• Ghent
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting
  • Bruges Canals
  • Delft
  • Spring Flowers in Holland
  • Museumplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Amsterdam
  • Canal bridge, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Amsterdam's Gabled Houses
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days Tour

from $3,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $875

See Tour Dates

The cities of the Low Countries are a delight to experience. Beginning in the medieval masterpiece of Ghent, your Rick Steves guide will take you on story-filled walks through the hearts of Ghent, Bruges, Delft, and Amsterdam. You'll also visit a traditional Belgian brewery, thought-provoking Flanders Fields, a high-tech sea barrier project, and the world's largest flower auction — ending in Amsterdam with the poignant Anne Frank House, and the brilliantly restored Rijksmuseum. Join us for the Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days!

Dates & Prices

2018

    • Apr 11–Apr 21 (We-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Apr 14–Apr 24 (Sa-Tu)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Apr 21–May 1 (Sa-Tu)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Apr 25–May 5 (We-Sa)
    • $3,495 + Air

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    • Apr 28–May 8 (Sa-Tu)
    • $3,495 + Air

    See Keukenhof Gardens!

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    • May 9–May 19 (We-Sa)
    • $3,295 + Air

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    • May 16–May 26 (We-Sa)
    • $3,295 + Air

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    • May 23–Jun 2 (We-Sa)
    • $3,295 + Air

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    • Jun 27–Jul 7 (We-Sa)
    • $3,295 + Air

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    • Sep 5–Sep 15 (We-Sa)
    • $3,295 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Belgium and Holland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Ghent canal cruise • Ghent walking tour • St. Bavo's Cathedral • Ghent Museum of Fine Arts • Flanders Fields WWI sites • Bruges walking tour • Bruges Memling Museum • Chocolate demonstration and tasting • Bruges Museum Pass • Belgian brewery tour and tasting • Deltaworks and Maeslant sea barrier • Delft walking tour • Delft Old and New Churches • Aalsmeer Flower Auction • Red Light District • Rijksmuseum • Historic Amsterdam walking tour • Anne Frank House…and more
  • All group transportation from Ghent to Amsterdam
  • 10 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2018
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Belgium

Our adventure begins in medieval Ghent. We'll gather at our hotel at 4 p.m. for an introduction meeting. Then we'll hop aboard a fun and informative canal cruise through the city. Our evening ends with a traditional Belgian dinner together. Sleep in Ghent (2 nights). Boat: 1 hour. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Medieval Masterpiece of Ghent

This morning we'll meet with a local expert for a walking tour of the historic center of Ghent. Together we will visit soaring St. Bavo's Cathedral, home to Van Eyck's sublime altarpiece, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, which was stolen and hidden by the Nazis during World War II. After lunch on your own, we will regroup for a guided tour of the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, where we will get up close to works by Bosch, Rubens, Magritte, and Van Dyck. Your evening is free for more exploring at your leisure. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Flanders Fields and Beautiful Bruges

Today we'll meet our driver and board our bus for a drive to the WWI battlefields around Ypres. Half a million soldiers were killed here, making it one of the deadliest — and today the most hallowed — stretches of land along the Western Front. With the aid of a local expert, we'll tour the American Cemetery, visit a thought-provoking museum, and see "the fields where poppies grow." After lunch together, we're off to Bruges and our lovely canal-laced and ivy-draped hotel. After check in and some time to relax, we'll regroup for an orientation walk and dinner together. Sleep in Bruges (3 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Gothic Bruges

We'll meet our savvy local guide who will introduce us to the pedestrian-friendly streets and alleyways of Gothic Bruges, including a tour of the Memling Museum — showcasing several of Hans Memling's masterpieces, all housed within one of Europe's oldest medieval hospitals. Our afternoon continues with a visit to a Bruges chocolatier, where we'll learn about the artistry and traditions of Belgium's most mouth-watering export. After a free afternoon, we'll regroup for a brewery tour to learn about what makes Belgian beer famous around the globe and enjoy a taste ourselves. The remainder of the evening is free to find the perfect Belgian dinner. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Free Day in Bruges

Today is yours to explore Bruges. Armed with your Bruges Museum Pass, you'll have free entry to any four museums — including the masterpiece-packed Groeninge Museum. You may decide to go on a culinary scavenger hunt tasting your way through a myriad of Belgian specialties. Or you can hop on a bike and take a wonderful hour-long ride along a tree-lined canal to the nearby small town of Damme. The choices today are endless. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 6: Challenging the Sea

Today we'll discover how a country stays dry when nearly half of its land is below sea level. Over centuries, the Dutch created an immense system of dams, barriers, and dikes for protection from the North Sea — the Deltaworks. We'll explore these feats of modern engineering culminating with a tour of one of earth's largest moving structures — the Maeslant storm surge barrier — and gain a better appreciation of the fragility of the Low Countries. We'll continue on to the traditional Dutch town of Delft for an orientation walk and dinner together. Sleep in Delft (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: light.

Day 7: Delectable Delft

This morning an in-depth walking tour with a local will give us a personal introduction to Vermeer's hometown, including the massive, Gothic New Church, where generations of the ruling House of Orange are buried and revered. We'll also visit a workshop to discover the qualities that make Delftware so dear. The rest of your day is free to explore the many other charms of Delft or take a short tram ride to The Hague, where you can get up close and personal with paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Mauritshuis, or travel back to an 1880 seaside at the Panorama Mesdag. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 8: Tulips, Countryside, and Amsterdam's Red Lights

We'll begin our day in Europe's biggest building — filled with acres of flowers — learning about the worldwide distribution of beauty that begins each day at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. Then we'll stop for lunch on our way into Amsterdam. Upon arrival, we'll take an orientation walk through the city and window-shop the Red Light District, learning about how the Netherlands regulates the world's oldest profession. We will end our day with a traditional rijsttafel dinner together. Sleep in Amsterdam (3 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 9: Vibrant and Historic Amsterdam

This morning get chummy with this great city's gabled houses, bridges, and canals while learning why the Golden Age glimmered so brightly here. We'll take an historic walk through the heart of the city stopping to visit the Anne Frank House for a thought-provoking look at the hideaway of Anne and her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. We'll continue our lessons on Dutch tolerance stopping at a local "coffeeshop" to learn about this nation's creative, pragmatic approach to drug policy. The rest of the day is yours to tackle any number of Amsterdam's wonderful museums. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Amsterdam's Art

We'll start the day with a thrill: getting up-close and personal with Rembrandt and Vermeer on our tour of Amsterdam's remarkable Rijksmuseum. You can continue your encounter with artistic genius at the nearby Van Gogh Museum, home to 200 of Vincent's works, or enjoy the nearby charm of Vondelpark. This evening we'll meet for our farewell dinner, where we'll share memories and toast new friends. Proost! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is an easy bus ride away. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Tot ziens!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Heart of Belgium & Holland in 11 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks), on and off public transportation, and up stairways to reach your hotel.
  2. Sleep comfortably in historic canal houses with several flights of steep, narrow staircases to reach your room, with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Reviews

Terri

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was a good tour, not exceptional however as were our previous Rick Steve's tours. There were lovely sights to see in Ghent and Bruge. The Delft waterworks were impressive; The Delft hotel Plantaan absolutely was not. All the local guides and demonstrations were terrific. And Amsterdam was very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The canals of Ghent and Bruge were lovely, and the Delft Waterworks were impressive."

Raymond

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was good. As usual, a few things I didn't think would be fun (flower market) were a blast. Would recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Vermeer paintings in the Hague (on free time) and in Amsterdam."

Al

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WWI cementaries and monuments. I have a new appreciation of that part of America history. We found Boulevard Brewing beer sold in Ghent! It's made in Kansas City, MO. That's where we are from. Belgium bought the craft beer brewing company from KC!"

Carol

Cohoes, NY

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip to Belgium and Holland had been on my list for quite a while. Arriving in Ghent to our hotel on the canal provided an exclamation point to my anticipation of the trip. I loved the small town feel of Ghent, Bruges, and Delft as well as the architectural delights of the medieval cities. The hot chocolate warmed my heart as did the casual conversations we had with local people. Members of the tour group were so pleasant as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What impressed me was the long term remembrances of the Belgians and the Dutch who have been keeping alive the life experiences of WWI and WWII battles as well as their appreciation for the assistance they received from their allies. Continuing to hold final call in Ypers for 100 years and young people adopting grave sites in Flanders Field was so touching."

Donna

Latham, NY

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was a highly enjoyable experience. Our guide Ellen and her assistant Soraya were both extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Our travel companions were wonderful and inclusive and we all shared lots of stories and laughs. The pace of the trip was comfortable, the learning experiences were rewarding, and the group dinners and lunches were quite good. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was chocolate...I never saw so many chocolate stores! For a chocolate lover, I was in heaven! On a more serious note, seeing the cemeteries in Ypres was very moving. I learned so much about this period in history. The Anne Frank House and the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam were also very thought provoking. I really enjoyed strolling around Ghent in the evening. The buildings were lit and so beautiful! Lots of wow moments for me!"

John

Dix Hills, NY

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and covered a good cross section of the low country. There were sobering moments as well as moments to appreciate fine art and Dutch engineering. The guide was fantastic and the hotels were comfortable and centrally located within walking distance to all city centers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite wow moment was the visit to the Anne Frank house. It was a sobering reminder of how cruel and inhumane humans can be to one another. It reminds us that we cannot allow things like this to happen on this earth. I was particularly moved by the video of the woman telling, in her own words, the illicit barbed wire fence meeting she had with Anne while Anne was imprisoned in the camp before she died."

Bruce

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a part of Europe that I have not visited before except Amsterdam in the early 70s. The tour guides and local guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water control installations in Holland and their enormity."

Claire

Fairhaven, MA

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour and did not disappoint. We especially liked the diversity of experiences, providing us with a fuller understanding of the history and culture of Belgium and Holland. The pace was excellent, our travel companions were very compatible, and the local guides were universally excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to single out just one. Highlights for me included the architecture and art of the region, the lovely canals and the moving experiences related to WWI and WWII, especially Flanders Fields and the Ann Frank House. As always in Europe, love the cafe culture."

Lynne

Guerneville, CA

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Every once in a while, I say we should do a different tour. Well we tried an Alaska tour, and the guides were students for the summer they had boned up. The bus had only one door, the tours were just not inspiring. And I look at the itinerary, they may look the same at first, but seldom have those little surprises - the out of the way farm, or visit. We will be back for our 11th and 12th.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the amazing dam in The Netherlands (I still can't figure out the name of it) was a wow moment for me. Understanding the entire water system, how it works, what it does, and how that small country is planning and building for the future. (Although we were disappointed to have so little time at the dam as the bus was lost for an hour). But there were many wow moments in those adorable small towns, Amsterdam was a shock at first after that, but soon became familiar. A general WOW"

Peter

Guerneville, CA

Tour: 09/20/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We went to Belgium and Holland without a great deal of expectations. Belgium was gonna be about the beer and Holland about controlling water. Being canal countries there was lots to photograph. For people expecting to spend a lot of time on the bus, this was a different experience. We were at the same hotel a couple of times for three nights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we spent in Holland touring the water control facilities was exceptional. There was a problem with the bus in the morning which cost us an hour and a half that could not be made up but this was still the most interesting day of the tour."

Sandra

Concord, CA

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was an valued experience as I learned so much more about the conflict of two World Wars that took a toll on so many. Standing in Flanders Fields on a drizzling afternoon under chilly gray skies gave me the opportunity to thank the many who are memorialized at each white marble grave site. It is honorable of the Belgium and Netherland people to not have forgotten.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found my way to Rembrandt's House to visit after seeing his work in the Rijksmuseum. It was amazing to be standing in his studio and actually see how he made his paints by grinding the powders from precious stones, and see the paint brushes that he held to apply strokes of beauty to a canvas. I could not believe that I was sharing in the space that he once occupied."

Paul

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable - a great learning experience - well guided - many times surprising - comfortable, yet challenging - transformative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the history and development of the Netherlands and its culture."

Maxine

Rocky River, OH

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met and exceeded all expectations I had from watching the R. Steves video of this trip. Very well organized. Your company is really selling "Trust". Trust that all aspects of the trip will efficiently occur as planned. Well done.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may surprise you but the first image that comes to mind is the charming historical flower farm. I am a landscape artist and avid flower gardener and this farm spoke to my heart. This trip was like a rapidly moving stream of consciousness with visual images that I could not completely absorb. I wanted to see everything I read about and thus find it difficult to rank one sight over others. The great gates that hold back the North Sea; the flower market for its size and scale."

Fredric

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Despite some rainy days, I especially enjoyed the company of our tour group, a lot of friendly, open minded and helpful people. The museum tours were great, with outstanding guides and impressive works of art. The trips to Ypres, Flanders' Field, the trenches were all very moving as was the visit to the Anne Frank House. Seeing the challenges that face the Low Countries with managing all the water was very eye-opening, things I thought I realized but not to this extent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say there were two of them: the Maeslant storm surge barrier and the Alsmeer Flower Auction. The storm surge barrier was visited on a rainy, windy day and made us appreciate the necessity of it. The flower auction was impressive for all of its organized chaos."

