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Ghent or Maastricht?

Los Angeles...
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Ghent or Maastricht?

My girlfriends and I are taking a two week tour around Europe. I've been many times, but my friends have never been. We are starting in Amsterdam and then taking the train to Bruges. I'd like to see some towns I have never been to, while showing them some great cities.

My question is: On the way to Bruges, should we spend the day in Ghent or Maastricht? I've heard great things about both, but I can't tell which one would be a better day trip between AMS & Bruges. Suggestions??

Amsterdam, The...
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11. Re: Ghent or Maastricht?

I always just buy my train ticket when I leave, if you use the ordinary intercity trains you don't need a reservation and you won't have an appointed seat.

You will need to change trains in Antwerp, but in Amsterdam you can buy a ticket all the way to Ghent. There is a train a few minutes after you arrive so that one is hard to catch (you can ask the conductor / person checking tickets on the Amsterdam - Antwerp train which platform you'll need), or simply wait about half an hour (or hour? don't remember) and catch the next. Antwerp station is pretty cool to have a look around in.

It's 3 - 3.5 hours travel time Amsterdam - Ghent. I can't remember which station is best in Ghent but neither of the two is far from the center.

Of course you can also buy online if you prefer. The machines in Amsterdam Central Station often have trouble with credit cards so you'd probably better go to the teller which can be crowded.

It's not cheap, about EUR 50 one way.

The Thalys train (Amsterdam - Antwerp and on to Paris) and Fyra (Amsterdam - Rotterdam) do require reservations but aren't worth the hassle and extra cost because they will only save you 10 or 20 minutes.

30th of April in the evening / night will be the most crowded time on trains, when about 1 million Dutch people try to go home after Queensday.

1st of May might also be more crowded with tourists leaving, but no one has a reserved seat on the normal intercities so you can still get on even if it's pretty full.

Los Angeles...
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12. Re: Ghent or Maastricht?

Thank you so much Cecile74! This helps.

Take care

13. Re: Ghent or Maastricht?

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