of activity all night long. Amsterdam is a haven for nightlife, as it attracts a large number of visitors looking for entertainment. The red light district is full of bars and nightclubs, as are other areas of the city. You can also find theater productions and fine dining experiences, too. Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Leiden, and other cities also offer plenty of nightlife options with a wide array of bars, cafes, clubs, and theaters.
Amsterdam: The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.
See also Party Hostels in Amsterdam.
Belgium offers plenty to do in the evening. As the largest city, Brussels not only draws the biggest crowds in the evenings, but has also earned itself a reputation as a party-oriented city at night. With dozens of nightclubs offering every type of music, to the vibrant bar and pub scene, as well as the theater and fine dining offerings, Brussels has an active scene for both locals and visitors alike. Some of the best spots in Brussels include Madame Moustache, the Music Village, Fuse, and Spirito. Antwerp also offers its share of nightlife. Dozens of bars and clubs come alive at night here also. Ghent, Bruges, and other tourist destinations also offer plenty of bars and theaters, although the nightlife scene is not as active later in the night.
Ghent: With its young student population, you'll find plenty of lively bars and clubs around town. There are many places where you can party or dance into the early hours of the morning and some of the best places are around Oude Beestenmarkt, De Overpoort, and De Vlasmarkt. There's also the famous Ghent Festival every July.
Most people pick The Netherlands for its beaches over Belgium.
You can check out the beach in The Netherlands. While the weather is a bit cold most of the year, the beaches still attract a decent crowd. With wide stretches of sand, plenty of hotels, and many with easy accessibility by public transit, a trip to the beach here is quite fun and easy if the weather is good. One of the most popular beaches is Scheveningen, right near The Hague, where you can find a boardwalk and other beach activities. Surfing, the Pier, a Ferris Wheel, and plenty of great restaurants make this a fun day trip. Zandvoort aan Zee is the closest beach to Amsterdam where you'll find a good stretch of sand with dunes in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. Bloemendaal aan Zee is another very scenic beach with natural areas as well as cafes and restaurants. Egmond aan Zee is a gorgeous beach near an old fishing village with a lighthouse, and is worth the trip. Plenty of other beaches are also easy to reach, including the Hoek of Holland near Rotterdam and the barrier islands in the north.
You'll find a beach in Belgium. The relatively short stretch of coastline here has some beautiful beaches which can be enjoyed during the warmer months. Some areas are more natural with sand dunes and open spaces, while others have stretches of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and seaside attractions. Knokke-Heist is a popular area with plenty of activities and hotels. De Panne and Nieuwpoort are also extremely popular with wide, white beaches and a diverse selection of dining options. On the other hand, Bredene is more secluded for those that want to escape the crowds.
If you're looking to go shopping, Belgium and The Netherlands both offer plenty of great spots.
Belgium is well-known for its shopping. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major cities offer plenty of trendy shops, fashionable boutiques, art galleries, and chocolate shops. Also, you can't miss all of the diamond stores in Antwerp. Even if you're not buying, it's fun to peruse the window displays. In Brussels, make sure to visit the Royal Saint Hubert Galleries not just for the shops, but also for the architecture and history of the building. Another nice indoor spot is Passage du Nord, and Boulevard de Waterloo has plenty of upscale shops. In Antwerp, the diamond shops are located not far from the historic train station, while more of the clothing boutiques are found in De Modewijk, the fashion quarter of the city.
Brussels: Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.
Antwerp: The city has become known for its fashion scene. The main shopping street is Meir, which is where you'll find a variety of European fashion chains. It's also fun to buy chocolates, art, or other souvenirs around town. You'll find both locals and tourists perusing the main shopping areas around town.
Browsing through shops is a popular activity in The Netherlands. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague are all full of shops where visitors can find everything from fashion to gifts to local arts and crafts. And each of these cities are large enough that different neighborhoods offer a variety of personalities each with their own shopping vibe. Some of the historic areas tend to cater to tourists and sell gifts and crafts, while the fashion neighborhoods and malls offer the latest trends in local boutique shops. Art galleries are also quite common, as are chain clothing stores, tourist shops, and cheese shops, but there's something for everyone. Even smaller cities that attract tourists will offer good deals, trendy boutiques, and local crafts. Look for some interesting finds in Utrecht, Amersfoort, Leiden, Den Bosch, Haarlem or other smaller cities.
