• 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

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 17 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 • 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 Bustling Amsterdam

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 dodge bicycles on our neighborhood orientation walk, as we adjust to the pace of this progressive world capital. 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

Edie

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed it very much. It was a little too energetic for me, but I knew that it would be. Nice group of people. The Rick Steves program has some magical way of turning a group of strangers into friends in just a few days. I also enjoyed interacting with the local people, especially the people in Holland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't recall a specific moment but I loved learning about and seeing the giant deltaworks flood gates and the Aalsmeer flower auction. I expected to learn how the Dutch protect their land and the people from inundation, but the scale of the flower auction was a complete surprise."

John

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was great and we saw things ane went places we would not seen or gone had we been trying to figure it all out ourselves

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking a tour of the Flanders Fields cemeteries."

Janette

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Liked the small places we stayed and the sites we visited. Thought the folks who guided the visits were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bruge and the lace museum"

Carol

Ardmore, PA

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt like this was an excellent college course in art, architecture and Northern European history. Our guide was so knowledgable and the local guides were excellent and enthusiastic. They left me wanting to know more. Even our bus driver was an asset, stopping at the North Sea so we could remove our shoes and wade a little. Our guide spoke perfect English and spent time with everyone. Meeting his wife, daughter and "boat" made everyone really connect with our guide. One

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite wow moments was the explanation of the dykes system and how willow trees were used in the beginning. Another wow moment was the tour of the war cemeteries."

Susan

Morristown, NJ

Tour: 05/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience - "making memories" for myself and my spouse, my parents and my two college-aged children!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One moment that has really stayed with me was watching my 20 year-old son contemplate the WWI trenches near Flanders Field - how 100 years ago young men his age were living and fighting for survival there. He told me he learned more about WWI that day than he had ever learned in school."

Brian

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful time! We had very little idea of what to expect from this region, but we loved everything about the Low Countries. The food was great, the beer quality and variety was second to none, and the places we visited were all so beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite place was definitely Bruges. So picturesque and lovely, and a short bike ride around the city showed even more to appreciate from it. Despite the crowds we competed with, this city was definitely among our favorite."

Patricia

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As in other RS tours, tour was balanced with good mix of organized vs free time, variety of sites, customs or food local to area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Delta Works was great, but loved Flanders, Hill 62/Sanctuary Woods, Tyne Cot, and German cemetery."

Rose Mary

Arlington, VA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Ellen set a tone of joy and acceptance. Our group was very cohesive and open to all experiences. We not only toured these countries, but tasted the cultures. It was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly like the surprises where we get to taste a specialty of the region (beer, cheese, chocolate, etc.) It is so much more than museums and history (which I love)"

Richard

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful time with the usual Rick Steves tour crowd. They are enthusiastic, energetic, and deeply interested in the history and culture of the countries we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Delta Works storm surge barrier outside of Rotterdam. It was immense. Learning about how it worked and is used was fascinating to a geeky retired engineer like me."

John

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour. People were friendly (no grumps). Guide (Ellen) was outstanding. I was disappointed that we did not visit an authentic windmill. Otherwise tour content was good. Least favorite stop was the "coffee shop". I hope that stop was made due to popular tour demand instead of Rick's bias for drug legalization. The local guides were all excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WW1 cemeteries were eye opening and really put a perspective on the horrors of war. The engineering involved with the ship channel closing gate was incredible. Flower market was hard to believe."

Steven

Hartsdale, NY

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, very good. Some downsides: - some of the group meals were, at best, okay, e.g., the seaside restaurant at the North Sea. All too loud. - in fact, that entire trip to the North Sea was a junk filler. - only the hotel in Amsterdam had a decent shower. - the strange hotel rooms in Delft hotel fun for ten minutes, then annoying, as not functional - too much tiring standing for long periods. Upsides: good itinerary, though by Delft, I felt I had seen it all already

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe the WWI American Cemetery near Ypres (Flanders). Part of a very moving day. The canal boat ride in Ghent was lots of fun, but the canned spiel of the one in Amsterdam was boring. The MIAT (Museum of Industry and Textile) in Ghent really put the European development of a social contract into context."

