This travel itinerary is for everyone enjoying roadtrips, joining well-known places, with the ones, who are not often on tourists’ radars. You can either start your roadtrip from Holland, Belgium or Germany, but let’s say you will be starting it from Germany, landing in Stuttgart.
Day 1 – Stuttgart – Esslingen Am Neckar (15 km)
You will land at the Stuttgart airport, pick up your rented car (we would recommend www.economycarrentals) and if you are not into large cities, you can spend your first day in a charming town, just 15 kilometers outside of Stuttgart – Esslingen Am Neckar.
Half-timbered houses, vineyards, good wine and scenic views… Do we need to say more? If so, read all about Esslingen Am Neckar here.
Hotel recommendation: Park Consul Stuttgart is a nice hotel, just steps away from the old town. It has its own parking garage and offers delicious buffet breakfast. (Coordinates: 126.96.36.199 / 009.18.51.1)
Day 2 – Esslingen am Neckar – Aachen (440 km)
If you are keen on rich history, Aachen is the place to visit, as this is the place of the father of Europe – the Charlemagne. His throne was used for coronation of kings over 600 years.
The city cathedral was the first German sight on Unesco world heritage list, but Aachen is also known as an university city and the city of thermal water. More about Aachen and its sights here.
Hotel recommendation: Mercure Hotel Aachen am Dom at the beginning of the pedestrian zone in Aachen. Beautifully decorated rooms, good breakfast and helpful staff. They also have parking available, but for a fee.
Day 3 – Aachen – Brussels (145 km)
If you can plan your visit to Brussels, make it on Sunday as the city has less traffic and it is easier to navigate. To top it off, you can also park your car on the street parking spots for free on Sundays. There are also many parking garages, which charge 15€/24 hours.
One day in Brussels will for sure not be enough, but for more, we would suggest coming here for couple of days. This one day stop will just be a quick sneak peek into the city vibes. Check out here, what all you can do in Brussels in one day and not spending a fortune.
Hotel recommendation: Ibis Hotel Brussels Centre Ste Catherine is a budget, but nice hotel, from which you can walk to all the major sights in Brussels. Its location is also near pubs, cafés and restaurants, which are offering good food on a budget. (Coordinates: 50.51.00.5 / 004.20.52.1)
Day 4 – Brussels – Bruges (100 km)
Before you leave Brussels, stop at its symbol – the Atomium (Coordinates: 188.8.131.52 / 004.20.34.7). If you want to have a look inside, the Atomium opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm.
You will reach romantic Bruges for lunch, so you will be having one afternoon to explore it and get lost on its cobble stone streets, full of history and eye catching scenes. Find out more about Bruges here.
Hotel recommendation: Ibis Hotel Budget Brugge Centrum Station is a renovated budget hotel, close to the train station and with just steps away from a parking garage, where you can leave your car for 24 hours and pay only 3,50 EUR. You will reach the old town of Bruges in 10 minutes by foot. (Coordinates of the parking garage: 184.108.40.206 / 003.13.16.0)
Day 5 – Bruges – Burghaamstede – Renesse (123 km)
Your next stop will be a coastal town Renesse, which is very popular among local tourists during the summer months. There are many camping grounds – we stayed the night in Kamp de Kempe (Coordinates: 220.127.116.11 / 003.47.30.7). If camping is not your thing, find hotels here.
Day 6 – Renesse – Kinderdijk (85 km)
Holland is not Holland without wind-mills and one of the best places to spot them is Kinderdijk Park. There are 19 wind-mills there and the views on them are simply amazing. (Coordinates: 18.104.22.168 / 004.38.15.8)
We stayed at the family run camp Lanhoeve just 6,5 kilometers away from Kinderdijk (Coordinates: 22.214.171.124 / 004.43.22.4), but you can also stay the night in a hotel – check them out here.
Day 7 – Kinderdijk – Gouda – Leiden – Amsterdam (128 km)
Make sure to be in Gouda town on Thursday for the traditional cheese market show. The best timing to reach the town is at around 10 am. Find a parking place before the pedestrian zone and walk to the town square.
After enjoying the cheese market, your next stop for few hours is Leiden – a water canal town, which we loved.
Amsterdam has many camping grounds – we stayed at the Zeeburg camp (Coordinates: 126.96.36.199 / 004.57.42.7), but there are numerous hotel options for every budget as well.
Day 8 and Day 9 – Amsterdam
No matter how many days you will spend in Amsterdam, its funky vibe will always show you, you could stay few days more. Nevertheless, 2 days of Amsterdam are just enough to walk around the main areas. If you are traveling on a budget, here are some tips, how to do Amsterdam on a budget.
Day 10 – Amsterdam – Aalkmar – Texel Island (55 km)
Aalkmar is another town, known for its cheese market, but we were there on a »wrong« day to see it. Even though, we did have a nice stroll around the town.
Continue your way to Den Helder, where you embark the ferry to the Texel Island – one of the best places on our roadtrip.
You can spend a night in a hotel or decide for camping – there are plenty to choose from. We stayed at the family run Kamp de Hoek (Coordinates: 188.8.131.52 / 004.51.09.6).
Day 11 – Texel Island
Day 12 – Texel Island – Hindeloopen (95 km)
Not many people stop at Hindeloopen, what makes it even more special. If you are a big kite-surfer fan, you will want to stay for more than a day, as it is one of the popular kite-surfing spots in Holland.
There are many camping grounds and also some hotels can be found – check them out here. We stayed in one of the camps in a walking distance from the town. (Coordinates: 52.56.05.9 / 005.24.15.7).
Day 13 – Hindeloopen – Sloten – Giethorn (80 km)
If we were not forced to leave Sloten because of the storm and heavy rain, we would easily spend few hours there. The town is small, but sipping a cup of coffee in the morning can stretch for few hours easily. (Free parking Coordinates: 184.108.40.206 / 005.38.48.1)
Just before leaving Holland, you should definitely stop at the romantic Giethoorn and rent an electric boat to explore its charming water canals. (Free parking coordinates: 220.127.116.11 / 006.05.12.6)
Stay the night in Giethoorn and enjoy its romantic feel – check out hotels here.
Day 14 – Giethorn – Rüdesheim (460 km)
Rüdesheim is such a gorgeous little town, with plenty to offer, but mostly it is known for its cable car above the vineyards, taking you to the panoramic viewing point over the river Rhein.
How to enjoy your day in Rüdesheim to the fullest in a separate blog post here.
Hotel recommendation: Breuer’s Rudesheimer Schloss is a top notch boutique hotel in the heart of the old town of Rüdesheim. Great location, amazing food, spacious rooms and with a story to tell. Visit also hotel’s restaurant for a local food with a modern twist.
Day 15 – Rheingau region – Wiesbaden (50 km)
Rheingau region has few more rewarding sights and places, which you should put them in your roadtrip travel itinerary – mansions, monasteries, vineyards, small towns… More about Rheingau and its sights here.
End your day in Wiesbaden and if you have the energy, take a funicular Nerobergbahn to see the views over the city, before heading to your hotel.
Hotel recommendation: Hotel Klemm is near the main square in the old town, what makes it a nice place for an evening walk. One of the best features of the hotel is its breakfast.
Day 16 – Wiesbaden – Stuttgart (240 km)
You will be ending your roadtrip again in Stuttgart, where you can continue your way back home or stay few more days exploring Stuttgart.
*The given coordinates are in h ddd°mm’ss.s format.”