Marcela

Broomfield, CO

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was truly a wonderful tour, so well-organized and informational. We visited lovely cities and learned so much about the fascinating history and current affairs of this very interesting, beautiful part of Europe. Our guide Hilbren was excellent. THE BEST!!! Being a history professor, he provided such a wealth of cultural and historical background about each location. The local guides were also great, especially: Gabriele in Ghent and Robert Uterwijk at the Rijkmuseum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at Ghent and looking out from the balcony in our lovely hotel room. This is such a beautiful, romantic city, and not as touristic as Bruges. People were very friendly and the food was fantastic. Other WOW moments were: the Delta works in Holland, the chocolate tasting in Bruges and the tour of the Rijkmuseum by Robert Uterwijk. He is so knowledgeable in art history and did such a wonderful presentation. This museum also has a beautiful old library. I highly recommend it for book lovers."

Marta

Minneapolis, MN

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was a surprise and a delight. Loved spending most of our time in beautiful and historical places and not on the bus. This tour has so much going for it. The people we traveled with were the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anne Frank house was very moving. WWI day in Flanders and Ypres was incredibly informative--seeing the trenches, learning about the war being fought in those very fields should be required for every citizen."

Marianne

Zionsville, IN

Tour: 09/06/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. Yet again a top notch tour guide with a splendid background in history, artchitecture and art. Local guides were very bit as good as our tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments are never the ones I expect. They are always the unexpected. This trip, expecting the art to the highlight,I was wowed by the way the Low Countries were able to control the North Sea."

Marie

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There were a plethora of pleasures - opportunities to learn. to taste excellent food and drink, to see great art, and to relax, talk, and laugh in good company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had expected to admire the van Eyck and Memling altar pieces but I was astounded by their beauty. There were two Holbein portraits of men with falcons in the Mauritshuis that were stunning. The Vermeers took my breath away, There was a once in five year medieval inspired parade in Bruges that was a spectacular cavalcade of color."

Joy

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our fellow travelers were the best...no friction, all respectful. Amsterdam was chaotic...no helping that, I suppose. We saw a lot of interesting things, with time provided to explore on our own. Typical of other RS tours we've taken. Would recommend it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We have traveled extensively in Europe, so much of their history, architecture and art are shared. We were WOW'd by the Royal FloraHolland and the Keringhuis waterworks visits."

Sue

Cape Coral, FL

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the medieval cities, learning about the culture, history and how people lived then and now. Our guides were a treasure chest of information and such enjoyable company. I enjoyed the pace (2-3 nights in each hotel), the mix of hotels and especially the bikes available for our use at our hotel in Bruges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wouldn't call it a "wow" moment, as in pleasant surprise, but I believe that we were all deeply affected by the history we learned and experienced around Flanders Field and Ypres."

Netta

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a delight to learn about and explore Belgium and the Netherlands [INVALID] especially with such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide from the region. The Rick Steves Tour format affords the best of a social, personal, aesthetic and didactic experience. I liked the variety of activities of this tour, involving not only history, artwork and churches, but interesting current endeavors such as the flower distribution plant, lovely small organic garden, and water management engineering.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several... The sheer beauty of the canals with the fascinating houses lining them; the consistently fresh and good-tasting food; and the opportunity to develop new views on the social and political structures, history and artwork of Belgium and the Netherlands. Oh, and our guide Hilbren's mussels cooking demo!"

Peggy

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time travelling in a group tour and I was amazed at the wide range of things covered to satisfy a diverse group of people. Travelling alone or as a couple, I would not have chosen some of the items on the tour and would have missed out on some wonderful experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was wowed by the visit to the Royal FloraHolland. The sheer size plus the hive of activity was unexpected and fantastic!"

Martin

New York, NY

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was awesome. Perfect. Hilbren, our guide, was friendly, totally knowledgeable, helpful. Everything one would want in a guide. The tour sites were fantastic, as were the local guides. Hotels were perfect. And my fellow tourists were super friendly. I travel without a partner, but I never was at a loss for dinner partners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I first arrived in Ghent, seeing the 'Dutch architecture'. The narrow canal houses along the canals. Also, the streets of Amsterdam! I live in Manhattan, NY. I have never experienced such difficult streets to walk on and cross! All the bicycles! And of course, the canal rides in Amsterdam and Ghent."

Philippe

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 08/16/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

In this tour, I especially valued learning about the complicated history of these two countries. I also acquired a new appreciation for the outstanding quality of the art and architecture of these regions in the late middle ages (in Belgium) and the 17th century (in the Netherlands). We saw and did many things, were on the go all the time, and yet I now have the feeling that we only scratched the surface of the richness that permeates those regions. This tour was an excellent introduction.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I remember feeling strongly the great beauty of the "night watch" by Rembrandt as displayed at the far end of the long gallery in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I had a similar feeling when I came upon the St John altarpiece by Memling in the former hospital in Bruges."

Judy Lynn

Berkeley Springs, WV

Tour: 07/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a special trip for our Grandson and it was his choice. This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was great. All the hotels were fantastic and comfortable. We enjoyed our free time to explore on our own. The history of the area Is always interesting, the churches and museum outstanding. The canal boat rides added to the history. This trip was absolutely fantastic. Our guide Nina was exceptional. All our local guides were very thorough in all regards.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two wow moments. Visiting the WWI battle fields and cemeteries. All were quite moving. The visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. As a gardner, it was amazing learning and watching how the distribution and movement of all the flowers is managed."

Conrad

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 07/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved all these local guides and others who added to the Tour. Ghent boat captain: Edward Ghent City walk and St. Bavo Cathedral: Mieke Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent: Lieve & Hilde Flanders Battlefields: Christine Bruges walking tour: Daniëlle Chocolate demo in Bruges: Anne Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier: Nino Delft ceramics demo: Steffan Paradox Coffeeshop: Ludo Rijksmuseum guides: AnneJulie I especially enjoyed the way Nina shared her own stories. I was moved by the tour of the Anne Frank house.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anne Frank house and Vermeer museum."

Nicki

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 07/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tenth tour was as expected-great. Nina was a wonderful, extremely well organized guide.We had the right amount of free time which we don't always get. Hotels were small, local, in location close to transportation, which we quickly got the hang of or walk-able to city center. I did not enjoy the Indonesian dinner. It was 75% meat and other members felt the same way. Love getting in early before the crowds or having the pass that lets us in the other door.All guides and Henri were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bruges is the place to go. Beautiful architecture. Wander around and find more and more houses that are works of art. Canal rides show you scenes you can't see from the street. So old it puts your imagination to work to see the way it use to be."

Lisa

Simi Valley, CA

Tour: 07/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first tour and I found the amount of time that is scheduled and free to be balanced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"GHent, the hotel and town were perfect."

Barbara

Wynnewood, PA

Tour: 07/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lovely trip. Nina was a terrific, knowledgeable and attentive guide. Other guides were great, for the most part, especially those in the art museums. The group was made up of nice people. We visited lots of interesting sites including the wonderful medieval cities in Belgium and the WWI sites, the flood and water management sites in the Netherlands and the contrasting frantic pace in Amsterdam and its fabulous museums. Driver, Henri, was also first rate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose one, but among the highlights were Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, WWI trenches and Ghent (before it was overrun by the prep for the festival)."

Amy

Metuchen, NJ

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our first Rick Steves Tour! Very much enjoyed all the cultural and historical tours and activities, mix between group and independent meals and activities, and our fellow like minded travelers. The tour guide and all the local guides really helped us learn and enjoy so many new experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many memorable experiences - Walking tours of Ghent, Bruge and Delf, all the Flanders Fields activites including farm lunch, visit to Aalsmeer Flower Auction and the unplanned North Sea beach walk and lunch at Noordwijk aan Zee, and finally, rijstafel dinner, Rijksmuseum tour and learning to ride trams and watch out for bicyclists in Amsterdaym"

Theresa

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the trip, from all the helpful information coming out of the Rick Steves' team, to the first hotel, the tour guide, the guides hired in every city to enhance our understanding of the Belgian and Dutch cultures. To visit the war memorials of battles fought over a century ago, to see city ports hundreds of year old, to walk, eat, and view beautiful architectural details that survived the battles made this a living history trip. We loved Nina, our guide, and felt safe with our driver, Rene.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: the Anne Frank house, and hearing the bells in the historic town centers we were in, seeing structures still standing for nearly 100 years. Alsameer Flower Auction: the carts and drivers careening through the huge building without colliding. Bike riding along the canal to Damme in the rain. See? I there was way more than just one "wow" moment."

Hellen

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was most enjoyable - it was filled with diverse experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of towns like Delft surprised and delighted me. I liked the smalll town experience most of all."

Nancy

Millstone Township, NJ

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina is an extremely knowledgeable guide with a keen sense of humor. Our bus driver Rene is a great driver and was an integral part of the group. As with each of my 4 previous RS tours, this group quickly became a family of travelers. I particularly enjoyed Ghent and Delft, the smaller towns. Bruges had it's charms, but more touristy. Would have preferred an extra day in Ghent, which I realize wouldn't happen so early in the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Flemish Masters up close and personal. The architecture, the locals guides, especially Robert, our guide in the Rijksmuseum. The small towns. Mussels in Bruges. Learning about the somber history of WWI in Belgium. The chocolate demo and tasting. The 500 year old pub close to our hotel in Bruges. Rik, the concierge at the Hotel Adornes. The boat ride down the canal in Ghent. The lace store in Bruges, which Rik guided me to.."

Shari

Bonney Lake, WA

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific! We didn't know a great deal about either Belgium or the Netherlands before we booked this trip so we learned a great deal. We were particularly interested in the World War One sites and Flanders Fields since both our grandfathers survived WWI. Seeing these sites and hearing about these times was illuminating, if sad. My favorite parts of the trip were 1. The ART! Flemish Primitives and Dutch Masters! (5 Vermeers!) And the distinctive medieval architecture with canals. So beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing The Girl with a Pearl Earring. Also, the night views in Ghent and Bruges. And I have to add the Maelstrom storm surge barrier in Holland--truly a wonder of the modern world."

Gary

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/28/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overalll a great experience. Lots of information, eye candy, history. Travel was easy with not too many early starts! Nina was a great host and the Group were easy to live with. It helped that the weather was more than cooperative! It has been a few years since our previous trip, blame the economy and US dollar exchange rates, but this trip reminded me why I recommend Rick to others thinking of European travel. Keep on travelling!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ghent really stood out. The Battlefield tour was great and overwhelming in so many ways. The Lunch at the Varlat Farm really brought the First World War home. The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was disturbing. Overall the tour was excellent, it told a story of the 'low countries', the history, economy and the area's unique links to the sea in a human setting. The Netherlands Surge Barrier... wow! And the Bikes in Amsterdam, a wow for a different reason! Talk about a bike culture!"

Noreen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with an amazing variety of places to explore and experience, from battlegrounds to flower markets with canal trips and lots of wonderful museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few- Flanders Fields, Alsmeer Flower Market, Maeslant surge protector, the Anne Frank House, and the Van Gogh museum."

Theresa

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I like the variety of activities. The hotels were fine .

Gary

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was very good from our Tour Guide to the local guides and all the sites we visited. The schedule allowed for tours, additional sight seeing, and evenings to eat, visit with new friends, and enjoy the cultural surroundings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. One being the somber American cemetery in which our guide has dedicated his time to its pristine maintenance, educating students, and the magnitude of personal respect for all of the fallen soldiers. The second "wow" moment was the amazing engineered dike in Amsterdam. To think that this country took a positive approach to what existed after the devastation in 1953, all consideration long term, and strategically redeveloped The Netherlands landscape."

Retta

Nipomo, CA

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steve's tour and the best. My husband and I both agree. This tour was packed full of interesting tours. Belgium and the Netherlands are incredibly beautiful, and very interesting countries to visit. Prior to going on this tour, I only knew about Amsterdam.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Prior to going on this tour, I couldn't tell you anything about WW I. So to see Flounders Field and the cementaries was very powerful."

Stephen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour with a good variety of activities!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 30+ kilometer round trip bike ride from Bruges to Sluis (awesome scenery, people, and culture)! Flanders Fields also excellent!"

Mary

Pismo Beach, CA

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hilbren was an excellent guide; knowledgeable, personable, and diplomatic. The pace of the trip was just the right speed, with plenty of activities and walking. There was a good balance of organized group activities and individual free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the guided tour of the WW 1 sites in Belgium."

Robert

St Albert, AB

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoy rick steves tours and the company of fellow travelers. I wonder about the pacing of some of the days--the travel day to Delft involving dikes, dams and flooding seemed a little busy - the last stop with the big arm that comes out to block the sea (it had a name??) was way too technical and dare I say boring? Bruges is a cool place but perhaps less time there would work too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour of Flanders Field's battle sites Indonesian meat and rice meal"

Charles

Fort Thomas, KY

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was a good variety on this tour. Hilbren was an excellent guide. I like that Rick Steves' tours forces us to operate on our own. We found our way from Brussels to our Ghent hotel. We learned the tram system of Amsterdam. Your tours build our travel maturity,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Anne Frank house. (She might have been a relative.) It reaffirms that we must live for the good of others."

Glenn

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the sights we saw, our guide and the other tour members. We will be back for more tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight for me was the Rebrandt paintings in the Rijkmuseum. "The Night Watch" because it is so quickly recognized and is so large that it just captures your complete attention immediately."