With various activities, both Belgium and The Netherlands are great places to visit during Christmas.
Christmas holiday activities are popular when visiting Belgium. The large public squares of Brussels, Antwerp, and other historical cities raise large Christmas trees and decorate their town centers with lights and decorations. Many towns have festivals and parades, especially during the arrival of Sinterklaas or Pere Noel (depending on the region). Also, many small towns and big cities host Christmas markets with food, drinks, gifts, crafts, ice skating, and more. Brussels has a Winter Wonderland Christmas Market where the buildings are illuminated. Other touristy towns such as Bruges host special events with entire sections of town covered in lights and special market shops.
Many visitors go to The Netherlands during the Christmas season. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, and many other Dutch cities decorate their historic city centers with Christmas lights, large trees, and other holiday decor. Additionally, many towns also host parades and festivals to celebrate the holiday season. One of the most popular is the arrival of Sinterklaas, a boat and horse parade that tours Dutch cities and excites the children with his arrival. Many shops also sell festive gifts and delicious treats. Some of the cities also host ice skating rinks and festivals with children's games to bring out the holiday crowds. And if you're looking for a fun Christmas market, check out those held in Dordrecht and Maastricht, or the cave-market in Valkenburg.
If you're looking to go hiking, Belgium and The Netherlands both have great trails.
A few hiking trails can be found near Belgium. Many hiking trails are within easy reach of nearby cities and towns, making them accessible. Many are also easy hikes since Belgium has a fairly low elevation. Some of the best areas to hike include Deux Ourthes Natural Park, Southern Ardennes Natural Park, or Eifel Natural Park.
While not known for its hiking, The Netherlands has a few options. Despite its smaller size and lack of mountains, plenty of beautiful hiking routes are found all over the country. With a variety of national parks and wildlife areas, many of these trails are easily accessible to the major cities. Some are found along the coastline where you'll hike among sand dunes and along the shore. Others are inland in the forest and follow rivers or canals with the occasional castle or historic ruins mixed in to the itinerary. So, if you're looking to get out of the city for some fresh air, a day hiking is a good option.
The Netherlands often provides a better experience visiting national parks than Belgium.
If you're interested in the national parks, The Netherlands has some nice places to visit. The 21 national parks are spread across the nation and serve to protect wildlife and cultural areas. Many of the parks are quite small compared to what other countries offer, but they are still beautiful and significant for what they provide. Some of the most popular include Weerribben-Wieden, De Biesbosch, and Zuid-Kennemerland.
Belgium has some national parks and wilderness areas for those that seek them out. With only two national parks and 10 other large natural protected areas, most visitors don't come here to see the wilderness. But a variety of beautiful scenery can still be found in this small country. Hiking trails and camping spots providing opportunities to see the rivers, hills, and native birds of the region. They make for a good escape from the cities if you're looking for somewhere nearby to get into nature.
Overall, The Netherlands is considered to offer more watersports activities and attractions to visitors.
The watersports and seaside activities and attractions of The Netherlands are worth experiencing. With a fairly lengthy coastline, you'll find plenty of opportunities here for kite surfing, wind surfing, and normal surfing depending on the weather. Boating is very popular given the large number of rivers and canals in the Netherlands. Kayaking and Canoeing should be on anyone's itinerary whether you're in a city or out in the countryside. A large number of lakes dot the landscape, too, with opportunities for swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing, and more.
Belgium does offer some watersports. The beach along the coastline offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, and swimming during the warmer months. Also, plenty of the canals and rivers through the country are great spots for kayaking, boating, or swimming, too. While you can explore the waterways of the countryside by kayak or canoe, don't forget that you can often do this in the cities and towns as well, which offer a fun perspective on the historic urban areas.
