Three countries in three days (I) – The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg

When we started to plan our trip  we didn’t know the route we wanted to do, but finally we decided that our road trip would be as follows:

It was 8 o’clock in the morning on a Monday in February when the alarm rang. Our adventure was going to start and we had to start preparing things. There was a long day ahead, many things to see and the sun in winter goes to sleep very early.

 

Kinderdijk

First stop Kinderdijk is located half an hour from Rotterdam by car. This place should be a must stop for all the people who want to see windmills in Holland. It’s true that you can see windmills everywhere in this country, but the Kinderdijk’s landscape is worth it.

We went there thinking about not paying the entrance because we didn’t want to spend more than necessary, besides we didn’t have enough time to visit all the mills. When we arrived there we saw that there was a car park just at the entrance, which costed 5€. Even so, we asked for the price and an employee told us that to park the car over there was free until 11:00. I had already checked it in the official website but I didn’t find anything about the car park prices, so better to ask someone if you go there. We parked the car in a street very closed to the mills. It was the main street (I guess) and we didn’t pay anything.

When we arrived we realized that you can go inside without buying a ticket, you can still see the mills from the path that runs along the mills you can only not enter them. Therefore, if you just want to see the landscape and the mills from the outside, then you don’t have to buy a ticket. Besides, the path is open year round. But if what you want to do is to learn and know more about the windmills and visit them from the inside, you can buy a ticket at the entrance or online.

The price for adults is 7,5€ and you can also see other prices in their website, here. The schedules can be found here , and they depend on the time of the year.

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Gouda

Once we did the obligatory visit to the mills, we went to Gouda. It’s a small village which is also located half an hour from Rotterdam.

If you’re thinking about visiting Gouda… YES do it! Gouda is the city where the Gouda cheese comes from, and NO, we didn’t buy cheese. But if you like it you can try all types of chees for free in some of the cheese shops over there.

We parked not so far from the city center in a parking in which we had to pay. It’s really difficult to find a free parking in Holland, but because our stop in Gouda would be just for one or two hours, we decided not to waste any time looking for a free parking spot.

Gouda is a small city and within a few hours we had seen everything we wanted. I have to say that it was Monday and there weren’t many people around, but still, I think it’s a nice town, worth to visit. If you want to know more about Gouda and you don’t want to miss any nice spot, you should read “Gouda, something more than a cheese”

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Utrecht

After a rainy morning, we went to Utrecht which is 40 minutes by car from Gouda. We also parked in paid parking but in this one you could only pay with a credit card. We paid an arm and a leg for the time the car was in the parking. BE AWARE IT IS EXPENSIVE!  The parking was a bit far from the city center but the way was along a big canal. Utrecht has lots of canals, as most of the cities in Holland, so we didn’t mind walking to the city center, as it was worth walking up there.

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Utrecht is a little bit bigger than Gouda, but you can still visit it on foot because all the places are close by. We took a walk through the old part of the city, where the most important buildings are located: the Cathedral, its tower and the University. We walked around lots of streets and squares taking photos everywhere we went. It was a rainy day, but even that, I think Utrecht is a city full of life. Definitely I would return (and I did).

RECOMMENDATION: I’m sure there are many nice and good bars and restaurants in Utrecht but at the moment I can’t recommend you any of them because I haven’t been in them yet. But if you don’t want to spend a lot, I can recommend you another place where you can eat really good things at a low price: HEMA a shop that you will find throughout the Netherlands. The shop has everything you can think of, from food to decoration objects for the house, clothing and bike stuff. There is also a “restaurant” section that serves food all day. Some of the offers that you have to consider are: from 8:00 to 10:00 the breakfast is 2€ and from 16:00 to 18:00, for 1€, you can have tea or coffee and a piece of cake.

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Maastricht

It was so late when we were still in Utrecht and we also wanted to see Maastricht, so we had to drive at night. We knew that all the shops and buildings would be closed when we got there, still, we went.

We arrived to Maastricht at 9 o’clock in the evening, so we took a quick walk through the city center. We saw the City Hall which is located in the Market Square. We also saw the Basilica of Saint Servatius, which is located in a really nice square that I recommend to visit during the night. I really liked the color lights of the houses around there, they were beautiful.

We could see more or less the city (definitely I have to go back someday) and then we started going to the last stop that day: Compogne. It’s a small town in Belgium, where we spent the night.

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For sure I will go back to Maastricht, so don’t worry, I’ll write about it.

We were going to the small town where we went to sleep, and suddenly it started to snow. To see snow is one of the things that makes me really happy (I guess that’s because I live in a place where it never snows). The only thing I thought atthat moment was that hopefully the snow would not melt and the next day it would be all white.

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Where to sleep?

The next day we wanted to visit Luxembourg, that’s why we had to find a place near the border. So we decided to start looking for a place using the Airbnb map. Finally we booked a room in Compogne, a small town in eastern Belgium, so close to the Luxembourg border, because it was cheaper than the rooms in Luxembourg.

We booked the room on Airbnb and thanks to the discounts that we had, we could sleep that night for 22€ for two people. The place was great, even more that we had expected. We both thought that it was better that it looked in the photos. Therewith, the owners were very nice and they were there for us anytime we needed. Here you have the website, so you can take a look.

If you also want discount at Airbnbhere I leave a link so you can register yourself and get 18€ credit for the first booking. Or click on the Airbnb logo on the right side of my homepge to get the discount.

 

This was the first day of our road trip. Here below you can see the map with all the places we visited and where we stoped. If you want to know more about the route that we took the second day, don’t miss the next post.

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Check how to save the map.

Have you even been in some of this places? Let us know in the comments where you’ve been and what was the most you liked.

 

THE NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG ROUTE:

 

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