Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels Guidebook
Please note: The following corrections were submitted by readers and have not yet been confirmed by Rick. Check updates from Rick for the latest.
Two corrections for June 2013 edition: FIRST: Description of Schiphol airport is unhelpful. P.227 says "Schiphol has four terminals." In reality, in-airport signage refers to Concourses B,C,D,E,F,G. If you're trying to figure out where to go, the Concourse letter is key. SECOND: On p257 there is a photo of a still life painting - this is not the "Flemish Proverbs" painting by Brueghel as referenced by the text. Instead it is a painting by Claesz van Dijck which is not mentioned in your text.
Andrea P in New Canaan, CT USA 11/01/2013
I would not recommend the Jan De Clerck chocolate shop. On Friday, October 4, I asked the owner to put together 8 boxes with just 4 specified kinds of praline (3 dark and one noisette). I picked them up the next morning and should have looked at a sample box but I was in too much of a hurry. Each box contains the usual assortment of everything, mostly milk chocolate. In short, I was cheated. I don't think the De Clerck shop should receive positive attention in your guidebook.
Curt Tarnoff in Takoma Park, MD USA 10/08/2013
We never saw any window screens in Belgium or France. Your books are very thorough, but I would have liked to know that accommodations without air conditioning also do not have window screens. There definitely were insects flying around our rooms!
Susan A. NJ USA 07/18/2013
Re: the Red Light District Walk, #20, Absolute Danny Shop," is out of business.
Tom K in Boise, ID USA 07/08/2013
- the public minibus service (p. 54 in the eighth edition) has been cancelled - Combo-Tickets to the Keukenhof is sold at the Visitors Center (not Travelex office) outside of Leiden's station - Bruges by Boat - Boten Stael did not give group-rate discount to individuals with the Guidebook
W H Lam in Vancouver, BC Canada 07/01/2013
For: "Snapshot Bruges and Brussels: Including Antwerp & Ghent:" in Antwerp, the Diamond Museum that was formerly by the Antwerp Central Station has closed/to re-open somewhere else in the future.
The cost of entry to the Rubens House in Antwerp has risen to 8 Euro for individual entry (as of May 2013), but if you arrive in Antwerp by train they offer a 2 Euro discount just for showing your train ticket!
Andrew H in Portland, Or USA 05/31/2013
The Vertigo cafe in Vondel Park no longer exists.
Steven Kvaal in Oak Park, IL USA 05/26/2013
I attempted to reach the Hotel Noga in Brussels to book two rooms. The web site listed in the Eighth edition is obsolete. I had to go to Booking.com.
Lora Rozzi in Granger, IN USA 04/02/2013
Lineup emphasis for the Anne Frank House. Rick says go in the morning, and he's not kidding. We managed, but the lines are as he described, without exception.
Carl in Burlington, ON Canada 03/06/2013
Page 26, you say Hans Brinker was the boy who put his finger in the dyke. This is incorrect! That legend is retold in the "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skaters" in which the boy is simply referred to as "The Hero of Haarlem". (You can check this up in Wikipedia, or even, by reading the book!)
David Van Blarcom in Vancouver, BC Canada 12/29/2012
The Van Gogh Museum is closed for remodeling. Much of the art has been loaned to the Hermitage Museum, so the lines there are now really long. I don't know if tickets can be purchased ahead of time online or not.
Larry I in Bremerton, WA USA 11/16/2012
Amsterdam bus lines have been sold to an Israeli company. Schedules have changed and fares increased considerably. Mauritshuis in The Hague is closed and a selection of their collection (not 'Girl with the Pearl Earring', unfortunately) has been moved to the Gemeentemuseum.
Richard Pearce in Whitby, ON Canada 10/11/2012
8th Edition, p307: Bus #311 instead of 111 between Amsterdam Central Station and Marken.
Phillip Newsom in Granbury, TX USA 09/29/2012
The department store, Metz&Co, on Keisersgracht, has closed, so you can't go up to the sixth floor for the city view.
Nancy Villalobos in Carlsbad, CA USA 09/23/2012
I met Rick 2 weeks ago and told him I have a new tour which could be interesting : WW1 in the Flanders. He told me to give him new about my website. Please consult www.discover-b.be. The site has been renewed, but I need to put more details the next weeks. Many thanks for publication. Friendly yours, Claude
JANSSENS Claude in Wenduine, Belgium 08/06/2012
Brussels, Page 479. Try and try as we could, we did not find the modern portion of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. We even kept asking! Thankfully, we did the Magritte Museum first.
Brussels, Page 486. I contacted the Brussels TI before we left to find deals on hotels, but they kind of acted like they did not know. Maybe I phrased it wrong?