Diane

Hartsdale, NY

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A most enjoyable tour. As with most Rick Steves tours, fast paced, interspersed with free time and time to explore on our own. A good mix of expected traveler's experiences and stuff we would never have thought of or been able to arrange on our own. Going with a RS tour definitely added value to our experiences in Belgium and Holland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always tough to answer. For me it was the WWI trenches and cemeteries. Considering this year is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, seeing the memorials was quite moving."

Teresa

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed all of the planned activities and the free time was staggered well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anne Frank House"

Rafaele

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was everything I would have hoped for and more from this experience. It was my first Rick Steves tour ever and I travelled alone. Everything went so smoothly and every experience was phenomenal. From our tour guide Ellen to each individual local guide that we had, it was a perfect trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either our canal cruises through Ghent and Amsterdam or our trip through Ypres and seeing all the WWI memorials and graveyards. The German memorial and graveyard site was particularly powerful. The whole town of Bruges as a preserved heritage site was mind blowing and both Belgian cities were gorgeous and interesting."

Mark

Scottsdale, MS

Tour: 05/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

very good

George

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very informative. Hilbren was an excellent tour guide. His knowledge of the history of the two countries we visited and the specific towns was incredible. He laid the foundation of understanding and walked us through the history. The days of travelling on the bus were long but very informative with the places that we saw. We had sufficient time in each location except the memorial to the flood victims after leaving Ghent on the way to Brugge was rushed because of a bridge open.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The discussion of the Flanders Field battles and how many men all sides lost their lives over very little actual territory. The description by Hilbren while on the bus and at the cemeteries was moving and painted a picture of what it must have looked like at the time. Then seeing the graves including the German mass grave put it all into perspective especially considering the changes in weaponry during the war."

Mark

Odessa, FL

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even though I traveled extensively through Europe (always using Rick Steves guide books) this was my first tour. I enjoyed the history, the convenience of having hotels and transportation worked out. Hilbren was terrific, as were the guides in the cities we visited; they brought the history alive. I appreciated the mix of scheduled meals and tourist sites with the free time available to explore on my own. I enjoyed meeting and making friends with the others taking the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aalsmeer Flower Market."

Mary

Odessa, FL

Tour: 05/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled to Europe many times always using the Rick Steves guidebooks. We were hesitant to try a tour but found it to be absolutely wonderful. Our fellow travelers were kind and like minded as far as the tours emphasis on history and art and our guide, Hilbren, was organized, extremely knowledgeable and a joy to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As an avid gardener, my favorite was the visit to the Alsmeer flower auction and historical gardens."

Marlene

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Belgium/Holland tour--our guide, the itinerary, hotels, and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments on this tour - the smells of waffles and chocolate in Ghent, the brilliant engineering of Delta Works dam system and the Keringhuis storm surge barrier, the nine million tulips in the Keukenhof gardens, our visit to the "coffee" shop, even just walking around in a bicycles-everywhere culture!"

Paula

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well-chosen destinations and experiences. Informative tour guide and local guides. Fun tour group! Tasty food, beer, and chocolate. Observed that many locals get around on bikes. Learned that some Belgians live with daily reminders of WWI and are still grateful to the US. Admired Dutch expertise in controlling water with dikes, dams, and giant floor surge barriers. Experienced the art, history, and waterways of vibrant Amsterdam. And the tulips of Keukenhof - unforgettable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Canals. Scenic canal cruises. Views and photos from bridges. Light and reflections on water changing throughout the day. Coffee at a canal-side cafe in Ghent. Art installations along Bruge canals. Leisurely dining aboard small canal barges in Delft. Gorgeous colors of flower beds along the canals of Keukenhof. Walking along quiet side canals in Amsterdam where residents come out to relax in the evening."

Mark

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantastic, and I highly recommend all the towns and cities we went to, most of the sights, and our tour guide, Hans de Kiefte.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were fortunate to have several "wow' moments. These include: the Keukenhof gardens the outstanding transportation systems in Amsterdam (bike lanes, bike garages, trams everywhere, electric car charging stations everywhere, and of course, the canals) the Harmony hotel in Ghent views from the Bell Tower in Ghent Learning about flooding and water control throughout the Netherlands the art in the Rijks Museum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam"

Cathy

Council Bluffs, IA

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed our first official Rick Steves tour. We've been using Rick's tour books and traveling on our own for several years. We had a small group, so that made our trip even more enjoyable. We had a very friendly and knowledgeable guide in Hans, so we learned so much more than we would have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if this was a 'Wow' moment, but it was surprising to me how much I enjoyed the afternoon touring the WWI memorials. History isn't my favorite subject, but Raoul made learning so much history very enjoyable!"