Jeff

Pismo Beach, CA

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first RS tour although have used his books for several self guided Europe vacations previously. Our tour was in the middle of a monthlong trip, so it was a nice way to break it up and "be led" for a while. Our guides enriched our travel experience in ways that are difficult to do on your own. The upside of a tour, in addition to the excellent guides, is the social interaction with a like minded group of travelers. But the downside is the limitations that accompany group travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wonderful moments and the tour did give us several opportunities to explore on our own. One of my fondest memories is biking from Bruges into The Netherlands, enjoying the countryside along the canals and the stops for Trappist beer and Belgium waffles along the way."

Dot

Wilmington, NC

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was outstanding as usual. It had the perfect combination of tours and free time. The guides were great as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We saw the gates that close off the Rotterdam port in case of a storm surge. It was extremely fascinating!"

Rosanne

Granbury, TX

Tour: 05/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great tour. It did not disappoint. I missed the tulips, but, maybe another time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the canals of Bruges with the magnificent swans."

Charlene

Campbell, CA

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fascinating to become acquainted with the cultures of two countries that we had never visited before. I learned so much about the history of Belgium and Netherlands and how that history affects the countries today. We had wonderful guides, great fellow tour members, delicious food, breathtaking art, beautiful countryside, friendly people, and fascinating stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments that were amazing and memorable, but two experiences stand out. The first is our visit to the Anne Frank house. What a powerful experience to witness Anne's hope and love in the face of tragedy and evil. Such an important lesson for today. The second moment was entering the beauty of Keukenhof Garden. A wonderland of color and creativity extending as far as the eye can see."

Gerry

Campbell, CA

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 7th Rick Steves tour and it met our already lofty expectations for a thoroughly enjoying cultural experience. Our guide took great effort to set-up a special visit to his home village, lunch and a tour of a working windmill. These individual touches (and the charming local guides) make the difference between a guided tour and a Rick Steves tour. The small tour size (only 17 members) made for a tight-knit travel group that we really enjoyed. (there was no need for a partial refund)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite wow moments fo the tour was the back road tour of Holland from Keukenhof to our guide's home village. As we were winding our way through picturesque streets with charming thatched roof homes, we passed a quaint village restaurant with pollarded trees surrounding a beautiful roadside patio. I quickly grabbed a photo of this village street scene - not knowing that this was Hans's village and our stop for lunch! After, we toured his village and met the town folk."

Gary

Marthasville, MO

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third and best Rick Steves tour, thanks mainly to Hans who was simply an outstanding tour guide. He was kind, courteous, thoughtful, incredibly knowledgeable and fun to be with. The pace of the tour was just right--not too rushed, not too laid back. The local guides were also excellent, especially in Bruges, Delft, Amsterdam and Flanders Fields. Kudos also to our bus driver who did an excellent job in some very tight spaces.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Special mention goes to the Flanders Field tour (outstanding and very moving), Keukenhof Gardens (wow), and Delft (a very pleasant surprise)."

Tom

Potomac, MD

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was just another great Rick Steves tour where we got to understand an area's history and culture. We've had such wonderful experiences previously and this tour was no exception; beautiful cities, excellent museums, some good food and a much enhanced knowledge of the history and culture of Belgium and the Netherlands. This also helped to bring some of my historical knowledge full circie regarding the Hapsburgs, the influence of Spain and England, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was probably a double rainbow that we spotted on our walk back to our hotel on the last night of the trip; it was magical. As to something that our tour guide had influence over, I'd say the tour of the working grain mill in Han's hometown. The passion of Jans, his great explanations of the mill and its history were really interesting."

Barbara

Marthasville, MO

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed this tour--our third with Rick Steves. The tour included a range of sites and activities--art, history (cities and WW I), engineering (sea barrier) and the beauty of Keukenhof Gardens. All were wonderful. The trip was well paced and despite the number of sites the activity level was not as intense as our previous trips (Paris and the Heart of France, Heart of Italy). And, our tour guide was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof was spectacular but the WW I tour and the visit to Flanders Field were intense emotional experiences that I will never forget. And then there was the double rainbow that bid us farewell from Amsterdam after our last evening dinner."

Don

Gabriola, BC

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour turned out better than I expected. Weather left a little to be desired but that was no one's fault and things went well despite the mostly cool moist days. I was a little disappointed it the changes to the Anne Frank house tour. It is a cultural/historical must but has changed so much to accommodate the overwhelming crowds since I last did it in 2008 that it has taken on something of a theme park atmosphere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say there was a wow moment when there were so many interesting experiences. However, I was very impressed with the tour of the working windmill which the guide apparently arranged on his own initiative. I was also impressed with the amount of time given to Canadian involvement in WWI given that tour participants were primarily American."

Nancy

Richmond, VA

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the tour, but I found it exhausting, even though I am very fit and was one of the younger people on the tour. I did not have the same experience when I took the Heart of Italy tour in 2013. My friend said the same thing. Maybe it was the combination of very long days of touring on this trip with weather that was cold and cloudy, or maybe it was late dinners and early departures the next day for tours, or maybe it was fewer free hours and more bus, but this tour was far more tiring.

Hillary

Potomac, MD

Tour: 05/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jam packed and fun filled - sometimes a bit too filled...Guides were wonderful. Food and most hotels were good. Transport was very good. Overall excellent trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of bruges...! The kuekenhof gardens!!! Night watch at the Rijksmuseum! But generally, I need time to process what I've experienced so I don't often experience any "wow" immediately. I have many reflections that have given the trip meaning to me, like learning about dutch culture, and politics. Visiting the anne frank museum and the resistance museum. Going to hans' hometown for lunch and a walk through town"

Alma

Hickory, NC

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hilbren was an excellent guide and gentleman. The tour hit all highlights of each country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bruges!"

Kathleen

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall very good. Nice group of people who mostly were physically fit and able to step it out. What would I change?? 1.When in Ghent (day 2) we spent WAY to much time studying the "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" We were bored to tears - the local tour guide went into a entire day of detail on the painting. We did not see much of Ghent because of it! 2.Same with the Maeslant storm barrier. I am NOT a structural engineer & did not need entire day studying the dam. Only one day in Delft:(

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Hands down Keukenhof Gardens! Breathtaking seeing 700,000 tulips in full bloom. I could have spent the entire day there. Luckily we voted to spent 4 hours there. 2.Bruges was lovely too! Our hotel had bikes for use so we took off and saw the countryside. 3. The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museums in Amsterdam were not to be missed!"

Claire

West Kelowna, BC

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a very good trip. Although the flood and the dam visits where great, I wish there was a way of making them a bit shorter. I am not a person who has any interest in war and would have opted out of the cemeteries day. Thank goodness I did not opt out. It was one of the highlights of the trip and Raoul (?) was unbelievably insightful. He made me realize so many things about the war and more importantly the people who died; he really brought things into focus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time I turned around in the Keukenhof Gardens was another "wow" moment. The war cemeteries, the art museums."

John

West Kelowna, BC

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As usual a Rick Steves tour is fabulous. We had a terrific guide (Hilbren) who through out the tour guided us through the history, and cultures of both Belgium and Holland. He pointed out many of the unique challenges and innovations that come from the low countries. Personally I would have liked to seen a bit more of The Hague and a little less time at the Delta Works. The additional tour guides were terrific as well. We'll be back for another tour with Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favourite wow moments are many. Keukenhof gardens really stand out, but so does the Flanders Fields and Ypres. I've never been much interested in WW1 battlefields and cemeteries but these were sobering. I'll never buy a poppy without "truly" remembering why. The Memling ,Groenige, Mauritshuis, Van Gogh, and Rijk museums also stand out. Almost every day brought a "Wow" moment."

Murray

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Hilbren was outstanding; very knowledgeable, personable, patient, helpful and entertaining. A couple of the days were kind of crowded with activities, but I feel that we had sufficient free time on the other days so I didn't feel rushed overall. I think the itinerary was a nice mix of history, art, and cultural enlightenment. I enjoyed learning how critical water management has been to the Netherlands economy, history, and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the art to the food, overall it was a wonderful experience. Pictures can't do justice to the beauty of Keukenhof Gardens and words can't describe the emotions of visiting Anne Frank's house or Flanders fields. But my two favorite moments were taking advantage of the Bruges hotel's free bikes to ride to Damme and visiting the Hague on Liberation Day. It was stirring to see the band in the square and the subsequent parade. We were fortunate to be there on the holiday."

Kay

Edwardsburg, MI

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and I'm already going on my 2nd one in July! Our tour guide Hilbren was exceptional, patient, personable and so knowledgeable and he allowed some of us to go "winkeling" which he taught us meant SHOPPING LOL!!! I was really impressed how great all the group meals were and what a fun group of people on my tour. I'm so glad it was a active tour with a good mix of sightseeing stops. Wonderful memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens tulip festival breathtaking, I have a new love for planting flowers now!! Ghent/Brugge equally beautiful wisteria draped canals. Van Gogh museum wow's for art lovers too."

Charles

Hickory, NC

Tour: 04/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour and lots of history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed Bruges and Ghent"

William

Tustin, CA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Perfect 1st question... We started traveling overseas in 2007 when I retired. We've been to Europe, Asia, No & So America with REI (3Xs), river cruises (2Xs), Ocean Cruise (2Xs), and on our own (10Xs). We've learned about other countries, other cultures, other foods, other histories, other people, but most of all, we've learned about ourselves. So, having said that this evaluation is as much (or more) about ourselves than this tour. In that context, our overall experience was very satisfying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a moment, but the growing appreciation for the history, character and culture of the Dutch people: their tenacious struggle agains the elements, and respect for our environment. It was a growing appreciation for the 800K citizens of Amsterdam who daily go to work, school and eat on their feet and bikes. It was a growing awareness of thousands of quick moving bikes taking their riders about their daily business. It was a growing comfort in adapting to and appreciating another culture."

John

Lewiston, ME

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Nina was a great organizer and leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved everything. We were quite pleasantly surprised by the Romanoff exhibition at the Hermitage in Amsterdam. However, Keukenhof and Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring were the best for us."

Robert

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall a great experience. Couple of minor changes to suggest -- nothing dramatic. 1. Better directions to the opening hotel (it turns out we got off the trolley a stop to early). Maybe a greeting email from the Guide with instructions to the hotel. 2. I admit, I am getting older, but I had trouble getting into and out of some of the bath/showers in the hotels (Ghent & Bruges). Continued below.

Tracy

Neshkoro, WI

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 1st Rick Steve's Tour and it won't be my last. Reading the guide books and getting familiar with the itinerary before the trip helped a great deal, but the trip was so much more than I expected. First, I have to say that our guide Nina was the best! She was so organized and kept our large group in line and on time. But above all of that,her knowledge & insight of Belgium & The Netherlands was so interesting. I feel like I earned so much about these countries. I could go on & on....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have a so many "Wow" moments! The bike ride to Damme on a free day was one of my favorites. The Flander's battlefield, Delft ceramics demo, Ann Frank Huis. The daily walks with our guide Nina & local guides were so interesting. Frankly...the whole trip was "Wow"!"

Patricia

Hemet, CA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great. Nina's style is a nice combination of good organzation and relaxed bonhommie with the group. The old hotels on canals were a part of the overall atmosphere. Some things I appreciate about Rick Steves tours is the free time most days to explore on our own; learning to use local transportation on our own; great meals in local restaurants where local people eat (all were excellent).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot distill such a trip to just one "wow" moment. Loved the museums and getting to know some heretofore unknown Flemish painters, such as Memling. The "gate" built on the Rhine wasamazing, and the day visiting Flanders cemetery and the town area where the huge flood occurred and the meal at the farm where ordinance is still plowed up to this day - all were very interesting. The Van Gogh museum was one of the high points as well."

Laura

North Berwick, ME

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous, fun and informative. Nina as a guide was very involved and engaging, offering a wealth of local knowledge that we would not have been able to get on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Fields. This part of the tour was not a wow moment so much as it was outstanding. I was very moved by the way the Belgians honor the dead soldiers of that terrible war. It was all very impressive. My favorite "wow" moment was not actually a part of the tour but during our afternoon off in Amsterdam some of us went to the Van Gogh museum. To see the paintings live and in person was "WOW"."

John

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. The highlights were Ghent and the Keukenhof Gardens. Accommodations were very good and the staffs were helpful, especially good was the Harmony House in Ghent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our two WOW moments were the Keukenhof Gardens, the tulip season was near its peak. It was amazing to be able to spend 4 hours there and be astonished with the beauty at every turn. A second WOW moment was opening our door to our room in the Plataan Hotel in Delft and finding we had enter another "dimension" -- a suite with red silk(?)draperies and wild Moorish(or maybe Turkish?)decor. Totally a fun surprise."

Belinda

Bow, WA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am a new traveler but have been a fan of Rick Steves' radio and TV show for many years. I had very high expectations and I was not disappointed. I was a bit concerned about group travel aspect but was impressed with how well the schedule was organized to provide good exposure to the location and group with enough time to explore on your own. To say the least, I am sold of your organization and style of travel. I plan to be another happy returning customer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since returning home a number of people have asked me this question, I have no good answer. For me the whole experience was "wow". Good food, nice people, knowledgeable local guides, fun and funky hotels, wonderful sites to see, not to mention the feeling and local beauty of the country itself. I came away feeling that I understand more about the history and culture of Belgium and the Netherlands."