Heather Cowley in Vancouver, WA USA 07/24/2012
As of 6/2012, The Peace Palace in The Hague only runs tours on Saturdays and Sundays. You must make reservations on-line for these. There are NO tours during the week. This is stated inncorrectly in the guidebook. There is however, a good audio tour (free) at the visitors center. Also, many restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores and museum ticket offices do not accept American credit cards. Carry lots of cash.
Francie in Hanover, NH USA 06/26/2012
Tickets tor the Rijksmuseum are no longer available from Key Tours.
Ed Flesch in Healdsburg, CA USA 05/19/2012
We visited Amsterdam in April 2012, and went to the Anne Frank house. The Museumkaart card allowed us to enter the house free of admission, but we were not allowed to skip the long entrance line. FYI at 9 AM on a Sunday, the wait was 45 minutes. But the visit was very worthwhile.
Iris in Fremont, CA USA 05/18/2012
In your background of Flanders Flanders Fields and Ypres salient you say that "British forces never succeeded in taking Passchendaele". While that is true, you should mention that the Canadian Corps did take it on November 6, 1917. It was held until the German Spring Offensive in 1918.
Mike in Victoria, BC Canada 05/15/2012
In Amsterdam the GVB transportation card I bought at the VVV or on the tram was ONLY good on the tram and not all transportation as listed. If there is a tourist card that is valid on trams and busses-I never found it.
Angi USA/ Finland 05/06/2012
The Mauritshaus in The Hague is now closed; this started April 2, 2012 and will be the situation for several years. Parts of the collection will be on view at the Gemeentemuseum (in the Hague, but not in the center). See the Mauritshaus website for details.
Harold Chasen in New York, NY USA 04/28/2012
While Rick is correct about two kinds of OV-Chipkaarts (permanent, for residents only, and disposable, which are preloaded with single fares or day passes), there is a third kind - the Anonymous OV-Chipkaart. This costs €7.50 to buy, and can be loaded with money at any train station (cash accepted at the ticket window; no penalty, unlike buying train tickets at windows). You must have at least €4 on the card to ride a city bus or tram, and at least €20 to ride an intercity train. I was taking a lot of trams and trains, and it was convenient to load it with €40 of value and just tap in and tap out for each trip. It was also cheap; fares are calculated to the penny. For example, from Delft to The Hague, I paid €1.99 going there, and €2.04 coming back (I used slightly different stops, so the distance was a bit different). In Amsterdam, most of my tram rides were about €1-1.50.
There's a thread on TripAdvisor's Netherlands FAQ's with details about how to buy one out of the machines at Schiphol; I don't know if you can also buy one from a window, but I reloaded mine there with no problems.
Harold Chasen in New York, NY USA 04/28/2012
Rick mentions in an online update that the Museumkaart does not allow you to skip the line at the Anne Frank House. This is also true at the Rijksmuseum. Making the Museumkaart fairly useless in my experience.
To buy the 21 euro combo-ticket for Keukenhoff, including park entry and bus transport from Lieden, you need to go to the TI just outside the Lieden train station. The GWK Travelex office in Lieden's station only sells a 28 euro ticket that also includes an Amsterdam tour.
Andy in Auburn, AL USA 04/16/2012
In Bruges, Michelangelo statue in Church of Our Lady is not free. Also, the Gruuthuse Museum is NOT closed (at least not as of April 2012) as stated in the latest guidebook.
Bill in Cokas, NC USA 04/06/2012
Metro prices have gone up. Also, book mentions that Brussels Metro day pass can be shared by 2 persons on Sat. and Sun. This is not true. Only trains to other cities offer this, not Metro. The not-so-friendly ticketing office agent said, "no. so how many tickets do you want?" ...it is 6 Euros/person now.
Sonny Vergel de Dios in La Mirada, CA USA 03/21/2012
Amsterdam - Anne Frank House. Unfortunately, although the Museumkaart does cover the cost of admission, they will NOT let you in through the "Reservations Only" door without an additional reservation online (which I believe is 50 cents per person). This was an unfortunate thing to discover on a day with freezing rain and a line that was at least an hour long, as we ended up having to skip the entire visit.
Alex in London, UK 03/07/2012
From April 28th, 2012, until mid-2014 the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague will be closed for renovation. Part of the collection will be moved to the Gemeentemuseum, also in the Hague. The painting Girl with a Pearl Earring will only be at the Gemeentemuseum from April 28th 2012 until May 28th 2012. The painting then leaves for a tour of the USA and Japan.
Eric in Dana Point, CA USA 02/04/2012
I have both the 2008 and 2011 editions of the Amsterdam, Bruges & Brussels Guidebook. I noticed that the Bruges: Orientation chapter from 2011 is missing the info about locating ATMs ("Money"), which is contained in the 2008 version. I spent the better part of the day searching for ATMs in Bruges, so I suggest reinserting that section!