Laura

Dublin, OH

Tour: 05/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a lovely tour. I think my favorites are still the ones in Spain and Italy. Great Art museums and interesting history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Fields"

Sharon

Rye Brook, NY

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour. Ellen was a terrific guide. She always had little surprises to enhance our tour experience. The itinerary was all I expected. I liked that we were given the tools to explore on our own like transit and city passes. Also, nothing was skimped on. For example, at the Anne Frank house we had a background lecture as well as the annex tour. Group meals were good and in local restaurants. My only negative is the hotels. Ghent and Bruges were good. Delft awful. Amsterdam barely passable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WW1 day. This is one of the reasons I took this tour. All the local guides were very good, but she (Janet?) was exceptional. The tour was very organized chronologically and she made the war come alive. Also the farmhouse lunch was excellent. Other highlights. Smoking a joint in Amsterdam and our meal on our own at the Rock Fort? restaurant in Bruges. One of the owners, Peter, went out of his way to make our meal truly memorable."

Patricia

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gardens were spectacular"

Deena

Pontiac, IL

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour immensely. I loved the canals, bikes, beautiful buildings. Ellen was an awesome guide- funny, knowledgeable, always surprising us with little treats from the area we were in. Flanders Fields was amazing and Deltaworks very interesting. The food was great and plenty of free time to explore on our own. The hotel in Delft was quirky and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof Gardens was completely awesome! The tulips were overwhelmingly beautiful! I would return to that area just to visit there again!"

Nancy

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th Rick Steves tour and as always, it did not disappoint. Our guide Ellen was outstanding, the group was congenial, the experiences were exceptional and it left me with memories I will never forget. Can't wait to go on my next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but I think the visit to Keukenhof would be one of the highlights of the tour. It was like visiting Disneyland for tulips, and I'm so happy we took the Rick Steves tour at a time when the gardens were open. It is unbelievable how many different varieties of tulips they have, all planted to showcase the beauty of each one. I ordered a package of tulips to be shipped to my home, and I can't wait to see them bloom next year as a reminder of a wonderful trip."

Richard

Rye Brook, NY

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my very first Rick Steves Tour. After viewing his countless programs on PBS stations as well as his DVD's my wife and I were anxious to be able to partake in one. We have done ocean cruising, river cruising, guided land tours and on our own land vacations, nothing is quite the same as Rick's tours. We look forward to another tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we spent touring the World War 1 Flanders Fields cemeteries and battlefields. Our local guide was fantastic, knowledgeable and personable. I learned so much more than I already knew. Keukenhof Garden follows a close second."

Ruth

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour. I had an exceptional time. Our guide was Alan she was very personable, approachable, and knowledgeable. The hotels were great. It was worth every penny I spent on it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My while moment has to be the Keukenhof. We were the last tour to see the tulips and they didn't disappoint. I took so many pictures there because everything was so beautiful"

Martin

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very informative and well paced

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The canals were beautiful !"

Valerie

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the perfect combination of visual beauty, culture, history and contemporary ingenuity. It expanded my appreciation for these two small countries that often go unnoticed next to their larger, more commanding neighbors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt, the Keukenhof Gardens. It was even better than my wildest dreams."

Francis

Fallston, MD

Tour: 04/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations...Good people....Good food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Children singing USA national anthem at Flanders Field. Waving American flags. I had to walk out of the room...TOUCHING."

Brenda

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful combination of a dynamic, unflappable guide, great group of travelers, and a variety of experiences involving history, art, and cultural specialties like chocolate, beer and bulbs, pottery and fabric and how their production have become important to the economy of these small countries. There was a very fine-tuned balance of group time and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wonderful moments on this trip, as I love art history and we saw many treasures in churches and museums and the historic sites of Flanders Field and the Anne Frank house were meaningful and sobering. But no question, the biggest WOW was the Keukenhof Garden. It was stupendous, beyond belief, and the continuing and unfolding displays of flowers, landscape features, and sculptures made it the winner of the WOW contest."