Sue

Houston, TX

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Belgium/Netherlands tour was overall excellent, with knowledgeable, enthusiastic, guides bringing history to life, as well as explaining modern life and a bit of politics of each country. Crucial information about local transportation, restaurants, ATMs and such was also well explained, enabling us as tourists to get out and about on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The splendor of Kuekenhof Gardens lived up to my lifelong expectations, showing off it's seven million flowers in perfect bloom. With each step or turn of my head there was another spectacular view prompting exclamations of "WOW" or "Look at those!" It was quite chilly on the entire trip, but it was perfect weather for the tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinths to remain in a state of perfection."

Susan

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was my first Rick Steves tour and therefore I have nothing to compare it to,but overall I found it to be a very good experience.It was fun to meet interesting people. I will definitely book another tour. I also believe 26 people on one tour is too many for small European hotels and restaurants. I was very pleased to have museum tickets and tram passes available for us as a time saver and the free time was greatly appreciated as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Gardens!"

Sally

Fremont, CA

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour and I would say it exceeded my expectations, thanks to our great guide, Nina, and all the great people on our tour. I had always wanted to visit Bruges and Keukenhof Gardens, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved Ghent, so beautiful,easy to get around, and filled with interesting things to see and do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be Keukenhof Gardens. The weather was cold and overcast almost the whole trip, but we escaped the predicted rain and were just overwhelmed by the exquisite beauty and extent of the gardens. What an amazing place! I will never forget it!"

Mj

Wakefield, RI

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip !! So much to see and do. Nina was excellent and tried very hard to please all of us (26 of us!!).Great group too. Lots of laughs for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders fields for the solemnity and the obvious toll war has taken on Belgium and the Netherlands. The Keukenhof gardens for the beauty of the tulips and the gardens so beautifully displayed."

Michael

Beaumont, TX

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

nina was great. very personal & gave us great insights about her country, Belgium & also Holland. the hotels were great. phillipe the driver was wonderful. the meals provided were very good & I normally got filled up, which is not an easy task. the people on the tour were very, nice, but I found that to be the case on the rick steves tour. we did everything on the schedule. the tour guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to see the van gogh museum, but that was not the wow moment. being art major I also went to see the art including the Rembrandts. they were great, but that was not the wow moment. it was a number of things. I went during the tulip season & kuekonhoff gardens were just amazing-wow. it was like being in the wizard of oz-the colors, the canals the dreams. also thought bruges was beautiful especially its tree lined canals-wow. but the bike ride to damme from bruges was beautiful-wow."

Christina

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 04/26/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

was very impressed with our tour guide Nina. She was a fountain of information and made it fun! Thank you so much Nina!

Leonard

Calgary, AB

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided the experience that I had expected. A bonus was the inclusion of some sites of interest to Canadians. Being in the town of Zierikzee for the celebration of the King's Birthday was a interesting experience. The use of the radio transmitter and receivers was excellent as it allowed me to wonder away from the group to look at things that interested me while allowing me to listen to the commentary of the guide. No tour should be without them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof! I have never before seen so many beautiful flowers and flower arrangements in one place. I took way too many photos ... but could not stop myself."

Robert

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great way to learn about the history and culture of the Low Countries. The tour included not only the past (beautiful medieval towns) but also more current historical information (the WWI tour of Flanders fields and the water management issues arising from the 1953 flood).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two stand out for me. One was the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with its collection of Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings. The other was the stop at the museum that showed the untouched trenches from WWI. The former illustrated the grandeur of the Netherlands during its Golden Age and the latter showed the destruction and inhumanity of WWI."

Kathy

Claremont, CA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. There was a great mix of art, history and current events (the activities around water management in the Netherlands was very interesting.). I was especially touched with the tour of the battlefield near Ypres.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We visited the Keukenhof garden which was spectacular. Rolinka wisely got us there so we entered the minute the garden opened so we could enjoy them before it got to crowded. It was so very beautiful, a once in a lifetime experience."

George

Modesto, CA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, a great experience, as advertised. No disappointments. This was a "what the heck" trip for us. We had run out of visiting the first wave of grandchildren studying abroad, and we had never been to Belgium or the Netherlands, so why not?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow - tulips. Favorite somber moments - the American cemetery and, later, World War I trenches. Favorite frivolous moments- the brewery tour, the chocolate tour, the windmills."

Judith

San Jose, CA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour. Rolinka was a knowledgeable and caring guide. Having grown up in Holland, she was able to share a great deal of history and insight. The specialist guides that spoke or spent the day with us were als0 informative and willing to share their knowledge. The group was, of course friendly and inclusive to one another.

Jennifer

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to Northern Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rijksmuseum and the museum in The Hague. Incredible. Standing two feet from Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring was an unforgettable moment. And the local guide we had at the Rijksmuseum not only gave us insights about the specific paintings, he taught us a whole new language for understanding paintings from that era."

Marie

Modesto, CA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than we expected, especially as regards our guide and the varied experiences we enjoyed. World class art with introductory tutorials, history (especially the World War I sights), science/water management and, of course, the tulips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof tulip gardens and Flanders Fields - very somber and emotional - were unique experiences and highlights of the trip. The Anne Frank House and Dutch Resistance Museum were both well documented and moving."

Gregg

Goodyear, AZ

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was the first tour we did with your company we were not sure what to expect. I found it to be a wonderful experience with the right mix of guided and free time. The initial orientation in each city was extremely helpful. I felt very confident about navigating the city on our own. Rolinka was a wonderful tour director, always helpful and extremely knowledgeable. I got full value for my money and will travel with you again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the "Girl with a Pearl Erring" in person. then learning about the flood in 1953 and the memorial to it."

Jill

Greenland, NH

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our sixth tour with Rick Steves - and it was as fabulous as all the rest. We LOVE your tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More than one - visiting the Keukenhof Gardens and the Van Gogh museum were two items on my "bucket list" - and they were spectacular! Two unexpected "wow" moments were the Rijksmuseum and the Maeslant storm surge barrier tour. Equally fabulous!!"

Paul

Greenland, NH

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steves tour. As with all of our tours, we found the entire experiences on the Heart of Beglium and Holland to be well thought out and perfectly organized. Rolincka was such a wonderful guide with the right mix of keeping things on track and stopping to experience a moment. Thanks for creating such a memorable trip for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was easily the experience of walking up to Rembrandt's "Night Watch" at the Rijk's Museum."

Elizabeth

Miami, FL

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rolinka was a great tour guide. Very informative, knowledgeable and fun. Having the the orange boxes with ear plugs was and is a great idea. The only two things I would change is going to the pot cafe and the walk through the red light district. IMHO it is a waste of time. I would have preferred a cheese making demonstration, and going to the resistance museum after seeing the Anne Frank house.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was walking into the gardens in the Netherlands. I could not believe that I was finally there. I was overwhelmed. It was gorgeous. I feel that this is what heaven will be like. The hours we were there was perfect. The day was beautiful as well. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see these gardens."

Ann

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I loved this tour! It was our 5th tour with Rick Steves and it did not disappoint. The sights that were chosen were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think we had several moments during the trip that we especially loved. The Flanders Fields area and our guide were so informative and it was heart-breaking as we thought about the courage and sacrifice of the men who fought in WW I. Anne Frank's house left us both almost speechless after the tour. It is a must-see when in Amsterdam. And, lastly, the Rijksmuseum was marvelous! And of course, the Kuekenhof Gardens were spectacular and did not dissappoint! It's hard to pick just one!"

Maryanne

Bedford, MA

Tour: 04/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found the tour to be well paced, varied and informative. Our group was congenial and our guide, Rolinka, wonderful! She even brought us orange shirts for King's Day! The people of the Low Countries were especially nice. Friendly people, beautiful cities, amazing tulips, interesting sites and knowledgeable guides all made for a wonderful trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments, but each very different from the other! I loved the architecture of the cities with the picturesque views of canals and gabled houses. The day at Flander's Field was very moving and lunch with a local farmer quite interesting. Learning about the water management was insightful and getting a close view of the dam was impressive. Participating in King's Day with a bit of orange was fun and finally, the amazing tulips at the Keukenoff gardens! All WOW moments!"

Gary

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liked the hotels and food and the fellow tour members were all very affable. Really enjoyed the free time. It was also nice to have some experiences that we may not have chosen to do if we had done all the planning. This was our first Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens were fabulous. Bruges was probably my favorite city. The Anne Frank House and WW1 cemeteries were very moving and made the history come alive."

Elizabeth

Northport, NY

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having been to Netherlands before, I knew I'd love it there again, but Belgium proved to be an unexpectedly wonderful destination. I learned to love beer! And fries with mayo. Ghent and Bruges were so interesting, Flanders Fields tour was so moving. Delft was fun and there's easy access to The Hague. Amsterdam visit fell short, maybe because of no local guide/walking tour for overview. Maybe an extra day there would help?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them! Keukenhof, even on my second visit. Belgium as a destination--so underrated! Bourgogne des Flandres brewery tour--never knew there was so much to learn about beer! Bruges lacemakers passing on their art to young students. Water management in Netherlands--amazing what a nation can accomplish by putting the common good first. Van Gogh Museum. The sobering realities of the Flanders Fields and Anne Frank House tours. Will we ever learn?"

Mark

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great countries to visit and the itinerary was compatible with a comfortable experience with strong content. Hotels provided for the most part were very good, typical Rick Steves selections.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the "Dutch Masters" works."

Greg

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed each of the countries, as it was my first visit to each. The guide (Nina) and apprentice (Soraya)were both very enthusiastic and worked hard to ensure everything went smoothly. We had a very experienced tour group, that was very compliant and on time for all our activities and that certainly helped make the tour more enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's got to be Keukenhof Gardens. We hit it at the absolute peak time for the tulip and hyacinth blooms. Millions of bulbs abloom , what an incredible sight. The crowd was crazy large, but it was worth it. I also enjoyed learning about the water works in the Netherlands. I had no idea that they worked so hard to control flooding and manage water in the Holland regions."

Christine

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and learning about the Maeslant Storm Surge barrier. This engineering marvel is not in guidebooks, so it made it extra special we got to go and see it. I also liked Zierikzee, and wished we could have spent more time there. I am still talking about the water management systems to my friends."

Linda

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/15/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first tour and we enjoyed it a lot. All the staff were very helpful. We had a congenial group of fellow travelers. It did pretty much what we wanted in taking the work out if traveling

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof! It literally took our breath away."

Alexis

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide Rolinka was wonderful, charming and really knew her job. She provided ideas for activities, eating, etc. and made all of us feel glad to be there. Ghent, Bruge and Delft were very lovely and we had some lovely guides there. We love museums and this tour gave us the opportunity to see a number of great exhibits, some with the tour and some on our own. The visit to the Keukenhof gardens was exceptional. We had four hours there, and for me that was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Keukenof gardens stands out. The flowers were unbelievable and the scope of the park was incredible. Totally worth seeing and enjoyed it a great deal."

Judy

Canton, NY

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience was based in the excellence of our guide and in our fellow travelers. Not only were there no grumps,but we enjoyed every other person in the group. We were well informed of what to expect and took advantage of the Steves website.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had about one a day,but the tulips would be hard to beat. Second would be the Rijks museum. It was a wow morning. The daily small kindness shown to one another were always of note."

Richard

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Chose this tour specifically for a chance to see the tulips in bloom and we were not disappointed. The 7 million tulips at Keukenhof Gardens were beyond spectacular. We spent 4 glorious hours there and were overwhelmed with the beauty. We also enjoyed and learned a lot in Ghent, Bruges, Delftand Amsterdam. Couple of outstanding local guides - Bruges and Amsterdam in particular. Our group was very compatible and always on time - something I credit our guide for and particularly appreciate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say enough about the 7 million tulips in bloom at Keukenhof Gardens. Can't imagine a more beautiful site anywhere in the world."

Carole

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A very enjoyable tour - nice people and a knowledgable guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tulips in Keukenhof"

Phyllis

Council Bluffs, IA

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience was wonderful. This was really one of the nicest groups of people I've ever toured with. Rolinka did a great job helping us to get to know each other without boring recitations about buddies, buddy gifts or silly games. Our local tours guides were really good this trip. I enjoyed the perspectives of the college girls that guided us in Delft. As always, I loved the group dinners. They were outstanding this trip. All our days were interesting and fun. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments were two things: Keukenhof garden and the Anne Frank house. The Rijks museum tour comes in a close second."

Douglas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Rolinda was one of the best of our six RS tours. All of the included dinners were great. The hotels varied but all were centrally located and each had a good reason to be selected. Hotel Harmony in Ghent was outstanding, I'm glad we stayed three extra days before our tour. We flew to Brussels but stayed in Ghent and took a day trip to Brussels which worked out well for us. Loved that there were only three bus days, traveling between towns to new hotels. Laundry at Bruges hotel

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the canals and building styles in all of the towns, especially the smaller towns of Ghent, Bruges and Delft. Rijksmuseum, Hotel Harmony right on the canal in Ghent, Ghent canal ride, Anne Frank House, local guides in Delft, Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Keukenhof gardens. On our own we also loved the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels and the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague that our guide showed everyone how to easily get to on the tram from Delft."