Also: Of the two boat tours in Bruges referenced in both versions of this guidebook: I repeatedly dropped by both docks to try and hop on a boat.... but there was never anyone at either dock. (Instead, I kept seeing other boats full of people cruise down the canals, but no one could figure out where they were coming from. The boats were always white with a red chevron tip.) Perhaps only one embarkation point is operating in late fall/ early winter?
Stacey Oziel in Santa Monica, CA USA 11/25/2011
Michael Jones in Coquitlam, BC Canada 10/08/2011
The taxi to the airport from approximately de Broukere metro stop is over 50 Euros on Saturday morning with no traffic as of Sept. 2011. I'm giving the metro stop for distance -- we weren't up to schlepping our suitcases on the train for the trip to the airport and we knew about what to expect.
Kate McCain in Philadelphia, PA USA 09/10/2011
In both the Amsterdam, Brussels & Bruges book as well as Europe Through the Back Door, please stop referring to "Flemish" as a separate language. Although a reference is included to say that it is basically like Dutch, it makes it confusing for visitors. The official languages in Belgium are Dutch, French and German. No government documentation refers to the Flemish language and the language is taught to non-speakers as Dutch rather than Flemish. To say one speaks "Flemish" is a political statement of cultural identity - Dutch is the language just as in the Netherlands.
Unlike the differences between British English and American English, there are not even any spelling differences between the Dutch used in the Netherlands and in Belgium. It's only a matter of accent/pronunciation and the choice of some words. The Dutch and the Belgians understand the other's peculiarities in word choice and sometimes chuckle, but that's it is the extent.
I think it might be daunting for a potential visitor to Dutch-speaking Belgium to believe that they have to learn phrases in yet another language if they consistently read that Flemish is spoken by a majority of Belgians. Changing all references to the Flemish language to the Dutch language is one step in the right direction.
Leo in Waterloo, Belgium 09/01/2011
In you Gent chapter it state tram ticket can be purchased from the driver. In fact drivers will not sell tickets.
Michael in New Paltz, ny USA 05/24/2011
Cannot use cash or American credit card to by train tickets from machine, need to by from ticket agent. Post office in Haarlem closed. Everything priced 20 - 25% higher than in book.
Kathleen in De Pere, WI USA 05/05/2011
Yes. Cafe Bistro Terrastje in Bruges claims that their kitchen is closed from 2pm to 6pm. The 2009 guidebook states that they have food from 1200-2100 hours which is incorrect. The proprietor of the restaurant sent us 'packing' when we sat down for food...any food...at 3pm.
Lance Stronk in Northfield, CT USA 04/28/2011
Hotel Fita--As of April 1, 2011, new owners are Roel and Martin de Haas, who are continuing free laundry service.
David Forester in Columbia, MD USA 04/16/2011
My experience at Hotel van Onna in Amsterdam was slightly different than what you experienced. I stayed in room 43 where the window faced the courtyard. The first night I was there (Saturday 4/2/11), the neighbors had a huge party until 2:30 a.m. and I could practically participate in the conversations, it was so loud. My friend stayed in the room below me (33) and the people were right outside her window. It was awful. The rest of the nights were quiet. Also, throughout our week there, 9 times out of 10, we could not get WiFi.
Paula Sabino in Glenview, IL USA 04/15/2011
In this book, Rick mentions the generic nature of canal tours in Haarlem. My husband and I visited in September 2010 and discovered Haarlem Canal Tours (http://www.haarlemcanaltours.com/en/home) which was then in its first season of operation. We enjoyed this tour very much. The boat is small (holds 12-15 people) and open - a lovely change from the huge covered barges and canned commentary in Amsterdam. The small boat size also allows travel along the "back streets" - the smaller canals that other boats can't enter. The young owner/guide is charming, friendly, and most informative. He is happy to answer questions, and provides much interesting about Haarlem and its history. In short, I would love to see Rick recommend this company!
Angela Mairs in Lynnwood, WA USA 03/22/2011
The listing for Hotel the Moon in Brussels has several problems: wrong website (I used it and my critical info went flying into cyberspace but didn't reach them). Use: www.hotelthemoon.com not www.memon-hotels.be. No more 10% discount for using Rick's book. I am still in process of finalizing my reservations but just thought others should be aware of this.
Sue in Plymouth, MI USA 02/06/2011
Rick's guidebook suggests to those going to Brussels during the summer months that the two TI's will be able to provide dirt cheap hotel rates since the businessmen and politicians are not in session. This has changed since the guidebook was published. The TI outside of Grand Place no longer even has hotel booking abilities. The TI inside of Grand Place (a crowded hectic spot) does have a hotel booking "service." But the woman at the desk explained to me that it offers no deals, it is essentially an online booking agent like we would find here in America. This was my first time arriving in a city and not having a hotel already booked. The gamble did not pay off, Brussels has changed their TI-Hotel policy.
Jeffrey Walz in Aurora, IL USA 02/05/2011