Don

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 6th Rick Steves' Tour and all our guides have been very good. However, Nina was outstanding. I especially enjoyed Nina's humor and organizational skills. Her knowledge of Belgium and Holland was amazing-provided insights that enhanced my understanding of both countries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Battlefields-especially Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial Watersnood Museum and Maesiant Storm Surge Barrier Rijksmuseum-our local guide, Robert, was exceptional. Keukenhof-amazing. Surprise of the Tour. Anne Frank House. Van Gogh Museum"

James

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The balance of guided time and free time seemed about right. Nina's orientation to things was excellent. She helped create a sense of fellowship among us. There was no problem finding people in the group with which to share time. Bus driver was quite good, both as a driver and personally. We were seeing all these places for the first time and the trip exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One was the day driving along the Dutch coast, learning about flood control, the water surge barrier, etc. Seeing what they are doing to protect the land they have was informative. The Rijksmuseum was a highlight, as was the day in Flanders Field area...sobering but a reminder of what we humans too often do to each other. The American cemetery made me aware of the USA commission that cares for these cemeteries outside the USA."

Linda

Skillman, NJ

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved the itinerary, the size of the group [20 people was a perfect number], and Nina was a fantastic guide - knowledgeable, funny, tireless and generous with her time. The location of the hotels was very good, although some of the "quirkiness" bordered on "difficult to manage" [e.g. Bruge - the bathrooms were not geared for seniors. We had to navigate high, slippery bathtubs equipped with only a hand-held shower head].

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So, so many... One that comes to mind is seeing the seeing Van Eyck's wonderful altarpiece in St. Bavo's Cathedral, then heading to the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts, where we were able to watch skilled artisans restoring some of the panels of this beautiful medieval work of art. Another: wandering through Keukenhof at the height of tulip season was an spectacular, almost mesmerizing experience. And roaming through picturesque Ghent and Bruge, among buildings that are 500-800 years old - Wow!"

Alan

Skillman, NJ

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amaging to visit the medieval villages Ghent, Bruges and Delft and experience the art and history there. Loved the interaction with the other tour guests. The list goes on. The flowers in Keukenhof alone made for an outstanding trip. The museums, the specialty guides and our tour guide Nina all contributed to a very enjoyable 11 days. The WWI visit was moving. Of course Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum were a wow. I could go on writing for hours but you have got to go in person.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe Flanders field..maybe the Van Gogh art ..maybe the canals..maybe the Anne Frank visit..maybe the beer and chocolate etc."

Timothy

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a very nice time; good group of people and a great tour guide. We really enjoy these tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"tulips!"

Andrew

Kent, WA

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great Rick Steve's tour. Starts with a well planned itinerary and we felt this tour, with the focus on the small towns in the low country (Ghent, Bruges, and Delft), was a relaxing but engaging way to see Belgium and Holland. Of course a great guide makes it all happen, adds the narrative, and turns strangers into friends in the matter of days -- Nina did all that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof was probably the biggest wow moment (and good planning to get to the park early before the the huge crowds showed up later in the day). Anne Frank house and watching the video of the school children sing at the American cemetery in Flanders Fields were probably the most moving."

Barbara

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 04/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, each place we went what interesting. Flanders Fields was unexpected and very moving. Guide was great. Loved learning about the dutch environment and technology and their forward thinking ways. Delft and Ghent were small enough that I enjoyed being in those places very much."

Judy

Rockford, IL

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I expected it to be. The distance between all the cities we visited were such short distances. The hotels were all great. The most distinctive décor I had was in our room in Delft. It was decorated with a theme of Delft Pottery. I enjoyed having Rolinka as our tour guide. She is a great guide and provided us with all the necessary learning experiences we could have. She provided excellent information on what to do, where to go, and places to eat when we were on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many great moments on this tour. I enjoyed seeing the Ghent Alter Piece, Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring, Michael Angelo's Madonna and Child sculpture in Bruges, and I think my ultimate favorite moments were seeing all the flowers at Keukenhof flower gardens. Just gorgeous! The flowers in the field's around Keukenhof were fabulous as well."

