Help me plan my 'adult family' trip to Belgium & Germany.
May 10, 2014 12:44 PM Subscribe
Questions inside. This is also related to the FIFA World Cup.
posted by hellameangirl to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
Background: I was planning an solo trip to Germany during World Cup time as I am a huge German national team fan and have been in Europe during the last 2 World Cups and its simply heaven on earth to me.
My parents had been wanting to go to Europe as a retirement celebration and so asked if they could join me instead of doing their own thing. They are in their early-mid 60s. My mom is Mexican American and has already explored her Mexican and Spanish roots and now thinks it would be fun to see my dad's family country of origin: Belgium. None of us have ever been and hear its nice so we are adding it. Added bonus that the Belgium national team is supposed to be very good this year, though I am not as familiar with them as I am the Germans.
My brother-in-law is a beer nerd and also a soccer fan like me, and my sister is pregnant with their first child, so they decided they want to join the trip as it may be their last big vacation before becoming parents. The 3 of us are in our early-mid 30s. So I want to be places that are 'grown-up' enough for my parents and pregnant sister, but young and lively enough for me to enjoy beer and soccer with locals.
Soooo thats the background of this adult family trip! On to my questions:
Question #1, how to plan with the games in mind. (For those reading who have no interest in the World Cup but have Belgium and or Germany travel knowledge, please skip to question #2)
Does anyone have strong predictions for the G and H group winners? We will be arriving in Brussels on June 25. We need to be in Munich July 5th to depart, so Belgium for the first week, Germany for the 2nd. If Germany wins their group I will want to cut over to Germany on the 30th to watch the match. I'm thinking Cologne or Dusseldorf as they are near the Belgium border. Which city is more fun? If they place 2nd and Belgium wins their group they will play each other, in which case I don't know where I will want to be! Thoughts? I was pretty certain Germany would win their group over Portugal but now I am nervous since Bayern Munich lost to Real Madrid recently, which saw Ronaldo facing Neuer. My faith in Neuer has been rattled.
We are also thinking of a day trip to Amsterdam for the Dutch team's match assuming they get 1rst or 2nd in their group--any predictions there? I actually do not like the Dutch team one bit but should be fun anyway. Random question, if I wear my Mexico team jacket will I get dirty looks or worse over there? Or is Mexico exotic and underdog enough for it being cheeky and not insulting? (I am American, but live in Los Angeles and we are Mexico fans here)
Question #2 We arrive in Brussels June 25. We have 5 or 6 nights in Belgium. We aren't sure whether to make Brussels the homebase or Antwerp. Can we see both Ghent and Brugges in 1 day? We also want to take a day trip to Amsterdam, is it possible to add Harlem and Liden to the day trip? This really doesn't give us a whole lot of time to see either Brussels or Antwerp. So who has the better waffles? And I don't like sweets so I'm talking waffles that are great on their own. It also doesn't give us a ton of time to try beers all over the place, so what is the 1 BEST brewery to go to?
Second leg: renting a car to explore Germany. I'm thinking Cologne to Nuremberg to Munich to Fussen. We only have 5 or 6 nights, so we can't stay in all these places. I really want to see the Christmas village in Rothenberg and my mom wants to see the castle in Fussen. I also hear Burg Eltz is a cool castle (on the Rhine up near Cologne I think?)
My main question is: Where should we stay at night? Should we make Munich the homebase and take day trips or should we just stay in a different smaller town each night? Is this all too much for 5 days?
Thanks and apologies for the scattered nature of this post!