Both Belgium and The Netherlands have some great outdoor areas to explore.
Belgium offers some fun outdoor activities and attractions for travelers who seek them out. Wildlife areas and parks are very accessible to the larger cities and towns, many by public transit. So, if you're looking to get out of the urban areas, these parks are a good option. Hiking trails, boating, swimming, and other fun activities are found all over the country. And while the country is smaller than many others, it still has scenic outdoor spots such as the West Coast (Westkust) cycling route from De Panne or the Zwin walking route in Knokke-Heist, or the Eifel Nature Park.
The Netherlands does have some outdoor activities to explore. A number of hiking trails, biking paths, and running trails can be found almost everywhere in the country. Boating, kayaking and canoeing are popular almost everywhere, too. Most cities and towns have kayak rentals if you're interested. The beaches are also popular spots for outdoor activities such as swimming, camping, and hiking. And with a variety of national parks and wilderness areas that are all easily accessible via public transit from the nearest city, the Netherlands makes it easy to get out and enjoy nature.
You can't go wrong planning a road trip in either Belgium or The Netherlands.
Belgium has a few possibilities for a road trip for those that seek them out. To see some of the small towns in the countryside, taking a road trip might be a good option. Since the distances between cities and towns are not large, driving can be quite quick between destinations. The roads are great, and having your own car means that you can see some of the small and quaint places that are not as easy to reach by train or bus. Don't miss some of the castles (such as in Bouillon, or the monasteries that produce beer such as the one in Rochefort. Keep in mind that visiting the big cities with a car is generally not recommended since parking is limited.
The Netherlands is generally not the best destination for road trips, but it has a few options. Getting around by car is not difficult since the distances to drive are fairly short. On a road trip you can see the many small towns of the countryside, the agricultural regions, historic windmills, old castles and forts, and more. Also, a trip up and down the coastline is quite easy and very scenic, too.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Belgium or The Netherlands.
Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Belgium is very family-friendly. From fairy-tale cities such as Bruges to the large cathedrals filled with lights, and from the horse-drawn carriage rides and playgrounds to the old Castle of the Counts in Ghent, kids will be very entertained here. After all, this is the country of waffles and chocolate, and the adults can have a Belgian beer on the side, too. Many of the cities are also bike-friendly, which adds to the fun if you want to take a tour on two wheels. Or hop on a boat tour as Ghent, Bruges, and many others have canals and rivers with scenic views, too. And Brussels offers the Pixel Museum which is all about gaming and technology, as well as a puppet theater and various other art and history museums. You can also get into the outdoors to visit hiking trails and national parks, as well as interesting caves. And any kids interested in military history should visit Waterloo as well as the trenches of Ypres
The Netherlands is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Plenty of family-friendly activities can be found in the cities and countryside, such as amusement parks, the beach, historical attractions, biking, boating, and more. Numerous amusement parks are located throughout the country. Also, most of the cities have family-friendly museums such as the NEMO Science Museum or the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, the Natural Science Museum in Leiden, the Railway Museum in Utrecht, or the Open Air Museum in Arnhem. Several zoos are also found throughout the country. And of course, don't forget about LegoLand and the Sea Life center in Scheveningen.
Couples will find a longer list of romantic activities in Belgium than The Netherlands.
Belgium is a good country for couples to visit. While it might not be the first place that couples think of, the big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp offer plenty of charming and romantic activities. Furthermore, many of the castles and chateaus in the countryside have been turned into luxury hotels, so you can experience history and luxury together. Hikes from some of the small villages to nearby castles are common any time of the year, especially in the spring and fall. And whether you're in a small town or one of the big cities, you'll find chocolate, waffles, and beer all over, not to mention plenty of other gourmet food options for that romantic evening out on the town. Theaters are also common, so take in a show or a concert after dinner.
The Netherlands is not always the best place to visit for a couple. Amsterdam is the most popular city to visit, and contains plenty of historic and charming hotels and B&B's which couples find to be very romantic. Elsewhere in the country, similar accommodations can be found that make for a terrific couple's getaway as you can enjoy romantic restaurants, outdoor cafes, scenic boat rides, and cultural activities.