Priscilla

Greenback, TN

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Always a great experience, we love the RS tours for the complete package - history, art, food, people, Europe! This was no exception. Beautiful canals, spring flowers, King's Day in Delft, a marvelous guide, and Belgian chocolates and beer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof! Even more beautiful than we expected!"

Mark

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was very good. Our guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, the food was great, the hotels ranged from beautiful to quirky (but good), and the tour sites were some of the best you'll see in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We took a side trip to The Hague to visit the Mauritshuis Museum. Standing alone in front of Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earing" without jostling with hundreds of other tourists was a "Wow" moment. Try that with the Mona Lisa. Also, our visit to the Maelant Storm Surge Barrier was amazing."

Richard

Roswell, NM

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another great tour with a great tour guide and great tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tulips at Keukenhof and Flanders' Field."

Linda

Belden, MS

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fabulous!!! Rolinka was amazing! I was not that interested in the water system, but everything else was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Keukenhof Gardens!!!!!!! It is the reason we went on the trip, and it was MUCH MORE than I expected!I also loved Bruges."

William

Belden, MS

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tulips"

Dianna

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the museums, Flanders fields, and FLOWERS!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders fields...to my surprise."

Jerry

Ashland, OR

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the history of World War I and the trenches. The tulips and the Keukonoff (sp) park was fabulous. Rolinka was outstanding and very much fun as a guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The water protection system in the Netherlands"

Susan

Columbia, SC

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This experience was another rave for the Rick Steve's model. I do think your tours are developing cult status and deservedly so. I've thought and thought and have no ideas about what could be different. I saw the art I have longed to see. The four cities on the tour were perfect and distinctive and we saw all the must-see sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ghent Altarpiece. The Kukenhof Gardens were a bonus."

Janice

Columbia, SC

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had not been on a tour in 20 years because the first one I went on (with another company) was not good. I have recommended Rick Steves' Tours to everyone I know since I returned home. Rolinka was an excellent tour guide. She went out of her way to make the tour special for us. She was always looking for ways to give us the options for more experiences. She was knowledgeable, smart, kind, thoughtful, and hardworking. I would go on another tour with her to anywhere. She is that good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments so its hard to say which one was the most memorable. I had been to almost all the places we went to before but the additional information, the out of the way places, knowing which restaurants, and the information shared were all very memorable. I was fascinated by the water management system in The Netherlands and that trip taught me a lot about the technical stuff done to maintain land and prevent flooding but the knowledge I learned about culture, values was best."

Doreen

Auburn, CA

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed touring the medieval cities, canals, gardens, museums and sampling the beer, waffles and chocolate. The day at the Keukenhof was amazing in spite of light rain. So much color and variety! Our tour guide, Rolinka, paired me with a wonderful roommate and all the hotels were great, even the quirky one in Delft. I liked the stop in Zeeland and the storm surge barrier was interesting, but very windy outside. The museums in Amsterdam were special. All meals were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its tough to pick one, but the exhibit at the Van Gogh museum was great. I'm an artist so I loved all the art museums, including the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The guide for the Rijks Museum was excellent also."

Danny

Nampa, ID

Tour: 04/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very fast paced , very good history information. There was something for everyone. Limited bus time, which is good. Outstanding tour. Rolinka was very knowledgeable about the con tries, especially the Netherlands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Architecture, especially the Art Nouveau designs in Amsterdam. And of course the acres and acres of bicycles at the train station in Amsterdam and all over that city, fiete!!, Brom fiete!!. Another wow moment was drinking a bottle of Westvleteren 12 beer in Brussels prior to the tour. Have you had one Rick? Another wow moment was seeing all the windmills and thinking about how many there used to be."

Glen

Davis, CA

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Experiencing the Dutch and Belgian cities, exploring their numerous museums was wonderful. The food, drink and scenery were all much enjoyed. The local knowledge imparted by the guides was a big plus. Now that some time has passed and I've had time to reflect, seeing Flanders Fields, the trenches and the graveyards was the heart of the tour for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Though the Tulips were beautiful and the museums and streets of Ghent, Bruges, Delft and Amsterdam were wonderful, the time at Fanders Fields will be with me forever. Andre' was the perfect guide for the subject matter."

