Brussels a day trip from Paris?

Nov 19th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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Brussels a day trip from Paris?

I did some research and discovered that Brussels is approximately 2 hours away from Paris by train. What do you think about making it a day trip from Paris? Is it feasible?
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 06:12 PM
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Yes, I did that but unfortunately on a Monday. lots of places closed. So, research essential if you have things in mind to see. But, however I had a great time walking around and lunch on a terrace before catching the train back.
cigalechanta is offline  
Nov 19th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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By Thalys it's only an hour and 15 minutes from Paris Nord to Brussels. Easy enough to do on a daytrip.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:56 AM
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Brussels isnt worth it. There are so many better places right in France.
travelbeach is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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We spent 5 days in Brussels in May and we loved it there. Belgium people are the most friendly people so far we encounted in Europe and we LOVE their chocolate. It's worth the trip just to get chocolate there. Our favorite brand is NEUHAUS.
baby108 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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Fantastic I was hoping that this would be an option. Last time I was in Paris we only took a sidetrip to Versailles. We'll probably do that again, however I wanted another option. Thank you all for your input. It's especially nice to know about the Thalys. Thanks again folks.
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Travelbeach, I am curious as to why you would say that Brussels isn't worth it. Could you explain this to me?
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Hi mmm,

I suggest that you consider Bruges instead of Brussels.
ira is online now  
Nov 20th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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you know ira, i actually looked into Bruges. How far away from Paris is it?
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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Yes, feasible, but why would you want to leave Paris for Brussels?
hansikday is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:02 PM
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Michelle: According to Michelin, Paris-Bruges: 294 km in 03h02.

Ira's suggestion is right on. Bruges is beautiful. A ride on the canals is a must.

travginny is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:36 PM
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Great Ginny, thanks for the info. I had actually looked into Bruges, however on the map I've been working off of it doesn't have the distance. Now that I know, I think I'd much rather go to Bruges than Brussels. From what I've read it sounds great.
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:21 PM
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Brussels is worth it, so don't be put off. Do two day trips, see both.
tondalaya is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 11:46 AM
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i wish two day trips were possible but it's simply not with the time i've alloted.
mmmichelle01 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 02:45 PM
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If I only had time for one trip I would definitely go to Bruge.
1jan1 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 02:55 PM
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We enjoyed Brussels...the Grand Place is beautiful! Great Belgian beer and chocolate

sandypaws3 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Hi Ira,
How easy is it to take a day trip to Bruges, without taking a tour with a group like Paris Vision? Don't you have to go to Brussels, and then catch a train or bus from Brussels to Bruges? It would seem to me that that would make it too long a journey for 1 day. We've been thinking of taking the Paris Vision tour to Bruges, as the tour bus goes directly there. Is there a train directly to Bruges?

sandypaws3 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:42 PM
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I would have to second ira- I would skip Brussels and spend the time in Brugge. I took a side trip to Brussels and Brugge this Past April when I was in Paris. I stayed over and the hotel was very charming and the people warm & welcoming. That said, except for the Grand Place, which admittedly I saw in the cold April rain, I didn't care for Brussels, and I found it very difficult to get around, and pricey. The chocolate is divine - I prefer the small boutique shops, but you really can't go too far wrong.

On the actual transpo, I took the train from Gare du Nord, - it's open air- be sure to dress warmly or keep a jacket handy! -- stayed over in Brussels and then took a train to & from Brugge. Not sure, but I think to go directly to Brugge you probably would go through Brussels station, may not need to change.

I missed much of Brugge. My departure from Brussels was delayed by my difficulty finding ( anything on foot!) the Brussels Midi train station- a local actually walked me there! While walking to the main suare in Brugge, I got enraptured at a gallery. I fulfilled a lifelong dream of buying some artwork while traveling, but cut my exploration time in half. I took a brisk few-hour walk. I will have to return for a canal ride and leisurely lunch. Could you perhaps stay over?
ninasdream is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:51 PM
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sandypaws3- forgot to say, I found the travel itself fairly easy. I did this as a return trip to Paris for me, sans guided tour. The ribbon messaging on the train signs was not in English- flemish or dutch, french and German, I think. I don't want to discourage, but if you don't speak French or German, have a good little phrase book. My fellow trainriders were very willing to try to help.

Before boarding the train, you need to go up to the little machine and validate your ticket. If you are late or forget, do find a conductor right away & tell him, and he will mark you ticket. I highly recommend buying your ticket online to say up to 50%.
This board was instrumental in helping me put the phases of my trip together, so please feel free to ask me anything. It's always a thrill to return the favour!
ninasdream is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 05:10 PM
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I've been to both Brussels and Bruges and liked them both and would never say one is really superior to the other. I went to Bruges on a trip where I was then moving on across Belgium to Amsterdam, whereas I did Brussels as a day trip from Paris, actually. Brussels is a shorter trip and thus if you really had no preference I might prefer it for a day trip for that reason.

I was in Bruges too long really but that's a long story involving a man (what else) -- maybe 3-4 days. My preference tends to be for real cities, not just small, cutesy tourist cities, so actually kind of preferred Brussels (although they do have their attractions, I admit). I'm not big on lace.

I think you can get to Bruges in about 2-1/2 hours from Paris by train, although not direct (which adds on a little hassle, not as relaxing). That is just within the limit I put for daytrips.

I really liked Brussels and want to go back. Part of this has to do with my own personal interests (such as they have an excellent music museum), and I think that's what you have to ultimately decide upon. Is there anything special in Brussels you want to see? I also am very interested in Art Nouveau architecture, and enjoyed Brussels for that reason, as I could do a walking architectural tour of some areas noted for that.

I was only in Brussels for a day trip, but don't understand it being difficult to get around. They have an excellent metro system and the main things I wanted to see were within walking distance of each other in the center (except for the Art Nouveau section in a suburb). They have a metro station at the train station, so you don't have to use anything else.

I love chocolate and beer, also.

I haven't been to Bruges for quite a few years so my memory has dimmed, but the main thing I liked there were some churches and museums -- it's pretty also, but I don't really remember anything so outstanding about the place.
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