Travelers usually think of The Netherlands as a better destination for backpackers than Belgium.
Many backpackers visit The Netherlands. With a large number of somewhat affordable hostels, cheap transportation, affordable food options, and low cost attractions, most major cities in the Netherlands are popular with backpackers and budget traveler. Keep in mind that travel costs here are fairly high, though. So, while hostels are less expensive than hotels, they are still not cheap. But with plenty of options and a party atmosphere, Amsterdam especially is very popular with the backpacker and budget-travel crowd.
Amsterdam: With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.
Belgium is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other major tourist destinations might not be the most budget-friendly places, but plenty of hostels and low-cost accommodations can be found in and around the cities. Furthermore, food at most restaurants is reasonably priced, especially if you avoid the touristy areas and the higher-end establishments. In generally, there's plenty of activities which are free or low in price. And younger travelers tend to enjoy Belgium's vibrant nightlife and bar scene, which is especially popular in Brussels as well as Antwerp, Ghent, and elsewhere. Transportation is also cheap and readily available.
For students, both Belgium and The Netherlands are great places to visit.
It's common for students to visit Belgium. With major universities attracting students from all over the world, along with an active nightlife and bar scene, as well as affordable travel options, this country is a pretty good place for students. You'll find hostels, affordable food, fun cafes, and cheap activities in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and other cities. The largest university areas are found in Brussels, Leuven, Liege, Ghent, and Antwerp, so you might want to focus on these areas if you're visiting or are interested in studying abroad.
Ghent: The city is very popular with international students so it has a young and energetic vibe with plenty to do throughout the year.
The Netherlands is a good country to visit for students. With large universities in the major cities and a great infrastructure for younger budget travelers, students will find plenty of opportunities to explore the country and meet up with others. Many of the university areas of the major cities offer extensive nightlife scenes and affordable activities. Utrecht has one of the largest in the nation, as as such the city has a young and vibrant vibe. Amsterdam, Leiden, and Groningen also have large student populations and the accompanying atmosphere for student life, too.
The Hague: This is a very popular study abroad destination so you'll find plenty of international students living here. It's an internationally oriented city so everyone feels right at home.
Belgium and The Netherlands both offer transportation to get you around.
Belgium has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. The combination of the national train system, city trams and buses, great roads, and a good network of bike paths makes this one of the easiest countries to get around. Belgium is fairly small as a country, so the major cities and towns are not too far apart. The trains run frequently and efficiently, as do the local city trams and buses. Roads are well built for those that want to drive, too.
Is it easy to travel around Belgium?
With a huge network, the transit system in The Netherlands can get you around easily. As a relatively small country with a high population density, getting around in the Netherlands feels like traveling around a city instead of a country. The national train system operates routes on a regular schedule so that you can find a train anywhere at least every hour if not more frequently. And when you're in a city, the bus and tram systems are fantastic, efficient, affordable, and frequent. You won't need a car as a visitor, but if you choose to hire one, you'll find high-quality roads, too. Finally, many of the islands in the north are accessible with public ferries running on frequent schedules. As you probably know, much of the infrastructure in the Netherlands is built around bicycles, so don't be afraid to grab some fietsen and make your way around town on the dedicated bike lanes. It's common to rent bikes at the station if you arrive in a different city by train or bus, or bike rentals are available at many shops around the cities, too. Overall, the transit system in the Netherlands is amazing.
Is it easy to travel around the Netherlands?
Both Belgium and The Netherlands can feel quite modern and comfortable as they both have an established tourist infrastructure.
People often come to Belgium because it is such a comfortable and luxurious destination. Modern European comforts and luxuries are found everywhere here, so whether you're traveling to the cities or the countryside, you can expect modern conveniences. The larger cities have the most variation in price ranges for accommodations and restaurants, but at any price range you can expect modern facilities and quality service. Transportation is efficient and safe, and a large network of infrastructure for both locals and tourists alike can be found everywhere. The food is also excellent, clean, and safe no matter where you visit in Belgium. So, whether your a family looking for comfortable places for the kids, a couple on a romantic break, or a younger backpacker on a tight budget, everyone can expect to travel around efficiently and in comfort.