Mary Kay

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an overall great experience. The itinerary was perfect, people in the group fun, Nina always on her toe. I came home appreciating much about Belgium and Holland. The only not-great thing was I thought we were not always good travelers. We were loud in churches; we blocked thruways; we hogged spots in front of attractions. When I am traveling with a group, I pick Rick Steves over other tours because I feel the groups are more aware of the surroundings. This trip I wasn't sure we were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were certainly many memorable moments – the Madonna of Bruges, the Keukenhof – and many moving moments – the Anne Frank House, Hill 62. But if I am to be honest, my favorite "wow" moments involved Belgian beer, chocolate, waffles, and fries, in that order!"

Richard

Portland, ME

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My hopes for the tour focused on tulips, canals and art. My experience met or exceeded expectations. And our tour guide Nina was wonderful. Overall another great Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Keukenhof Gardens were a highlight for me, but the art galleries were also amazing."

Craig

Chicago, IL

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour had an excellent balance of time and activities in each town, and the tours provided an excellent overview of the key things that stand out in the town and area. Providing a full free day half-way through the tour in Bruges (at a hotel that offered cheap laundry service!) was an excellent break in a beautiful city on a beautiful, sunny day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking through the market square in Bruges at night, past the soaring belfry, and hearing the college cantus in the courtyard belting out international favorites while they drank the night away. Walking through the Anne Frank house was very emotional, especially seeing her room with the photos still pasted on the walls. Keukenhof on a brilliantly sunny day, arriving when the doors opened so there was little traffic, was breathtaking."

Lesley

Davis, CA

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS Tour and it certainly lived up the high expectations I had after the first two. I was particularly interested in the historical aspects, especially the visit to Flanders Fields and was awed by that sobering experience. Nina is a fantastic and well-organized guide and told us many wonderful stories about the people and the culture. We were also lucky to have fantastic weather and the tulips were in full bloom. A good selection of the four cities we visited. Good group too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moments range from the sobering, Flanders Fields, to the sublime, Keukenhof Gardens with the tulips in full bloom. Seeing the graves of so many men (and women) as well as remaining trenches emphasized the horror of all wars, but WWI in particular. And a few days later enjoying the splendor of the gardens reminded us of the beauty in our world."

Mike

Oshkosh, WI

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time with a good balance of scheduled activities and free time. Nina was an excellent guide and the local guides were also very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof gardens was spectacular and our timing was perfect. Nina and our driver, John got us there early before the crowds slammed in. Now if we could just keep the other 100,000 visitors out of garden..."

Lois

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip with Rick Steves. I had some apprehensions about the pace of the tour, being a senior citizen, but all went well. Cobblestones and uneven streets are challenging, but I was able to do it. We had a nice mix of educational opportunities and social events. Nina was an excellent guide and very accommodating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"European churches and their art and statutes. Michelangelo's Madonna was awesome. The ladies in the Lace Center were amazing with their craft. The natural beauty of the area was wonderful. The Keukenhof Gardens were gorgeous!"

Darcy

Oshkosh, WI

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second Rick Steves tour did not disappoint. Nina was a great guide with knowledge and experience about Belgium and Holland and gave us the background needed to learn and appreciate these countries. The local guides were also informative and interesting. I enjoyed the cities we visited-- all beautiful and full of character with churches, museums and CANALS and so much to learn about them.! Also enjoyed the company of fellow RS travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flanders Fields and Keukenhof Gardens stand out as the most impressive parts of the trip. The cemeteries we visited were sobering with Andre as our terrific guide. The gardens were the reason we picked this tour at this time and they did not disappoint! Absolutely stunning in size and layout of the gardens with the explosion of color and variety. Perfect weather just enhanced the visit."

Peri

Denver, CO

Tour: 04/14/18

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

This was our first and probably our last Rick Steve's tour. Even though you get a lot of "bang for your buck" on this tour, we need a less structured, more layed-back vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museums, the flowers, the dam at Hook van Holland, Flanders field, and the sink at the hotel in Delft (I wish I could attach a photo!)"

