Photos: Amsterdam

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  1. City of wonders

    A canal boat with tourists negotiates a lock near the harbor in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The inner city of the Dutch capital is compact with heritage buildings, museums both grand and odd, hidden gardens and outdoor markets — all within easy reach by any mode of transport — except the unwelcome car. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Flower power

    No longer the bargain city of Europe, Amsterdam is still a city of wonders that can be had for a discount, and sometimes for free. (Dev) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Fresh picks

    A vendor selling flowers and plants hands over a bag to a customer at Albert Cuyp market. The market is the busiest in all of the Netherlands and is said to be the largest daytime market in Europe. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Sign of spring

    Varieties of red tulips in bloom in Amsterdam. (Ade Hughes / Ade Hughes) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Urban escape

    People relax at Vondelpark in Amsterdam. In the park are a film museum, an open air theatre, a playground, and several food service facilities. Vondelpark sees around 10 million visitors a year. (Barbara Opitz / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Waterfront property

    Loenersloot castle is located between Utrecht and Amsterdam, on the Angstel River. The castle was first inhabited by the Van Loenersloot family who played an important part in the life of the village in the 12th century. (Amsterdam Tourism Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Have a Heineken

    Large copper kettles used in brewing beer are seen at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, a museum where visitors can learn about brewing and the history of Heineken. The museum reopened in December after a major renovation. (Peter Dejong / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. IJburg Bridge

    IJburg is a residential community currently under construction east of Amsterdam. The neighborhood is being built on man-made islands situated on IJ Lake. (Dev) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Museum Square

    Four museums are located around Museumplein (the museum Square): the Rijksmuseum (center), the Van Gogh Museum (left), the Stedelijk Museum, and the Diamond Museum. (Amsterdam Tourism Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Artsy city

    A visitor visits the exposition "Barcelona 1900", at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The exposition shows the artistic and social life in the Spanish city in the period 1880-1909. (Erik Van Twoud / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Holland icon

    Once a corn mill, the Molen De Gooyer windmill is now a brewery and tourist attraction. The windmill was built in 1725 and towers over the Nieuwevaart Canal. (tclough) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Sound architecture

    The Music Building, located on Amsterdam's IJ Lake, has a restaurant, theater, plaza, and outdoor cafe. (Dev) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Humming harbor

    Amsterdam harbor and historic buildings are illuminated at night by traffic racing through the streets. The harbor is one of the most important commercial centers in Europe. (Hugo De Wolf / 36Clicks Creative) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 5/5/2009 9:53:36 AM ET 2009-05-05T13:53:36

The Real Deal: Multi-city airfare on a Delta Airlines carrier, arriving in Brussels and departing from Amsterdam, first-class rail transportation, six nights' accommodations split between the two cities, breakfast daily, hotel taxes, and airline fuel surcharges, from $799 per person—plus airport taxes and fees of $151.

When: May 7, 14, 2009; add $290 for Sept. 3, 10, 17, Oct. 1, 8, 22; $300 for Oct. 15; $350 for May 28; $400 for June 4; $480 for June 11; $490 for July 9, 16, 23, Aug. 6, 13; $500 for June 18, July 30, Aug. 20; $530 for July 2; $560 for Aug. 27; and $630 for June 25.

Gateways: New York City; add $68 for Miami; $90 for Denver; $140 for Chicago; $150 for Houston, Seattle; $160 for L.A.; additional cities are available. Airline varies by city and departure date.

The fine print: Taxes and fees are an additional $151 per person. A one-way airport-hotel transfer upon arrival in Brussels is an additional $142 for up to two passengers; a departure transfer in Amsterdam is $38 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $377. Read these guidelinesbefore you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest multi-city fare—arriving in Brussels and departing from Amsterdam—for travel in mid-May is $568 including taxes (US Airways). For an additional $382, the Gate 1 Travel package covers international airfare as well as transportation by train between Brussels and Amsterdam, six nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, and all taxes.

Lodging: Three nights at the 184-room Hotel Ibis Brussels off Grand Place and three nights at the 127-room Apollo Museumhotel Amsterdam City Centre. Upgrade your package for an additional $200 per person, which includes three nights at the Hilton Brussels City and three nights at the Holiday Inn Amsterdam; or for an additional $580 per person for three nights at the Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place in Brussels and three nights at the Amsterdam Marriott Hotel.

Tour highlights: This is a self-guided trip, so no activities are included. After your first three nights in Brussels, you'll travel by train for about two and a half hours to Amsterdam, where you'll spend the remaining three nights of your stay.

More: Optional activities in Brussels include a half-day tour of the city ($35 per person) or a full-day excursion to Ghent and Bruges ($56 per person). In Amsterdam, you can add on a city tour by bus and boat ($33 per person) or a half-day trip to Delft, The Hague, and Madurodam ($45 per person). Need more time? You can add nights at the Hotel Ibis Brussels off Grand Place and/or the Apollo Museumhotel in Amsterdam; the rates vary depending on your travel dates. Land-only trips, which include six nights and the train connection, start at $469 per person.

Before you go: For more information, visit the official tourism Web sites of Belgium and the Netherlands. Amsterdam is prettiest in May, when the tulips are in full bloom. Expect mild spring temperatures in both cities, with occasional showers.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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