The Netherlands is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and other cities in the country all offer high-end, luxurious accommodations, fine dining restaurants, and extensive tour options for anyone wishing to travel in style. Even if you don't want to spend large amounts of money, this country is very modern with a high standard of living, and that is reflected in the mid-range and budget hotels, too. It's hard to find an uncomfortable place here, as the tourist infrastructure is vast and thorough.
The Netherlands generally has a more touristy vibe than Belgium.
Plenty of tourists come to The Netherlands every year, as it's a popular destination. Amsterdam in particular is extremely popular with tourists, and many parts of the city can be quite crowded most of the year. From the red light district to the museums and boat tours on the canals, it's often hard to avoid tourists here. On the other hand, other cities in the Netherlands enjoy significantly less visitors and offer similar cultural and historic activities without the crowds. It's quite easy to get around by train, so take the time to visit another city or two during your trip to avoid the crowds.
Belgium is fairly touristy, with a decent number of visitors coming each year. Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, and Liege are the most popular destinations for visitors. They each see fairly large numbers of travelers, especially in the summer months. However, the cities themselves are large enough so that any particular area isn't overcrowded and the cities are easily manageable. Bruges is an especially popular place to visit, as this smaller city offers many attractions, so it can feel much more touristy than other places. Also, specific areas of each city are popular, such as the Castle of Counts in Ghent which sometimes has a long queue to enter. Other popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Brussels, the Belfry in Ghent, Bouillon Castle, and Waterloo. It's common to experience crowds at these locations and other popular spots, but again, it's usually manageable.
Both Belgium and the Netherlands have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, the Netherlands has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in the Netherlands than Belgium. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.
Families should spend more time in the Netherlands than Belgium. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in the Netherlands, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in the Netherlands than Belgium. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in the Netherlands that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in the Netherlands than Belgium if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in the Netherlands.
The destination of Belgium offers history and culture, nightlife, and food. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
In the Netherlands, you'll find water sports, shopping, and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.
Belgium is a great place to explore. This country offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.
The Netherlands is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that the Netherlands has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.
The diverse country of Belgium offers food, shopping, and museums. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, you'll find museums, theater, and history and culture. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.
Many people enjoy the food, shopping, and museums when visiting Belgium. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people find that two weeks is more than enough time to see everything.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in the Netherlands. Many people enjoy the museums, theater, and history and culture when visiting the Netherlands. Two weeks is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Belgium is €142, while the average daily cost in the Netherlands is €175. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Belgium and the Netherlands in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Belgium or the Netherlands? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
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Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Belgium:
Also for Belgium, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in the Netherlands:
Also for the Netherlands, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both the Netherlands and Belgium change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Belgium:
For Belgium, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to the Netherlands:
For the Netherlands, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
For Belgium, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Belgium.
For the Netherlands, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for the Netherlands.
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Belgium from other travelers:
Also in Belgium, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in the Netherlands:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Belgium and the Netherlands, we can see that the Netherlands is more expensive. And not only is Belgium much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Belgium would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Belgium and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in the Netherlands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in the Netherlands than you might in Belgium.
The Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, is an expensive place to visit. Everything, from accommodation to food is expensive, even by Western European standards. Amsterdam is also one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe, and this demand drives up prices for even the most budget accommodation. Belgium is a bit less popular with visitors so there are still good deals to be found. It's also possible to base yourself in one place and explore the country with day trips, which can be an affordable way to experience Belgium.
Prices in Belgium are relatively consistent throughout. It's possible to find affordable hostels in most cities and towns, and there are a variety of restaurants with reasonable prices as well. Travel times are also quite short within Belgium, so the cost of traveling between locations is reasonable.