Janet

Torrance, CA

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our timing was perfect for the flowers in the Netherlands! Great fellow travelers as with all RS tours. Rolinka is wonderful and her love of what she does helps make the tour special. I was impressed with the side trips along the way on the tour. Flanders Fields, the Delta Works project, lunch on a farm, visit to the North Sea, and of course Kuekenhof for the tulips. Bicycles in Amsterdam were a bit overwhelming but wonderful to see how they are used for all kinds of transport.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kuekenhof was unbelievable. The tulips and daffodils were in bloom and perfect. The flowers on this tour were amazing and a Wow. Also, visiting the Delta Works project - the Watersnoodmuseum and the Keringhuis Information Center - was fascinating. We learned so much about how the Netherlands manages water. The technology of it was amazing."

David

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a great tour with lots packed into 11 days. Also, there was enough free time so that we could do additional things like take the tram to The Hague. Our tour guide was exceptional -- but you know that already.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Not one moment but lots."

Nancy Jo

Johns Island, SC

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is an excellent tour with a wonderful itinerary. History, art, culture, flowers and current affairs all included. Meals were included on the nights we arrived in a new city which was great. There was just enough free time to relax and do things we chose to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Gardens were even more beautiful than we excepted!! 8 million bulbs in bloom are unbelievably beautiful. Also, we were there when the tulip fields were still in bloom and our guide and bus driver drove along some side roads so we could see more."

Karol

Irving, TX

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. There was a tremendous amount of activity packed into 11 days. It was a delight to learn so much from this tour. The day visiting Flanders Fields/WW1 cemeteries was very moving and an excellent part of the tour. Bruges and Ghent were my favorite cities. I learned to love fries with mayo. Who would have known the two were so good together!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Gardens were beautiful during their peak blooming season. I can't wait till our tulips get delivered so we can plant them in our garden. The Anne Frank House was a highlight. I made a point to read her diary a month before we left for the tour so it was fresh in my mind. I could see and hear her words as I walked through the house. It's mind blowing that they spent two years hiding there when many of us cannot spend a whole week inside our house without needing to go somewhere."

Kathi

Renton, WA

Tour: 04/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the great mix of tour activities - city walks, museums, hands-on activities, canal boat rides, WWI memorials, food/beverage tastings, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Garden was gorgeous and since it is only open in the Spring (and there are so many places I haven't been to yet), I was looking at it with my "once in a lifetime" eyes."

Jean

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS tour. Once again, a great guide, very congenial group members and we caught good weather. Belgium & Holland are small so the short travel distances were great. Variety of food and variety of places we visited also made for a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moment is hard as there were many. The lace making ladies were amazing. One lady had about 200 hundred bobbins and her fingers moved so fast I could not tell which bobbin she moved. Getting to see so many Vincent Van Gogh paintings was also wonderful for me."

Lynette

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just like my last Rick Steve's tour, this tour was great! My goal was to learn about the culture, the government, and the geography of Holland and Belgium and I'm happy to say that I achieved my goal. So, much is packed into these tours yet, they are fun and relaxing at the same time. Our tour group was great and so was our tour guide. Being a history professor, he knew both countries well and his talks were peppered with his great sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that my "wow" moment was more like my "wow" days. Since much of Holland is below sea level, learning how the country keeps itself afloat (pun intended) was absolutely fascinating. Understanding the "Delta Works" occurred over several days as we drove through the countryside, stayed in the canal lined towns, took boat rides in both Amsterdam and the area near the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, learned about the history of past floods, and visited the Maeslant storm surge barrier."

Barry

Moorpark, CA

Tour: 09/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was excellent. Having such a small group (16) made the tour even more enjoyable. As a veteran of 10 RS tours, this tour was one of my favorites, and would visit again on my own. However, I would change two items. First, try to arrive at Delft a little earlier in the day. Second, eliminate the visit to the "coffee house" in Amsterdam. Listening to a stoned individual at 11:00 am talk about all of the virtues of cannabis was only mildly interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot select just one moment. I really enjoyed the Mauritshuis Museum at The Hague, all of the WWI cemeteries, and the impressive storm surge barrier near Rotterdam."

Steve

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/28/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide and excellent selection of sites to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed learning more about the North Sea flood of 1953 and the recovery and reconstruction efforts."

Susan

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/28/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very interesting tour. Our group was small and pleasant. Our guide, Hilbren, was excellent. He was very knowledgable and articulate and fun. The tour is art heavy. The museums were so interesting, though I felt " museumed out" toward the end. Still, it was wonderful to see art and architecture that I have read and heard about so often! The flower market was wonderful to see and learn about, both the historical and present day markets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I stood before Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" . This is a painting I have heard and read about. I never thought I would see it. I could say the same about the Ghent Altarpiece and Michealangelo's sculpture of the Madonna and child Jesus. I was equally impressed with the visit to the engineering marvel that kept the sea out--The arms that went out when the sea was up."

Denise

Hurst, TX

Tour: 09/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great points of interest, great tour director and moved at a good pace. Suggest either going to the small water works museum or the larger Maelstorm Center, but not both. Was too much. Suggest adding The Hague/Maurituis Museum. We did it on own during "down" time. Was a real jewel. Bruges Brewery Tour was high quality and interesting. I know the Daphne Chocolate shop was streamlined due to the owner's recent maternity leave. Might want to look at a different place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Flanders Battlefields. Admittedly, I wasn't excited about this part of the tour. Turned out to be a highlight of the trip. Loved meeting the B&B owner and seeing the WW1 artifacts on his farm. So cool. Also loved riding bikes by the windmills on Delft."

Cesar Francisco

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/21/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was eye-opening, very educational and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hidden Church - Church in the Attic in Amsterdam. Why and how it was built, the way the Catholics then kept and practiced their faith was very inspiring. Knowing its history, this is a awesome church."

Maria Angela

Palatine, IL

Tour: 09/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and chose Belgium/Holland because it fit nicely into our schedule, not because we had always dreamt of going there. That said, the tour was an eye-opener and we enjoyed ourselves immensely as we learned about the Low Countries' history, art, architecture, culture, cuisine and people. We appreciated the wide range of sights and tours. The meals were superb, the beers an experience. And our guide Ellen was a font of knowledge and patience. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the huge, sparsely adorned Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, we went to the nearby Church in the Attic. We had seen clips of it on TV but were still awestruck. The church was narrow and tall and every conceivable space was utilized to create a "real" church complete with the decor and trappings one would expect in a large Catholic church. Another marvel of Dutch ingenuity and creativity. Our only regret was there were no mass when we visited. That would have been quite an experience!"

Crystal

Portola, CA

Tour: 09/21/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the mix of experences: cute Brugges, dramatic Zeeland, tech marvel of the surge barrier, diverse food (and lovely lunches & dinners), a few hours at the beach, history lessons at Eiper and of course museums and great guides. I like that we get an expert for the in-depth tours. My co-travelers were a good group and certainly 'no grumps'from any of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Maeslant(sp?) Storm surge barrier. It hit home how water is such a big part of the Dutch psyche. We live in earthquake country but forget until the next tremor. The Netherlands have so much water and flooding that they really do have to challenge and beat back the sea."

John

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 11th R.S. tour. People ask which one we liked best and we always reply they are all the best. This tour was no exception. We visited wonderful places, had great local guides, ate well, used the city/tram passes, and walked and walked, which is the best way to see and appreciate a place. Our our members were friendly and fun to be with - not a single grouch in the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two museum visits stand out. The Mauritshuis in The Hague and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Both allowed close-up views of the works of art. And, the taking of photos was allowed. This is becoming more rare in many museums. The Anne Frank house visit was also very special. In an off-beat way, the weather provided "wow" moments, as in, "Wow, how hot is it today!" However, the cloudless blue skies more than offset the heat."

Patricia

Parker, CO

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with all our guides. I felt like I really got to know the countries and had a better understanding of the people. Ellen could not have been better. She was informative but never boring! Her sense of humor kept us all listening. All our guides knew their subjects and made history and art so exciting! Felt like everyday offered new and fascinating tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to single out just one but I will say Flanders fields. The history is still an every day occurrence for the farmers finding human remains, shrapnel and unexplored bombs in their fields."

Emily

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved our guide Ellen, itinerary and meals. The 4 cities were similar in terms of the architecture of the historic areas, so really appreciated that this was broken up by the 3 traveling days focusing on World War 1, the Dutch waterworks, and flowers and seashore. Liked having free time, including having a full free day in Bruges, to sightsee on our own and to relax. Liked getting museum and tram passes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Horse drawn carriage ride in Bruges, on our own."

Laura

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! I hadn't expected to enjoy this trip as much as 9 Days in Italy because I thought the sights would be less impressive. Wrong! This trip found the best cities and sights and presented them in a fascinating way. From the day at the WWI battlefields and cemeteries to the beauty of Bruges' canals, the power of the Dutch waterworks and the art of Amsterdam, it was nonstop enjoyment. Our guide, Ellen, could not have been more warm, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No "wow" moments, but many, many enjoyable moments. I loved the Dutch and Flemish art in all the cities. The Rijksmuseum and Mauritshuis were gems of museums. My most enjoyable times were having a drink by the canals in Amsterdam and, in the smaller cities, watching parents bike alongside their small children on the way to school. Utterly charming."

Merry

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour was very, very good and Ellen + our local guides were informative and considerate. I can't give the tour and "outstanding" however because of the heat and the lack of air-conditioned hotel rooms. It was H-O-T (30 degrees) and our rooms were usually NOT air-conditioned, so sleep was nearly impossible. It's something that Rick Steves' Tours probably want to reconsider as global warming takes effect.====

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dutch water works."

Edwin

Golden Valley, MN

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and driver. Loved Gent, Brugges and Amsterdam. Would have liked more time in each of those cities. Delft was worth the stop and an interesting place. Excellent city and museum guides. Included meals were first class-dinners especially noteworthy. Enjoyed side trip to the North Sea resort restaurant. Would highly recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lunch at canal side café in Amsterdam, watching the boats, bikes and people."

David

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. I didn't know as much about what I'd see on this trip as my previous tours, but I liked the mix of history, art, cuisine, and even the engineering of protecting Holland from the sea. I enjoyed getting to know the other people I traveled with and learning much more about Belgium and the Netherlands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wandering the streets of Bruges at night."

Elizabeth

Benicia, CA

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! My fellow tour members were friendly and fun to be with. We saw the best of each city, and had the free time to explore whatever interested us. Our meals together were memorable - the restaurants and the fabulous food. I learned a lot about World Wars 1 and 2. Our tour guide, Ellen, was informative and kept us going!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went on this trip because of the Flemish artists. I was most looking forward to seeing the Ghent Altarpiece. At St. Bavo's, they had 2 COPIES of the triptych, because the original was being restored at the museum. When we got to the museum, we were told that the artwork was down in the basement, being photographed. While we were in an adjacent room, however, one of the side panels was brought back, and I was able to see the original. I'm an art history nerd!"

Thomas

Parker, CO

Tour: 09/07/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

our first guided tour - we've always winged it on our own before. while we gave up freedom of schedule, the content of the tour couldn't have been better. the partial or full free days allowed us to choose what we wanted to add to the core sights. although it takes more effort that being herded around, we liked the immersion in the local areas via walking tours and public transportation; got a better sense of the cities we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"probably not a single sight or event that stood out above others - we didn't go to see just that one thing. there were easily 10 things that were all special and memorable."

Barbara

Saint Charles, MO

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour, and it was just as fabulous as the first one. Looking forward to the next one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. I was very impressed by the storm surge barrier in Rotterdam. Also, the flower auction at Aalsmeer was a nice stop on the way to Amsterdam. All of the canal towns were impressive in their own way, and I'm glad to have seen the WW1 sites in Flanders. And the beach!"

Dan

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time and learned a lot about an area of Europe that we clearly had underappreciated. Personally I learned more about understanding and appreciating art than I have through any other experience, be it a class, book, or previous tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vermeer exhibit in Delft should be a required activity before going on to see the actual paintings in Amsterdam. I was there for almost 3 hours and would have been there longer but they closed. I learned what to look for in his paintings, what makes them special, and how to interpret the symbols in his paintings that were well understand at the time he painted them but are unknown to us now."

Kenn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nina was an excellent guide. Our group of travelers was very compatible and we got along well. The weather was outstanding with no rain days. The local guides added another element of our experience. There was just the right amount of free time to explore the sites on our own. Finally, having tram and museum passes provided extra flexibility when we were on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to get down to one "wow" moment. Therefore, I will give three: the beauty of the canals, the Delta water works, and the ability to see the original Dutch Masters paintings either at the Riksmuseum or at The Hague. Although not necessarily a "wow" moment, an unscheduled stop to put our feet into the North Sea and eat at a local restaurant was an special moment."

Anne

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Brugge"

Lyn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our great group of nineteen travelers and our enthusiastic guide, Nina, made the Belgium/Netherlands trip a memorable one for me. From picturesque Ghent and Bruges, "delectable Delft" (as it is described in the itinerary), to the energy of Amsterdam, it was a trip of amazing sights and sounds! Our guided tours were educational and we also had plenty of time for exploration on our own - such as a tram ride to The Hague, finding new restaurants and museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved learning about the Deltaworks project. Close second, the beauty of the Rijksmuseum."

