Where to go, how to get there?
December 19, 2010 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Where to stop on the way from Amsterdam to Munich?

I'm going to be heading to Amsterdam for New Year's, staying a few days, and then heading back to Munich. I have from December 29- January 8 free to travel. I was hoping to make a couple stops (traveling by train) from Amsterdam to Munich, but booking the trains is proving problematic.

I was looking at Brussels, Luxembourg, and Lucerne-- is any of the three a stand-out "must see"? Is there some place I should be looking at that I'm not?

Also, in your experience, what's the best way to book train travel between countries-- should I just wait until I get to Amsterdam and go from there? (That leaves the scary possibility of being left without a place to stay.) The websites are not much help, and the train company here says that I need to go through Netherlands train companies directly.

Basically: Where to go? How to get there?

posted by karminai to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (8 answers total)
I'd recommend Freiburg im Breisgau. It's not too far out of your way - and you should be able to get a fast (ICE) train to Frankfurt and then another one onward to Amsterdam - and it's really beautiful.

You probably want to look at the Railteam website if you haven't done so already.
posted by sueinnyc at 7:15 AM on December 19, 2010

seconding sueinnyc's recommendation of Freiburg.
posted by Wilder at 8:04 AM on December 19, 2010

Since you're originating in Amsterdam, you can buy tickets online from nshispeed.nl (note: on the English version of the site, some city names are still in Dutch; for example, Keulen instead of Cologne or Köln). The site includes all of the relevant high-speed train companies, like Fyra (Dutch), Thalys (French), ICE (German), etc. You can print your tickets at home or have them mailed to you; no need to wait until you're in Amsterdam.
posted by neushoorn at 10:01 AM on December 19, 2010

Heh, I came in here to recommend Freiburg too. I was going to check Google Maps first, but I don't think I need to bother now. Lovely place.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 10:34 AM on December 19, 2010

When traveling beween the Netherlands and Germany I've always wound up in Düsseldorf, which is fine with me (although I realize an industrial city flattened by Allied bombing and then rebuilt during the early 1950s isn't to everybody's taste). Instead, cities like its neighbor Köln, or untouched medieval Rothenberg, or even Mainz, Augsberg or Ulm are more touristy.

And how to go, well I'd prefer the train but now the bus is cheaper. Catch one at the Amstel Station (but buy your ticket previously).
posted by Rash at 10:39 AM on December 19, 2010

Freiburg is very nice. If you're willing to go down that way, you might also consider Strasbourg.
posted by asterix at 11:23 AM on December 19, 2010

If people tell you to skip Brussels and go to Ghent or Bruges instead, listen to them. I wish I had.

You could stop off in Utrecht on your way out of Amsterdam - it's got really neat two-level canals, awesome beer parlours and the Dom Kerk.
posted by Gortuk at 11:24 AM on December 19, 2010

Gortuk is correct about Bruges, it really is as pretty as in that movie.

Personally, we had no problems buying train tickets at the station for Netherlands-Germany travel without booking ahead.
posted by ovvl at 12:53 PM on December 19, 2010

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