To Hull (& Europe) and Back: Part III

Read Parts I and II.

Day 7 – Luxembourg City

It’s a 3 hour drive to Luxembourg City today but this will be rewarded with stunning views of the old town and fortifications which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Board the fun Petrusse Express which will take you on an hour long audio guided tour of the city.  It will give you a good overview of the city’s past, a few ideas of what to explore during your visit and the best part is that it’s suitable for all age groups.

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Luxembourg City.  Photo by 55Laney69.

Stop for an ice-cream at arguably the best ice-cream shop in Luxembourg, Bonomeria, before heading to Luxembourg City History Museum to learn more about the city.  It is open from 10am until 6 pm and costs €5 pp to enter (free for under 21s) but it extends its opening hours on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm and it’s also free to get in at that time.

Stay at the Melia Luxembourg which offers modern accommodation with great views and is in easy walking distance to the main sites; it’s also budget friendly.  If you don’t mind spending just a little more, Le Place d’Armes Hotel is well worth it.  It is set in the beautiful historic square and minutes from the Palace of the Grand Dukes, ideal for exploring the city and experiencing a touch of luxury.

Day 8 – Luxembourg City

Start your day off with a walk along Chemin de la Corniche, a beutifully scenic promenade; this is the place to take your holiday photos.  Take in the Palace of the Grand Dukes (if you wish to visit, check beforehand that it will be open), the Barrio Grund and then finally, the Cathedrale Notre Dame.  Stop for lunch at AM14 nearby and enjoy the views once more.

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Chemin de la Corniche. Photo by Francisco Anzola.

If you want to relax this afternoon, try Les Thermes located slightly out of the city.  There is a pool, wave pool and water slides for those young at heart and if you want to build a bit of relaxation time into your break, there is also a spa.  There are a number of different steam rooms, our favourite is the Blummen which envelops you with the scent of herbs or fruits.  You can also enjoy the whirlpool, outdoor pool and ice fountain in addition to the usual treatments you can expect from a spa.

Treat yourself to dinner at Clairefontaine and your eyes and tastebuds will be rewarded in equal proportion.  An experienced and loyal chef cooks up various tasty treats every week night from 7:15pm until 9:30pm and so be sure to reserve a table if you intend on dining here.

Day 9 – Amsterdam

Set off in good time for your 4 and a half hour drive to Amsterdam.  Arrive mid afternoon and if you can, take a canal trip (€13 for just over an hour) or rent a bike and spend the afternoon exploring Amsterdam’s Canal Ring.  Enjoy a well earned coffee break at Espressofabriek, a place that all coffee lovers will appreciate with its home roasted coffee beans.  If you’re more into cake than coffee, you won’t be disappointed with its homemade treats; our favourite is the apple cake, served warm!

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Amsterdam.  Photo by Sonny Abesamis.

For a family holiday, Conscious Hotel Museum Square may be the ideal spot as it’s tucked away from the expected nightlife of Amsterdam and close to the museums.  For a more centrally located hotel, try Hotel V Nesplein, surrounded by the canals and aesthetically pleasing.

If you enjoy a modern dining experience Café de Jaren is well suited; sit out on the terrace taking in the view of the Amstel whilst dining on pan-fried wolffish or the De Jaren’s hamburger.  If you’re not a fan of modern and prefer a more unique experience, try D’Vijff Vlieghen where you can enjoy Dutch dishes whilst sitting under four original Rembrandt etchings.  The options for evening entertainment in Amsterdam are vast.  There are wine bars, cocktail bars, bars, pubs, clubs, comedy and live music venues to name just some of the options.  We love the Alto Jazz Café, a dimly lit cosy venue with live music every night from 9pm.  Be warned, once you’re in you may well find it difficult to leave!

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Café de Jaren.  Photo by dutchgrub.

Day 10 Amsterdam and homeward bound

A visit to the Ann Frank Museum is a must if you have not done this before.  The house opens at 9am each day and costs €9 per adult.  The visit will stir a mix of emotions from admiration to sadness and will leave you with a life lasting memory.  If you are a fan of post-impressionist art, the Van Gogh Museum is an obvious choice for a visit.  You can admire the world’s largest collection of his works from his famous Sunflowers to our favourite and lesser known rural themed paintings.  If you are travelling with children who may not fancy too many museums, there are other fun activities to try including visiting one of the many petting zoos or Amstel Park.

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Wheatfield with Crows, Vincent van Gogh (1890). Photo by Niels.

After a busy day of sightseeing, take the overnight ferry back from Rotterdam to Hull.  As one adventure ends, the next is not far behind!

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