Allan

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip and the places we visited were colorful and interesting. The weather turned warm and most of the hotels had little or no ac. The Hotel in Delft even had heated tile in the room making it warmer

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The storm surge barrier near Rotterdam"

Michelle

Apo, AE

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great location, great people, great guide. Had a very lovely time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Bruges!!"

Shawn

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour, but we would not take another one in the summer, unless we knew the hotels had air-conditioning. For us that is a deal breaker. See details below. Every other part of the tour was truly enjoyable, entertaining and educational. Loved the small groups and limited number of group dinners. Also really appreciated the museum and tram passes that were provided in The Netherlands. We really used them. A couple touring days were a little long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing theHolland flower mart/ auction was amazing."

Tj

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Learning is my number one reason for travel, and Rick's tours definitely deliver with knowledgeable guides, both tour guide and local guides. Many interesting sites to tour on the trip, formally, and many choices to choose from on own time. Hotels were central to towns, dinners were characteristic of the country and with the help of our tour guide, I think we all felt comfortable navigating on our own, once oriented.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Dutch Deltaworks was such a Wow moment. Unbelievable what they have devised to safely protect their people and ports. Second to that, was Flanders fields; heart wrenching area of conflict."

Pam

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the trip of a lifetime packed with learning, fun, good conversations and memorable sights. Our city and museum guides were the best (art historians for example) and taught us so much. Our tour leader, Hilbren, knows everything about art, European history, local traditions, restaurants, places to go and how to get there. He made the trip flow smoothly, and we could always hear him thanks to the wireless microphone system. Our fellow travelers were a delight to get to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments - a half hour in front of Rembrandt's The Night Watch expertly interpreted by an art historian, seeing Vermeer's The Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Anne Frank house, and walking tours that took us back in time to the Dutch and Flemish Golden Ages which are the roots of our own modern world. And then there were windmills, canals, the flower auction/market, Belgium fries, and handmade chocolates. Watching the restoration of the Ghent Alterpiece was amazing!"

Jeanne

Louisville, CO

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Oh my! Where to start? We had never vacationed in Europe before and wanted to take.Rick's tour so that we could get a feel for it and be sure to have a good, rewarding, and fun trip. It really lived up to our expectations! The tour had just enough free time for us to feel like we "customized" the experience enough and the structure we were looking for so that we would see and learn as much as possible. We ended knowing that we got to know Belgium and Holland. Can't wait to return someday!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in front of the Girl with the Pearl Earring was a shockingly stunning moment! I'm not an art fanatic but something about her look and the light, I could have stood there for an hour. I hadn't even planned in advance to go to that museum but our tour guides advice was firm - of your ideas for the free day, that's the one. You should do that! Boy was he right. :)"

Carol

West Deptford, NJ

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A super trip with an excellent leader and museum/city guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? Can't do it. The Ghent Museum with the disassembled Ghent altarpiece and the Max Ernst frottages; the Ypres cemeteries--so many; St. Jan Hospital paintings in Bruges; seeing Rick Steves in Delft; the Anne Frank house and the Rijksmuseum; seeing the Van Gogh paintings I had first seen as a child when the collection travelled to Baltimore and Cleveland."

Allan

Discovery Bay, CA

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed almost every moment. The guide was fantastic, the places and towns we stayed in were marvelous and the people on the trip were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Bruge and Ghent. Lovely town and great people."

Juanita

Orlando, FL

Tour: 07/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A pleasant surprise! Somehow everything just cohered. We came from a 14-day RS tour days earlier & were just a bit tired. Guide Hilbren, however,had other plans, recharging us w/ great delivery. He's very knowledgeable - we found out more connection to what we gained historically from previous tour. The itinerary was well-planned & we took to the suggested activities, places, etc. Fellow travelers were fun, the friendliest, open & loaded with interesting experiences & humor to share.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After the museums, sites visited & guide's elaboration, realization that a small country like the Netherlands, produced some of the world's most-famed artists & the concept of managing water by creating dikes, storm barriers of astounding sizes, recreational islands & lakes from earth dredged in these dikes. In fact we visited more museums & storm barriers after the tour!"

Thomas

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 06/29/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour hit the highlights of Belgium and Holland and satisfied my curiosity about these countries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Field and the somber trenches and impressive cemeteries. Also, the impressive Grand Place in Brussels.... which we visited on our own during free time. A memorable scene."

Kitty

New York, NY

Tour: 06/29/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Totally enjoyable trip. Hilbren was an excellent guide. Our group was wonderful. We saw a variety of sites and the content of the tour was vast. A great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first evening in Ghent. A canal cruise in the rain. The guide had umbrellas on the boat that lower when going under low overpasses. Very funny! Set the tone for the entire trip. Much variety, camaraderie, and never a dull moment!"

Durgesh

New Delhi,

Tour: 06/29/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first tour with Rick Steves' Europe .I have always traveled on my own and this was a whole new experience for me to travel around on a guided tour. I must say I thoroughly loved it for the following reasons 1.Perfect Group size of 21 people 2.Perfect Balance of scheduled activities and free time 3.Well thought out Itinerary with few exceptions (Bruges had a little too much of a free time) 4.Superb venues for group lunches & dinner 5.Very knowledgeable & passionate Guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one WoW moment but quite a few 1.Historic Walk of Old City Ghent 2.Brewery Tour experience at Bruges 3.Cycling from Bruges to Damme (On my own) 4.Group Dinner at Delft.Loved the venue and the food 5.Evening Canal Ride in Amsterdam -Organized by Tour Guide (Hilbren Byers)"

Marjorie

Dublin, OH

Tour: 06/29/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I traveled with our four young adult children and a son-in-law, so a family of 7. My sister's family of three also joined the tour. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our family and it didn't disappoint. My sister's and my parents were from the Netherlands, so the primary purpose of this trip was to show our children the sights and culture of their heritage in a vacation environment, and the design of the tour was perfect for that purpose.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was seeing the thousands of bicycles in Amsterdam -- not just on the streets in the bike lanes, but parked by the thousands at the train station! No wonder Holland has a legal alcohol limit for bicyclers, just as for automobile drivers."

Elizabeth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Because we had a small group, it was easier to become acquainted and we had a smaller bus that could go closer to hotels so we didn't have to haul our luggage far. Our guide, Nina, was terrific! She capably managed the tour, was very informative and forthcoming in cultural comments, with a quick, wry humor. Well balanced tour of art and national culture. Visiting special sites, such as the flower auction, the Nazi bunker and the surge gate. Great local guides. Congenial tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Ghent from the river on our boat cruise. The varied building styles were highlighted when viewed from below. It gave me an experience of being on the river and experiencing life in the heyday of Ghent's wealth and tremendous trade."

Gail

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 06/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the variety of activities and experiences. Got a real sense of the people, past and present.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was hard for me. I think my favorite part was just watching people move around in these cities. The people-watching was great!"

Alan

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 06/22/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was a highlight. Our tour guide, Nina, was outstanding. Good mix of organized activities and free time. The addition of an extra day in Ghent and a trip to the Atlantic Wall were great. You should consider these activities as standard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't 'a single moment. I thought that all of the tour guides were knowledgeable and fun. The Ghent canal ride was memorable."

John

Giddings, TX

Tour: 06/22/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Couple of observations: 1. The car rally in Ypres was organized by the FIA, the schedule is posted a year in advance. Had I known our tour would not have included Ypres, I would've booked a later tour. Big mistake on Rick Steves part, they should've known. This was my primary reason for attending this particular tour. As it was, I had to arrive a day early in Ghent, rent a car, drive out, and conduct my own tour of the WWI battle fields and return the car. This cost me an additional $215.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the artwork in the canals in Delft."

Robert

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the trip was wonderful. Our guide was excellent - organized, helpful, friendly - helped make the trip so enjoyable. The multiple nights in each town allowed us to get to know the towns and enjoy what each had to offer. Hotels were great, meals delicious, interesting stops between towns, friendly interesting tour group members. We had a nice time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beach and lunch at the beach on the North Sea on the way to Amsterdam were terrific the fact that it was sunny made it extra special. Also, the energy, the busyness, the bikes everywhere in Amsterdam were exciting."

Phillip

Santee, CA

Tour: 06/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much. The mix of culture and pop was a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders fFeld was an amazing and important part of the tour."

Kathleen

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned, and the group was small, friendly, and with a range of ages, including a delightful 11 year old boy! getting to know our fellow travelers enhanced the experience. Tour itinerary included urban areas as well as adorable small towns. Schedule allowed us to spend time on our own in each location. Thanks to Ellen and the local guides, we learned to navigate each area. i enjoyed the group meals, and the happy hours with foods typical of the area we were visiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Fields and other WWI battlefields, cemeteries, and bunkers. They really brought history to life. Our guide, Raoul, was great, an expert on the area and open ro questions. I liked that we saw the"big picture by visiting and learning about the German , Canadian, and American cemeteries. Raoul really brought it to life! He was very knowledgeable and a great storyteller."

Linda

North Kingstown, RI

Tour: 06/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous trip. The countries were magnificent and we had a rich and varied experience in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The meals with RS Tour were some of the best I have had during travel. Accommodations were very good and Ellen made it seem effortless, although she clearly worked very had to make sure we had the best experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many it's difficult to list just one, but perhaps for me the impromptu side trip to the ocean (which was totally unexpected) was a special highlight. This also happened on one of the very few days we did not have rain, so it made it all the more sweet."

Rodney

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time, rain, cool temperatures and lost umbrella . I usually learn the language of the country before taking a trip there but it wasn't necessary this trip. Everyone spoke English well. I still wished that I had better prepared myself by learning it before this trip. I am a retired language teacher. Now I am seriously learning Dutch because this trip has really inspired me to study at least 15 minutes a day. I even listen to Dutch Pop music. Isn't this something?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I appreciate your asking this question, yet I have to say that the "wow" is what I call "the Rick Steves' formula". It is your attention to details and your guides' intrinsic talent of conveying what is essentially important to know no matter where we are or go. Thank you for what you do."

Robert

Meadowbrook, PA

Tour: 05/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pleasant and well organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing WW1 battlefield"

Jim

Fountain Inn, SC

Tour: 05/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, well led and a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in Bruges eating a waffle, hearing a brass band start parading down the street, following it to a square and hearing a concert. But really, the whole trip was"wow"."

Michael

Saint Charles, MO

Tour: 05/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This trip was a lot of fun. Compared to other tours, the pace was more relaxed, and the sights a little more low key, but the architecture and art were amazing, and the stress level in terms of getting around/jockeying through crowds was low. Might make sense to start the tour with Amsterdam and then move to more relaxing locales later. We loved Ghent and Bruges. Delft was a little similar, but it was great for accessing the Hague and the Mauritshuis, which really should be on the itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Vermeers at the Maritshuis, the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum,and the Van Gogh Museum. Loved the canals,town squares,and architecture in all four cities. Flanders Field tour day, the Anne Frank House, and the Dutch Resistance Museum were sobering but very well done. Our group of fellow travelers were great - very tolerant of our boisterousness and easy to talk with. Hilbren was a great guide as well - very knowledgeable and accessible."

Magdalene

Meadowbrook, PA

Tour: 05/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour with great fellow travelers. Group number of 23 was ideal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The flower market was really interesting."

John

Ledyard, CT

Tour: 05/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent in almost all respects. Hilbren is a living compendium of information about the Low Countries, and his love and respect for Holland and Belgium are quite apparent. We were fortunate to have a tour filled with experienced travelers, and we hit the lottery with our compatibility. What a great group of people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our (optional) visit to the Mauritshuis in denHaag was the highlight of the tour. Seeing a Rembrandt self-portrait, Vermeer's "Girl w/ Pearl Earring," and Rubens' "Old Woman w/Candles" a few steps from one another was surreal. The Mauritshuis should be a planned stop on the tour - some of our tour members didn't see it, unfortunately."

John

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders WWI battlefield sites"

Barbara

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The cities we visited were delightful and Ghent was a favorite. Ellen and Jody were fun to be with and Ellen was well organized and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bicycles, bicycles, bicycles! Amsterdam was crazy with them. If fact, in Belgium and in the Netherlands we were always pulling someone out to the bike lanes."

Jack

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful, well constructed tour. I've traveled to Europe for Navy duty and vacations a number of times, but this was my first organized tour there. And my first time in Belgium and Netherlands. I buy into the RS travel philosophy, and the tour delivered big time. In Begium, choice of Ghent was excellent, Bruges and Flanders indispensable. The approach to the Netherlands through Zeeland and Delft, and entering Amsterdam by ferry from the seaside, was creative and impactful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm the recently retired city manager of Williamsburg, VA. Seeing the civic pride and local governance of the medieval trading cities with their magnificent city halls - not run by the nobility but by the businessmen - was inspirational to me. Their spirit in many ways came to fruition in our own American Revolution. I love history, but my WWI knowledge was weak. The Flanders Fields tour, couple with reading in preparation, has been deeply enlightening. And much more...."

Lisa

Lexington, MA

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our tour experience.We were inspired by the historical information and most informed by the lectures at all the places we travelled to. We learned a great deal. You made it comfortable throughout. And we are planning to take another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Anne Frank was the highlight for me. I was blown away seeing the interior of the house and then horrid living condition.. The tour was a little rushed (because of the crowd)."

