Brugge - Paris - Brussels in 2 weeks?

Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Brugge - Paris - Brussels in 2 weeks?

Ok, finally booked our tickets so we ARE going, yeah! We'll be flying in/out of BRU in March. Since we have to back track to BRU, I'm thinking of breaking up time in Belgium in 2 parts: 3 nights in Brugge, 8 nights in Paris, and 3 nights in Brussels.

We are a family of 4 with 2 teenagers. We have never been to Belgium but have spent a week each in Paris and Amsterdam before. We're "slow trav" type so prefer staying put and doing day trips.

Base on recommendation/reasearch on this forum, in Bruges/Brussels, I'm thinking of day-tripping to Ghent, Antwerp, Luxembourg. Are there others? Maybe Koln or Trier but are these too far? Since we have 8 nights in Paris, I could consider shaving 1 or 2 nights off and use it for Koln/Trier. Thoughts?

As for Paris, we have roughly a week. What are good day trips? The only one we did last time was Versailles. So I'm thinking of Chartres, Reims, Giverny. Do we need a car for these sights? We use the great Orange Carte last time in Paris and got around everywhere.

Anything insight is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:23 AM
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With 4 people you might want to consider staying outside Paris for a couple of days and driving to various towns from there. I wouldn;t want to commute in and out of Paris for several days by car - just a waste of time.

As for Giverney check on their opening dates and times - not sure about March.

You might want to keep things fairly open until a week or so before you leave and you can see what the weather is like. Chilly and rainy makes the countryside not a lot of fun and cities/towns better choices.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:30 AM
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The concept looks good to me but obviously you have more day trip destinations than days available if you want to see the places where you are staying. I can add one more possibility from Brugge: Flanders Fields World War I sites can be toured independantly by car or with a tour. We went with Quasimodo and were pleasd with the experience. Chartres is easy by train.
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Old Feb 4th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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If I day trip to Ghent and Antwerp (2 trips), it'd seem more convenient to do is from Bruges? Whereas Brussels is better for day trips eastward such as Luxembourg?

Do I need a car for any of these day trips?
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Old Feb 5th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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If you daytrip to Antwerp and Gent, you can better do this from Brussels which is central in Belgium. You don't need a car for these daytrips. The train will take you from Brussels to Antwerp in about 45 min. ; from Brussels to Gent in about 35 min.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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Thanks MyriamC. I had the impression that Ghent is equally accessible from Bruges as from Brussels. If I day-trip to Ghent from Bruges, it will give me an extra night in Bruges versus Burssels. Is that not correct?

You're right about Antwerp, we will probably day trip from Brussels.

How about going from Brussels to Luxembourg? Can I do this via train/bus? I assume I would not need a car for Luxembourg.
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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We took our teen the summer before last and drove from Brugge to Normandy. Our teen loved the area and we toured the WWII sites, helped a lot in his history class this year. It can be done in a day trip but a longer stay might be more enjoyable. We stayed at a wonderful B&B (Chateau St. Isle) In Brugge we rented bikes and rode to a little town nearby (I think the name was Damm??) If you are in Brugge on a Sunday, try to take in mass at the basicala of the holy blood. very fascinating. We also did the brewery tour which was interesting.

IN Brussels we got a great rate at the Le Meridien through gtahotels.com. Right across from train station and down the street from the Grand Plaza. Although touristy, our teen loved Cafe Leon for mussels. He also liked the Rintintin museum.

For both brugge and belgium we did an informal chocolate tour and gave our children money to buy and compare chocolates.

have fun, we are jealous

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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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Chartres and Giverny can be done by train. No car is needed for that. Check the SNCF schedule for trains to Reims: http://tinyurl.com/27smd3
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Old Feb 6th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Hello carcassone, my husband and I and two teenagers stayed in Bruges in 05 and we absolutely loved it!
My husband did the WW1 sites also and found it very interesting. The girls loved shopping and we did the bike ride along the Damme which was beautiful.
In case you are looking for self contained accommodation, I can highly recommend http://www.vrbo.com/34803
feel free to ask me for more info if you are interested.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Yes, Gent is equally accessible from Brugge as from Brussels. I thought you were asking for both Gent AND Antwerp, though.
There are direct trains from Brussels to Luxembourg. The total journey time is about 3 hours on the IC train, a little shorter on the EC train but you will need a reservation for the latter.
Check out the international train planner at http://plannerint.b-rail.be/
Fill in "Bruxelles Central" in the FROM field and "Luxembourg Gare" in the TO field.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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ozgirl, my 16yo is looking forward to all the shopping. Any particular area/streets good for that in Belgium? Not the tourist or high end stuff. She likes cool looking European street fashions.

MyriamC, thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Didn't realize Luxembourg is almost as far as Koln.
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Old Feb 7th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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Hi Carcassone, Bruges was the only part of Belgium we visited so can't comment on shopping elsewhere (Amsterdam was also a favourite with our girls!)
The shopping area in Bruges is very compact though, they will find it easily and it won't take long - unless they stop at every chocolatier in between!
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