Amsterdam is an expensive city to visit, and one of the most expensive places to go in the Netherlands. It can be difficult to find affordable accommodation and reservations are recommended well if advance, particularly if you're traveling during the peak seasons.
Both Belgium and the Netherlands are expensive places to visit, so consider the season you'll be visiting. In the Netherlands, prices can be higher during the spring months when the tulips are in bloom. This is a popular time to visit the area.
Both Belgium and the Netherlands can be explored through a series of day trips. Pick a base and then spend some time in nearby towns. This will give you a feel for the country in a shorter amount of time.
Restaurants in both Belgium and the Netherlands can be expensive. Instead of dining out, head to a local market and pick up some local produce and cheese. A picnic is a great way to enjoy local specialties without paying for an expensive sit down meal. It also lets you enjoy the atmosphere of the area.
Slow down and take time to really enjoy the cities and towns you're in. Exploring less places in more detail will give you a feel for the area and also save you money, because you'll spend less money on transportation.
Don't feel like you have to see and do everything. Instead of running from one activity to another, slow down and take some time to soak up the atmosphere. This will also help you save some money.
Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
The Belgian climate in northern Europe experiences four seasons with cooler summers and cold wet winters. While the temperatures are often cold in the winter, it only snows periodically near the coast. And because the summers are not too hot, the weather is very pleasant during this popular time to visit.
The northern European climate of the Netherlands experiences four seasons, with rainy winters and mild summers. While the temperatures are often cold in the winter, it only snows periodically. Summers can be quite comfortable as they are not too hot.
Belgium is a great country to visit anytime between April and October. There are a variety of music festivals during this time and the weather is quite pleasant. The crowds usually peak during the months of July and August, which is also when the prices are the highest.
The Netherlands is also a great place to visit during the spring, summer, and fall. The summer months experience mild temperatures that are still pleasant and comfortable. The best, and one of the most popular times to visit the Netherlands is between mid-March and mid-May when the country's famous tulips are in bloom.
Both the Netherlands and Belgium are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Belgium for the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to the Netherlands because of the beaches and the family-friendly experiences.
In the summer, Brussels is around the same temperature as Amsterdam. Typically, the summer temperatures in Brussels in July average around 18°C (65°F), and Amsterdam averages at about 17°C (62°F).
It's quite sunny in Amsterdam. Brussels usually receives less sunshine than Amsterdam during summer. Brussels gets 186 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 204 hours of full sun in the summer.
In July, Brussels usually receives around the same amount of rain as Amsterdam. Brussels gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 75 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the summer.
Both the Netherlands and Belgium during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Belgium because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to the Netherlands this time of year.
In October, Brussels is generally a little warmer than Amsterdam. Daily temperatures in Brussels average around 12°C (54°F), and Amsterdam fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).
In the autumn, Brussels often gets more sunshine than Amsterdam. Brussels gets 114 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 99 hours of full sun.
Brussels usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Amsterdam. Brussels gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.
The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Belgium and the Netherlands. The museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Belgium this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to the Netherlands for the museums, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine.
Be prepared for some very cold days in Amsterdam. It's quite cold in Brussels in the winter. Brussels is much warmer than Amsterdam in the winter. The daily temperature in Brussels averages around 3°C (38°F) in January, and Amsterdam fluctuates around 2°C (36°F).
Brussels usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Amsterdam during winter. Brussels gets 49 hours of sunny skies, while Amsterdam receives 46 hours of full sun in the winter.
In January, Brussels usually receives around the same amount of rain as Amsterdam. Brussels gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.
The spring brings many poeple to Belgium as well as the Netherlands. Many travelers come to Belgium for the natural beauty. Additionally, many visitors come to the Netherlands in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.
In the spring, Brussels is a little warmer than Amsterdam. Typically, the spring temperatures in Brussels in April average around 10°C (49°F), and Amsterdam averages at about 8°C (46°F).
In the spring, Brussels often gets less sunshine than Amsterdam. Brussels gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Amsterdam receives 166 hours of full sun.
Brussels usually gets more rain in April than Amsterdam. Brussels gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.
|67 mm (2.6 in)
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