Susan

Waco, TX

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was very good and very active which I love. I did not like pulling our suitcases 3 or 4 blocks on cobblestones in the rain. I though that the bus could have dropped us off closer and then parked.

Bj

Lexington, MA

Tour: 05/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific. Well organized. Nice mix of medieval and contemporary (e.g. the flower auction). Our first tour, our first RS tour, and we will definitely do more RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: the Vermeer and Rembrandt paintings at the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague and the Deltaworks."

David

Berkey, OH

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice tour. We spent a day in Brussels on our own pretour. Using the guidebook we were able to see Brussels quite well. Then traveled to beautiful Ghent where the tour began. I support removing Brussels from the tour. The extra time in Ghent and Bruges were well worth it. Our guide did a great job of keeping us informed and moving. The group was very experienced for the most part and functioned well. There were no Grumps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The North Sea Waterbarrier really shocked me with its size and engineering, although the overall experience of Ghent and Bruges was a close second."

Kristin

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th trip with your company so you know we like the way you do travel in Europe. This was no exception. We thoroughly enjoyed our guide, Nicole, who was so helpful with every part of navigating these new places for us. The group could not have been more congenial which is what we have come to expect on these trips as well. Here again the pacing of guided and free time worked well.....just enough of both! I was glad we were in each place two to three nights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the architecture and art of these two countries which I had studied in college many years ago so it was very exciting for me to see the actual paintings and buildings. Learning about their management of water was very interesting as well."

Richard

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fascinating tour with diverse sites and excellent local guides. Each of the 4 cities were unique, with several places to visit in our free time. The World War II cemeteries around Ypres was moving. Disappointed that the tour canceled the Brussels trip shortly before the tour, but arrived a day early and toured the city's "3-triangle" landmarks ourselves. The added Delft sites were interesting, but didn't match what the tour missed in Brussels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Vibrant Amsterdam -- with its museums and 800,000 bicycles was my favorite "wow" moment. I thought the visit to the huge flower market -- "FloraHolland" -- would be somewhat boring, but actually was awed by its size and energy."

Linda

Salt Springs, FL

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think we had a very good group, the towns were as clean and well kept as I expected, it was not too crowded most of the time, all the people I encountered were pleasant and helpful, food was good - beer was excellent, art works were magnificent, bicycles truly amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Maeslant storm surge barrier."

Joyce

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. Our fellow tour members were very nice, friendly and interesting. The tour was well-organized, but not overly structured.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Floral Holland auction house was amazing!"

Elmer

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed Ghent, Bruges, Flanders field, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. Our tour guide was outstanding. I really enjoyed the expert guides who assisted in the tours. The accommodations were good. We enjoyed several special happy hours and dinners. The pace of each day's activities was just right. We never got overtired. The bus tours were not too long. I enjoyed riding through the countryside. Our guide made helpful comments about the areas were traveling through all during our bus ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the visit to Ypres and the WW I cemetery. The expert guide that accompanied us was very knowledgeable and provided excellent commentary. I also liked the brief stop at the beach along that north sea(sorry I can't recall the name of the town). The visit to St. John's hospital and the Memling museum in Amsterdam stood out in my mind."

James

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although we had traveled in these countries before this trip let us see places we had missed. We were particularly pleased by Ghent which we had heard nothing about. Bruge, of course, was very interesting but it was what we expected. Not seeing Brussels was a disappointment; it is a city I have never been to and particularly wanted to visit; I recommend that this trip be adjusted to allow a full day in Brussels. Nica was great; tours/visits in Amsterdam were very informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think all of Ghent qualifies as a "wow." The tour through the Rijksmuseum was an exceptional experience."

Sharon

Sausalito, CA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best Rick Steves' tours we've taken. The activities were well chosen, the tour guide was great and hotels and meals were better than usual. And we thank the weather gods for giving us good weather for our tour- or the guy on the tour who said he always gets great weather when he travels!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be the tulips at Keukenhof Gardens. It was near the end of the season but we were lucky that there still were lots to see on May 11th. Never knew there were so many different kinds of tulips. It's hard to call the day in Flanders Fields a "wow" moment, but it was definitely an important, sobering day to visit the cemeteries, the trenches, and the museum and learn more about the World War I history of this area for a local guide."

Beth

Coralville, IA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such wonderful places to visit, and my understanding of the area is much improved by Rolinka and the other guides whose knowledge was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"riding bikes along canals and stopping at windmills both times Also seeing Girl with Pearl Earring in The Hague"

Judy

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was delightful and informative. I loved the culture and how these countries treasure their history. I saw everything that I had hoped to see and more. Rolinka is so knowledgeable and kind and thoughtful. It is obvious that she wants every single person on the tour to have a great experience. It takes a skilled person like herself to manage the variety of interests in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Keukenhof gardens were spectacular!! I wanted to see tulips and there they were - showing off their stunning colors in beautiful settings."

Marcia

Arvada, CO

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific organization from the very beginning; including friendly, helpful office staff. Rolinka was AMAZING - so knowledgable, welcoming, efficient, tactful, good sense of humor and energy the whole trip. Wonderful guides all along the way - so much information. Lovely hotels on canals and we had beautiful weather - a big bonus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked these counties as much as I was hoping to, so that was very satisfying. Flanders Field and Deltaworks tours were unexpected highlights for me. I truly loved it all - the charming architecture, the people, the history. Anne Frank and Dutch Resistance museums were very moving."

Debra

Camas, WA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guides for the various excursions were fantastic and I left wanting to return to both countries in the near future! I know that concerns were raised about traveling in Belgium as a result of the bombing, it didn't keep me from going on this trip and I am so glad that it didn't! I felt safe and had no worries about being well taken care of on this tour. I am glad that we stayed in Ghent instead of traveling back into Brussels. For the continuity of the trip it made a huge difference

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've asked this a few times since I've returned to the states. I have yet to say that I can choose a favorite moment. This is the first time that I've traveled somewhere and thoroughly enjoyed each uniquely wonderful experience."

Stuart

Worcester, MA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, with just enough free time to explore the places we visited on our own. The guides were excellent, knowledgeable and full of interesting facts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens. Absolutely amazing."

Raylene

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I chose the tour to see the "tulips" but I discovered so much more. Visiting the American Cemetery in Flanders and learning about WWI was a highlight. My bike ride from Bruges to Damme was great fun. Loved the coffee, chocolate and beer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the "Night Watch" at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was amazing."

Susan

Worcester, MA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well planned and organized. Every day was chock-full, which is what I like, although is was exhausting by the end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the tour of the American Cemetery at Flanders. Terrific guide. Extremely moving."

Rick

Sausalito, CA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Out of the nine Rick Steves tours Sharon and I have taken, I rate this Belgium & Holland tour right at the top. Rolinka was an excellent and totally knowledgeable leader and the local guides were enthusiastic and provided interesting insights. The sunny and shirtsleeve weather could not have been better. I loved the holiday atmosphere along the canals in Ghent, Bruges and Delft, and the contrast with the medieval architecture throughout the tour. The museums were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the day spent in Flanders Fields. My father fought in World War I and our local guide helped me locate the exact location where he had been with General Pershing and the First Division. We experienced the actual trenches preserved and saw German poison gas launchers still in place. Lunch was at a farm where they continue to unearth World War 1 ordinance and we got to view the many things that had been found on the property."

Colleen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour, traveling with my mother (her second tour). We loved the trip. The schedule of the tour gave us great knowledge and insight from local experts in and above the expertise provided by our guide, Rolinka and gave us the balance of free time to explore on our own. The distance between destinations was perfect - a bit of coach time to see the countryside, but not hours on hours before making exporatory stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many to choose from, but I would say the ability to call an "audible" and make the Kukenhoff Garden part of our tour was above and beyond. Many on the tour had attempted to sign up for the earlier tour for that primary reason and were "surprised and delighted" when it became available to us."

Karen

Bonners Ferry, ID

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience outstanding - ability to be flexible is key. Daily doses of everything interesting, educational and fun. Food and lodging wonderful. Rolinka, our guide, wonderful. When I'm asked how my trip was, it is difficult to stop talking about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First visit to Belgium and The Netherlands -- many "wow" moments. I appreciated highlighting the countries' historical sites, museums, lovely old architecture, canals, cobblestones, bicycles, local neighborhoods, local guides, scenic routes, to name a few. Amazing Maeslant storm surge barrier tour, Anne Frank's house (very sobering, and presented well), other very interesting tours (great brewery), and "the icing on the cake" of the entire trip was the revised schedule to see Keukenhof Gardens."

Mary

Solana Beach, CA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was our second Rick Steves tour. We brought our two twenty-something children and our son's fiancee. In each city we quickly learned our way around with the walking introductions of the neighborhood near our hotels. Our children especially enjoyed the walking tours of the cities led by local guides. We appreciate the travel-light philosophy, including use of backpacks and carryons. We loved having some free time to do as we pleased with the book's and Rolinka's suggestions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As beautiful as the tulips of Keukenhof gardens were, and the fun of exploring the Vermeer locales of Delft, my highlight was our free day, which was also Mother's Day, in Bruges - my whole family leisurely peddling to Damme, passing the quintessentially "Dutch" windmill, and seeing the bucolic cows in the fields. After the ride, we enjoyed kicking around Bruges, eating chocolate pastries, drinking the local beer, shopping for souvenirs, and taking photos, because it's like nowhere else!"

Patricia

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 05/04/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My entire experience with the Rick Steves Heart of Belgium & Holland was outstanding. From the first hotel where I opened my windows to a breathtaking view of the canal running below and the towers, spires, and steeples of Ghent's historical city center, I was captivated. The cities we visited, the hotels where we stayed, the restaurants where we shared meals were all great. Best of all were the people with whom I traveled, especially our guide Rolinka.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when I realized I was riding the bike to Damme early in the morning and the only other along the canal at the same time was a family of three ducks. On the return trip to Brugge that was not the case."

Elizabeth

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again a great balance of structured tours and free time to explore on our own. Even though not a great fan of group activities, I once agai really enjoy traveling with the people who choose to join a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhoff Gardens - exceeded my expectations."

Donald

San Rafael, CA

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first Rick Steves. I really enjoyed the guide, Hans, because he was full of stories and got us where we had to go on time. I really liked the people on the tour. There were 18 people and all of them seasoned travelers so they showed up ahead of time! No grumps! The sites were enjoyable too. I am so glad we went to Ghent and not Brussels. Ghent was so much more intimate and lovely an introduction to Belgium than a big city like Brussels with all its problems.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to just say one. For a wow moment of beauty the view from our Hotel Harmony room when the sky changed colors light to dark and then it hailed was wow! Of course Keukenhof's flowers. For an "educational" moment of OMG was realizing the horrors of WWI trench warfare. I never knew the extent! For an emotional moment the Anne Frank house deeply touched me."

Candace

Decatur, GA

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful tour we had with Hans and Nika! Visited beautiful villages of Ghent & Bruges in Belgium and Delft & the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We visited the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens right at peak bloom and had a knowledgeable, moving tour at Flanders Fields and learned about its tragic place in WWI history. In the Netherlands, we were introduced to the Dutch's struggle with the sea and how this country has fought the constant battle to live below sea level. A great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Gardens. What an overwhelming experience to see 70 million tulips during their peak blooming season! In addition, I truly enjoyed going to Hans small hometown village of Santpoort to see a 1700's working mill and watching the miller grind flour!"

Dennis

Hartford, WI

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Hans was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and full of good humor. I thought the choice of tour sites and the planning for our events was very well done. We spent more time in Ghent than originally planned, We appreciated the thoughtful letter about the bombing, helping us to make our decision to continue. All our local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. As a former history teacher, the WWI day was one of the highlights, showing the futility of extreme partisanship and resulting tragic results. The Keukenhoff was definitely a WOW moment. Hans took us to a local windmill so we could see how it really worked. It was in his new hometown. The extensive storm surge project to keep out the sea. The Anne Frank house was riveting - and we didn't have to wait."

Ronald

Alma, AR

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our 7th Rick Steves Tour and it was as good as expected. As always, the tour guide(s) and the local guides in the towns and museums helped to make a good itinerary into a great trip. The group gelled very quickly, as we all wanted to be there in spite of the earlier events in Brussels. The use of the portable headset system for every town walking tour and museum tours was greatly appreciated. I would hope their use would become the "standard" for all your tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens of course! It was the main reason for going on this tour at this time of the year. That said, the day in the Flanders Field region with the excellent local guide bringing to life the events of WWI in that area was very sobering and thought provoking. As was the Anne Frank House."

David

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely interesting and informative from start to finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip to keukenhof to see the tulips. We caught it at just the right time for the blooms."

Kim

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome small group of 18 travelers. I never gave it a second thought to back out of this trip due to the Belgium bombings. So glad we went. The weather started off iffy but ended great. Loved the quaint cities of Ghent, Brugges, Delft. Art museums were great. Tulips...no words can explain how beautiful they were at the Keukenhof Gardens. 12 of us enjoyed a bike ride to Damme along the canal. Great day for it. Stayed 2 extra days, took train to the ocean & put my feet in the North sea!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything! It was all a "wow" moment from the beautiful cities of Ghent, Brugges, & Delft. Had time to go to Den Hague on a free afternoon. Tulips were exquisite at the K. Gardens. The storm surge barriers, Anne Frank house, Flanders fields, Mauritshuis, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museums to see the all those wonderful paintings, plus the Ghent altarpiece and Brugge Madonna & Child."

