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Advise Needed

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Hi All,

After all the useful feedback and lovely insights. Not really interested in museums - just 1 or 2 and would like to do things slowly rather than just rushing. Our tickets are finally booked.

Our tentative itinerary (self with hubby and two teenagers) is as follows :

Arrive in Brussels and proceed directly by direct train from Brussels airport to Brugges. Do we need to book these tickets in advance? Any advise please as to where at the airport can we buy these tickets?

Spend 3 nights in Brugges (earlier had opted for 4 nights but I think it would be too much).

Any mid-level B&B / hotel recommendations in Brugges?

Then proceed to Brussels. Spend 3 nights in Brussels.
Hotel recommendations in Brussels please?

Now we need the advise of expert Fodorites. We still have 8 more nights. We will be flying out of Paris. But Paris hotels are very expensive so we thought of just spending 4 nights in Paris and the other 4 nights somewhere in the middle which can be reached by trains.

We were initially looking at travelling to Cochem from Brussels via Thalys to Cologne to Kolblenz and then onto Cochem but there are nearly 3 train changes which I am hesitant to do with luggage.

Recommendations required for places close to Cologne where we can spend 3-4 nights and then proceed to Paris. Would prefer a small scenic town / village not a city.

Alternatively, we are okay with going to Paris directly from Brussels by Thalys and then moving to a small scenic village close to Paris which can be reached by local TER trains. Any advise please? Note we will not be having a car and will be depending on public transport.

Though, ideally I would prefer spending time in Germany in a small village/town before Paris.

Also, any recommendations for Paris apartments/hotels? I read somewhere that Paris apartment booking is in a state of flux and it could be a hit or miss and one needs to be very careful?
This will be our second trip to Paris so would like to do Musee d'Orsay and Chateau Fontainebleu.
Any advise ?

Kind regards,

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