Mark

East Aurora, NY

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with Rick Steves, and it was even better than we had hoped! The tour had a nice balance between structured group time and individual free time. Rolinka is a top-notch guide -- very warm, funny, professional, and knowledgeable about the areas we visited. She seemed to know all the hidden courtyards and gardens that we never would have found on our own. The local guides gave us an excellent first-hand perspective on life in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but the three that made the biggest impression: 1.) The heartbreaking epitaphs on the gravestones at the Tyne Cot WW1 Cemetery, 2.) The "Blue River" of grape hyacinths at Keukenhof Gardens, and 3.) "Still Life with a Gilt Cup" by Willem Claesz Heda in the Rijksmuseum."

Catherine

Alameda, CA

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the sights and the tour guide. I appreciated the choices for hotel and locations. Our guide was exactly what she said she was - informative, direct, and there for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Keukenhof"

Dave

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was expertly guided by Rolinka. We saw all of the highlights we wished for and many we would have missed on our own. We had adequate time to explore on our own to balance the times we were together. Local guides were all of Rick Steve's tour quality (outstanding). All in all, we enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the room where Rembrandt's "Night Watch" was displayed. or maybe... The sunny day we spent at the tulip garden. Hard to pick just one or two."

Joyce

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great trip, wonderful guide, interesting and friendly tour mates

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the garden, the North Sea, all the art museums"

Jo

Kirtland, OH

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent value for the money. Rolinka kept us moving, and we saw/did things we wouldn't normally have done under own power(like the storm surge barrier and Watersnood). But that's the beauty of Rick Steves tours! Fun, learning, experiencing - all good stuff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I knew I'd love the Keukenhof Gardens (the main reason for choosing this tour) and the Belgian chocolate tasting. The "wow" surprise, though, was the great lunch at a country inn on the Flanders Field Day. The host was very charming, told wonderful stories, and showed us his museum of war materials pulled from his fields. Plus I adored his friendly dog."

Scott

Kirtland, OH

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

TheWife and I had a GREAT time. She has filled out this questionaire very well, so I can be lazy and just make a few comments, other than I agree with everything she's said.

Joan

Norfolk, MA

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Tour easily met the high expectations we had based on our two previous Rick Steves tours. We were incredibly fortunate to have glorious temeweather the entire trip. I particularly enjoyed the quaint, charming architecture and canals, The WWI sites at Flanders Fields, the Delta works, Keukenhof, the art, and all the excint in Amsterdam. (In other words, the entire trip!) There was a perfect balance of structured and free time. Our guide Rolinka was key to our enjoyment of this trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We chose this trip specifically to visit Keukenhof at tulip time, but we never in our wildest dreams expected the beautiful warm sunny day we had there! It was truly spectacular."

Mark

Norfolk, MA

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide always makes or breaks a tour. Rolinka made this tour memorable and fun. She's a pro! The itinerary was a perfect blend of geography, history, culture, arts and eats. Well paced and comprehensive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What else.....Keukenhof Gardens!"

Cynthia

Madison, NJ

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Rolinka was a great tour guide. Wonderful to have someone who lead us who was a native of one of the countries. She was extremely helpful and caring with any/all personal/travel issues that arose during the trip. She shared her life with us as we shared ours with her. In general the lodging, meals and city & museum tours met or exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard for me to answer. Saw and did so many great things. I guess the Indonesian dinner in Amsterdam really blew us away."

John

Madison, NJ

Tour: 04/11/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the personal touch and attention throughout the tour. Rolinka's knowledge about the places and engagement with the individuals in the group made every day totally enjoyable. The itinerary seemed perfect, with just the right amount of time allocated to each city and activity. Free time was thoughtfully and adequately interspersed. Would like to have had a proper shower in the hotel in Bruges, but this wasn't our first experience with a European style bathroom so we adapted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both my wife and I were stunned by the variety and beauty of the tulips. That was the primary reason for us booking this trip and we were not disappointed."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)."

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."

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.."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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!"

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."

Theresa

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/14/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"!"

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.

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."

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!

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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."

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"."

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."

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!"

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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"

Anne

Wilmington, DE

Tour: 08/17/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Brugge"

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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. :)"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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)"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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.