David

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 04/27/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour with Rick Steves. (This was our third trip with Rick Steves). The model works very well for us. The itinerary was well paced, the tour guide was excellent as were the many local guides. Our group got along very well, we made new friends. The group aspect always proves to enhance the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a "wow" moment, but what really stood out was the profound sense I had at the WWI cemeteries at Flanders Fields. The local guide brought the insanity of the war into life for us. Looking at the rows of white crosses and reading the inscriptions was most moving."

Betty

Libby, MT

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Belgium and Netherlands were so beautiful. There is an old world charm to belgium which I did not expect. It was a perfect combination of the old and the new with Amsterdam. We had a good mix of war history and art museums along the way

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof. So may beautiful flowers!! The cool weather lengthened the peak blooming season. More than I expected."

Candy

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was extraordinary! Each day was packed with wonderful sights from medieval cities to historic WWI sites, to the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens. The tour provided a nice balance of guided experiences with time on our own to explore. Our tour leader, Rolinka, was the absolute best. Her enthusiasm and love of her homeland added especially to our Amsterdam experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several WOW moments on this exceptional tour: beautiful Keukenof Gardens, The Cathedral of St. Bavo and the Ghent Altarpiece, and WWI battlefields around Ypres."

Nancy

St Louis Park, MN

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the tour and the group we traveled with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely it was Keukenhof Gardens, that was my super "wow" moment. Could have used another two hours there."

Brad

Whitmore Lake, MI

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable. Rolinka is a great guide. Highlights for me were Bruges, Touring the historical and scenic spots and Amsterdam, the Anne Franke House and the Riiksmuseum. Seeeing the millions of tulips in bloom at the Keukenof Gardens. And also, seeing the WWI battlefields. Very moving. The weather could have been better. Sleet and snow in Ghent. Yet we all survived!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Anne Franke House."

Martha

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience. Rolinka was great working with the group. We were a little hesitant we would not enjoy travelling with an organized group of strangers, but it all was good. No bad apples spoiling things for the rest of us. A nice mix of organized touring, local guides and free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tulips, Tulips, Tulips!!!!!"

Betty

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first communication with Rick Steves Company, through all the registration and preparation time, and during the entire actual tour, my experience has been delightful. I did email and/or phone for several concerns prior to the actual start and the responses were very prompt. This is our 3rd planned tour of foreign countries. Previously, 2 week tour of Turkey, a cruise on the Volga River, and 2 weeks in China. We think this will not be our last Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Netherlands was my WOW. We picked the date of this tour so we could visit those gardens and I was not disappointed. We actually could have used a little longer. There were 5 members of the tour party who were late back to the bus. And I had to hurry. I did have time to purchase a lovely scarf with a tulip pattern in a gift shop there."

Catherine

Eatonton, GA

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience. Rolinka was very knowledgeable as well as a lot of fun. She planned little added experiences that made the trip even better. We got up early, had a great breakfast then set out every morning to explore with either Rolinka or a local guide and saw and learned so much. There was a nice mix of guided tours and time on our own. The bus was very comfortable, and it gave us a chance to relax between all the walking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens was the most amazing sight. The tulips were at their peak. We hadn't had great weather on the tour until that day, which was beautiful. The tulips were our original reason for going on the tour, and they did not disappoint! I could have spent days there just reveling in the scenery."

Marylou

Elkins Park, PA

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed seeing the beautiful architecture and canal system in Ghent, Bruges, Delft and Amsterdam.i liked the small, quaint walkable towns, but I loved the fast city life, too, of Amsterdam. The dominance of bicycling in each city, but especially in Amsterdam, was fascinating. Touring museums, squares, and churches were well mixed with walking along beautiful small streets and enjoying the canal views and homes. The highlights for me were the flower show in Ghent (voluntary) and Keukenhof.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof - magnificent tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils. Dazzling colors. Anne Frank House - very powerful. I am reading her diary now. Rijksmuseum - interesting guide. Needed more time there - next time! Van Gogh museum - saw so much of his work and learned about his life. I am more appreciative of his style now. Vermeer exhibition in Delft - voluntary - reproductions were well done. Good information and displays. Worth the extra admission. Ghent flower show - voluntary - impressive"

Debbi

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 04/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic trip! Rolinka was one of the best guides we have ever had. Every day was fun, even though it was gloomy, rainy, hailing, windy and cold - we had fun! Loved the cities we saw, the tours of the cities, the sites - everything was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, had to be Kukenhof Gardens. Could have spent all day there!"

Katie

Edina, MN

Tour: 04/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing tour! We had incredible guides, restaurants, sight-seeing, and group. The hotels were perfect. The amount of planned events/free time was just right. Over all, an amazing experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to Nina's experience growing up in Belgium. Learning about the culture from an actual native Belgium was fascinating."

Kyle

Edina, MN

Tour: 04/20/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great! Nina was a great tour guide her knowledge was really impressive. The hotels were nice and the meals were really good. I have a different view on the trip because of my age and travel experience. I thought it was really nice how well organized everything was and not having to figure out where to stay and eat, but with that said I would not go on another Rick Steve's trip, if I was paying. The only part that I was actually jealous of was the local tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my wow moment was the local tour guides, that is something that I am going to add to my travels in the future! They were all so knowledgeable and friendly! I would say that that was my favorite part of the trip. I also loved the brewery tour of De Halve Maan. The tour guide was so entertaining and made the tour fun! You need to add the city museum of ghent to the tour. I arrived a day early and thought it was such a shame that the tour did not go! It really helped me understand Ghent."

Ned

The Dalles, OR

Tour: 04/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fine guides, congenial group, good variety of experiences, good food, good hotels for the most part, weather was cold and wet- but nothing we could do about that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ned: Keukenof Garden Sandy walking through medieval cities We both loved the art which is a big focus of all of our travels."

Roger

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 04/20/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Despite some unusually cold weather, I had a great time. Nina is an excellent guide and I enjoyed hearing stories from her life growing up on a Belgium farm. My wife and I brought our under-30 son, daughter, and their significant others on the trip and everyone had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens! I'm not a gardener and I expected the Gardens to be amazing, but I didn't imagine it would be so expansive and beautiful. A must see for everyone. Harmony Hotel in Ghent was a great way to start the tour!"

Carolyn

The Dalles, OR

Tour: 04/20/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the tour very much, it covered the art and architecture I expected plus WW I history. The guides, bus and driver, hotels and meals were excellent. I especially enjoyed experiencing Flanders, the canal and flood control gate and museum. Everyone was on time, so the schedule was maintained as planned. The hotels were comfortable interesting, varied and very accommodating. The food was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The flood gate that is as long as 2 Eiffel Towers. And the Flower show."

Cornelia

Somerset, MA

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour. Our guides, Rolinka and Nica, were energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable,and helpful. They very creatively somehow managed to add many extras (snacks and activities ) to the tour. The ear phones provided for some museum tours and tours with local guides were very helpful in drowning out street and crowd noise. It would be great if these could be provided on all tours. I believe some tour companies do that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof was my WOW moment. The flowers were absolutely beautiful. I was also wowed by the knowledge and commentary of our local guide at the Flanders Fields sites who had so many stories to tell. It was amazing to learn that they are still finding and identifying the Missing from WWI. Our passionate guide at the Rijksmuseum gave me a whole new appreciation for Rembrandt."

Pamela

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third Rick Steves tour and once again, it exceeded all of my expectations. Everything, the itinerary, the hotels, the guides, the tour members, all wonderful! I also love that the tours are active and don't emphasize shopping and other touristy things. The tour was an excellent value and included many extras. I love to travel, but I do not enjoy the research and planning. As long as I can join a RS tour, why reinvent the wheel?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Flanders Fields and standing at the Western Front really impacted me. To think of what was occurring on those fields 100 years prior was very moving. That being said, traveling throughout Belgium and The Netherlands was delightful. People were warm and friendly and the cities I visited were charming. The history was fascinating."

Marc

San Jose, CA

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At every stage and experience the tour exceeded me and my wife's expectations. We had heard from many sources how great the Rick Steves tour experience was and we found it hard to believe it could better then advertised but it was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof gardens were amazing - They had the 'Wow' factor from the moment we stepped into the gardens. I was not a huge flower person before seeing the gardens but the amount and variety of flowers blew me away."

Patricia

Brooklyn, MI

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Information, direction and assistance provided by our primary guide Rolinka, assistant guide Nica and the local guides were excellent, a hallmark of RSTours. Hotel locations in the heart of each city allowed easy access to sights and events, with the group and on our own. The almost entirely all-inclusive cost of the tour was appreciated. Because of circumstances leading up to the tour, the day trip to Brussels was eliminated. The extra day in Ghent more than made up for that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending four hours on our own in Keukenhof Gardens, and, on another morning, visiting the Aalsmeer Flower Auction with two other members of the tour were the two highlights of the tour for me."

Brian

Wauseon, OH

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, it was an excellent tour.....great guides and beautiful cities were included, most of which I had never heard of, which made for a wonderful learning experience. We also had a perfect balance of group activities and personal time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be touring the "Church of the Holy Blood", simply based on the chance of it being the blood of Christ and it's significance. A very humbling and spiritual experience."

Lori

Wauseon, OH

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had an amazing time on this tour. Rolinka and Nica were outstanding guides. They made it easy and comfortable for us to explore on our own when we had free time in each city. They also were so knowledgable on the region we were constantly learning from them both. The hotels were all excellent with very comfortable rooms, excellent locations and great breakfast buffets. We also loved all of the group dinners. The restaurants were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The obvious would be the Keukenhof Gardens. Those were a wow. But I was really wow'd by Ghent, our first city. I didn't know much about it so I had no expectations. I was wow'd by this charming city. I loved our hotel and the canal views are still vivid in my mind."

Deborah

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had another great group and another fantastic guide with Rolinka. Seeing the the smaller towns in Belgium - Ghent and Bruges and then Delft in Netherlands before Amsterdam gave a lovely flavor of small historical towns before Amsterdam and all the ways a large city is different. Learning so much about WW1 and it's impact on Belgium. Nice balance of free time to see things not on the tour. Loved that we were prime time for Daffodils and Tulips, they were everywhere stunning at Keukenhof.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two of them, or maybe 6 of them. Seeing 5 Vermeer paintings took my breath away. I could have stood in front of them for hours. The Keukenhof was a huge highlight. We picked the first trip of the season because I like Daffodils better than Tulips and hoped we would see some. Thousands and thousands! And everywhere in Netherlands, pots here and there. Just beautiful."

Tara

Portland, OR

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never been on a tour before, I was a bit apprehensive about it but my experience was very positive! I enjoyed the mix of scheduled and unscheduled time during the trip was well-proportioned. The guides, both local guides and our tour guide, were excellent in providing an enriching educational experience and a sense of the culture of the local area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment of the tour was when I ventured out on my own to participate in my sport with the local club. I was generously welcomed to row with the members of a local rowing club who took me on a 2 hour adventure on the Amstel river and through the canals of Amsterdam. Afterward, we enjoyed coffee and a traditional Dutch celebration to welcome a new baby. An amazing memory, indeed!"

John

Warthen, GA

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Excellent tour guides. Great learning experience.

Paula

Warthen, GA

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guides were over-the-top outstanding. They added a lot of "extras" that made each day a special treat! We enjoyed each place we visited and the educational experiences enhanced by local guides....especially the day of memorials and Flanders Field.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Anne Frank House was at the top of my "wow" moments. I recently re-read her diary so walking through the well-planned museum, watching the "recent" interviews with people so important to this story, and gaining a better understanding of this project left quite and emotional impression on me."

Leonard

Somerset, MA

Tour: 04/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour Guide Rolinka and the local guides provided the right mixture of history and guidance to marvel and appreciate the history of Gent Belgium and Amsterdam Holland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Flower Show. The color and arrangement of the flowers was beyond my expectation."

Weather

Belgium / Brussels

Belgium Weather


Holland / Amsterdam

Holland Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Belgium and Holland: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members arrange to fly into Brussels and out of Amsterdam ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay. Brussels and Amsterdam are transportation hubs, making travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Belgium before your tour begins, spending time in Brussels is a logical choice. Brussels is an easy 35-minute train ride from Ghent. Use the Rick Steves Belgium guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Flemish (although many locals speak English well), and get over your jet lag with fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Ghent that we will not be doing as a group (see the guidebook for details): Belfry, Gravensteen Castle, Design Museum, Ghent City Museum.

Staying on after the tour ends? Amsterdam is a city of museums and you can find one to suit every taste. We'll see the biggies together, but you may also want to check out the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam History Museum, or Dutch Resistance Museum. Consider touring an elegant 17th-century canal house or see what it would be like to live in one of the many canal boats. You may wish to take a short day trip to explore more of the Netherlands. Renting a bike is easy and the countryside is not far away. Haarlem is a charming town to visit — a pleasant half-day trip by bike or an easy 30-minute train ride away.

Packing

The Low Countries are aptly named, and the lack of elevation means that wind often blows off of the North Sea. It is a good idea to bring a waterproof windbreaker and lightweight clothes for layering.

For advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.