The Flanders Route Inspire me

The Flanders Route

Get on the Flanders Route!

Travelling couldn’t be easier than between the cities that make up Famous Hostels’ Flanders Route! The maximum time you’ll have to spend on buses and trains between these fantastic cities is only 2 hours, and there are seriously inexpensive ways of getting around.

The six Flanders Route Hostels have also come up with some great discounts for anyone travelling between them!  Pick up your booklet from any of the hostels’ receptions.

flanders amsterdam

Starting in Amsterdam, you can travel to Rotterdam, Bruges, Leuven, Lille and end up in the fabulous Paris sampling the excellent food and beers along the way. Here’s some tips on what to expect in each of the Flanders Route destinations:

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Amsterdam

As if this city needs an intrduction!  Culture, history, art, entertainment, nightlife, canals, bikes and a smoke, Amsterdam has it all.. Locally known at the Venice of the North, Amsterdam has an enormous network of canals that crisscross the city. The Canal Belt surrounding the historical centre gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010.

If you want to get a taste of cultural Amsterdam, you have to visit some of its great exhibits. Amsterdam has over 50 museums and galleries to explore! Besides the ultra famous Van Gogh, Anne Frank and Rijksmuseum exhibits, there is a massive amount of other museums worth visiting. How about a taste of life on a traditional houseboat, an impression of modern photography in FOAM or a closer look at beer brewing (and tasting) at the Heineken Museum?

Amsterdam has become one of the most multicultural cities in the world thanks to the locals’ relaxed, tolerant and non/conformist ways. Luckily this is reflected also in the city’s restaurants where you can find anything from Argentinian Steak Houses and floating Thai Restaurants.

 Rotterdam

Rotterdam is the architectural capital of the Netherlands with an amazing skyline. Skyscrapers are being built everywhere along with landmarks such as the Euromast Observation Tower and the famous Erasmusbridge. The impressive Port of Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe and is the beating heart of this city on the river Maas. Anyone who wants to truly experience Rotterdam has to embrace the port as well.

Rotterdam is known for having a relaxed, laid-back and creative vibe. There is always something to do and to explore. Rotterdam has been voted Best Festival City of the Netherlands three times and in 2012 the city was the Best Festival City of the World. There’s the International Film Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam Unlimited Festival and the Rotterdam marathon. Our favourite hotspots are Nieuwe Binnenweg and Westelijk Handelsterrein with its many art galleries, bars and restaurants. Also Meent and Witte de Withstreet are great places to chill out, shop, drink and mingle with the notoriously friendly Rotterdam locals.

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flanders_discounts_2Bruges

One of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations is at the very heart of Europe and should absolutely not be missed when visiting, even if you’re not the romantic type!  The windy cobbled streets can be difficult to navigate to begin with, but power on and you won’t help but to be captivated by the Belgian city’s beauty.

Bruges is a small enough city but like most places with narrow cobbled streets and reasonably tall buildings, it’s easy to get lost. To fix this jump on a boat tour and get your bearings. They start out from the canal just south of Burg Square and all tours pitch up at around the ten euro mark, with mostly multi lingual guides.

Leuven

Around 25 kilometers and a short train ride outside the Belgian capital of Brussels, Leuven is a must-see when visiting the country. Home to the world’s largest brewing company, and the oldest Catholic university still in existence.

While the city is small and possible to visit even as a day trip, it is the young and creative vibe that will keep you here for longer. Perhaps most famous for its bar scene, one of the main squares in town has no less than 40 bars in a row, so whatever kind of night out you’re looking for you’re sure to find it here!

Home to the largest University in Belgium, Leuven has a very high number of students, only adding to the atmosphere. But that’s not all the city has to offer; there are some beautiful monuments and historical buildings to visit, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site around Grot Begijnhof.

flanders_discountsLille

Situated right on the border of France and Belgium, Lille is France’s fourth largest city. Set on the banks of the Deûle River, Lille is one of France’s most underrated cities. The Flemish accent is present both in the locals’ speech and in the architectural style of the town, where the streets of the old town are filled with red and brown brick buildings.

Lille is also hostel to La Braderie, Europe’s largest flea market. On the first Sunday in September around three million tourists flood to the city centre where the streets are closed and thousands upon thousands of locals set up their stalls and sell their goods!

Paris

Paris never ceases to amaze. Labeled worldwide as the City of Lights, Fashion and Romance; Paris is definitely all that and much more. Constantly evolving and innovating with the times; Paris retains a classic yet unique charm that makes you fell in love with it over and over again. There’s so much to see, do and experience in this city of never-ending surprises.

A romantic night cruise along scenic Seine River is highly recommended – the views are breathtaking, offering a different perspective of Paris. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay are must-sees- they’re definitely two of the best Museums in the world! You could spend days (even weeks!) admiring the fine detailing on the grand paintings, carvings, sculptures and ceilings.

For cheap ways to get around the Flanders Route check out iDBUS and Eurrail for more information.

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The Flanders Route
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