I know there have been many questions about traveling to Bruges from Amsterdam, but I do have a specific situation I'd love advice on.
We have a flight already roundtrip to/from Amsterdam, so we can't change our flight. We have 7 nights in Amsterdam, and we already are planning to do some day trips to the surrounding Dutch towns. But a lot of friends have raved about Bruges. Given how they have talked, I thought it was closer than it actually is! So my question is: to overnight or Bruges or not?
I think we could do a high-speed train roundtrip. Three hours both ways is long for one day in a place, but I think it's doable. (Is that crazy?) Based on timetables we could be in Bruges by noon and stay until 9pm or so, which seems like enough time -- it's just the six hours on a train in one day that I'm not sure about.
If we were to stay in Bruges, though, we'd basically have to have three hotels: one in Amsterdam for the first part, one in Bruges for one night, and then one in Amsterdam for the second part of the Amsterdam trip, because I am too nervous to take a train from Bruges to the airport in Amsterdam the day the flight leaves (it's... possible -- but it would destroy all my relaxation from the trip!). Since we hope to have a houseboat for the first part, I think we'd have to stay in a hotel for the last night before leaving.
So I'm trying to weigh, on one hand, the convenience of having a hotel in Amsterdam for the whole time versus the more relaxed (and less expensive) train trip to get to Bruges and back. Any advice?