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Day Trips to Strasbourg & Bruges during winter

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Oct 31st, 2013, 11:23 AM
  #1
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Day Trips to Strasbourg & Bruges during winter

Hello ..
. I am interested in visiting Strasbourg & Bruges while I am in Paris (dec 27th thru jan 5th). For Strasbourg should I go prior to 12/31 so that I can see the Christmas markets or is it just as nice after the new year? As for Bruges I figured any day after the new year. Pls advise. These are day trips. Thanks for your time.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 11:29 AM
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The Strasbourg Christmas market closes down on December 31.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 11:34 AM
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If you go to Strasbourg, you definitely should go before the market closes down. I'm not sure 2 long day trips would be my choice during a 10 day trip. Have you been to Paris before?
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Oct 31st, 2013, 12:21 PM
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I agree with Judy. I might be okay with one day trip, but not two and not one as lengthy as Paris-Bruges-Paris. I assume you've already purchased your plane tickets, but I would have otherwise suggested an open jaw (Paris and Brussels) itinerary, with a night spent in Bruges. If I've done the math right, it will take approximately 2.5 hours to get from Paris to Brugges and that doesn't factor in transit time to and from the train stations and any "layover" between your train from Brussels and your train to Bruges.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 12:24 PM
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Hi Judy.. This will be my 3rd time in Paris . However, it will be my moms 2nd and my aunts 1st. We arrive in Paris at 830am . I will definitely go to Strasbourg prior to the markets closing.. I heard Bruges would be nice to see. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Thanks indyhiker. Looks like I may just do Strasbourg . This is my 3rd time in Paris but it will be the 2nd for my mom and 1st for my aunts. Yes I bought my plane tickets. I'll have go do Belgium some other time.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 03:50 PM
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The average traveler may well like a day spend in Bruges as much or more any anything they would have spent that time doing in Paris IME - Bruges is just 2.5 hours (well just is subjective) from Paris - it is a very very romantic old city and at that time of year unlikely to be too mobbed with tourists as it oft is in summer.

Buy a deep discounted ticket on Thalys (www.thalys.com) round trip and you also could have a little peek at Brussels - see the Grand' Place and Mannquin Pis - the statue of a small boy peeing which is not the icon of Brussels - then go back to Paris in about an hour or so.

For lots of great stuff on French and Belgian trains I always spotlight these IMO superb sources - www.seat61.com - good info on discounted tickets (which though are sold in limited numbers and which much to guarantee be booked in stone months in advance and then cannot be refunded nor changed but much MUCH cheaper than full fare. Ditto for Paris to Strasbourg - www.voyages-sncf.com); and www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

I think most folks would love Bruges even more than Strasbourg and Bruges is much smaller and more manageable on a day trip IMO. But Strasbourg is great.
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Oct 31st, 2013, 04:48 PM
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I see that it takes over 2 hours to get to Strasbourg, too. I guess it really just depends on how you want to spend your time and money and what you went to see. Bruges is lovely; I'll give you that! I never tire of Paris, but I realize that feeling isn't universal. Have you done any of the day trips that are closer to Paris, e.g., Reims or Versailles?
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Oct 31st, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Just a reminder to bring a good umbrella and shoes that don't dissolve in the wet for that time of year. That corner of Europe is miserable and grey (often rain, sometimes also snow) in the winter and, speaking from experience, nothing is worse than a day trip when you are walking around in the rain. Having said that, I wish you a good trip, with good weather!

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Nov 1st, 2013, 07:38 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=la+d...=1600&bih=1075

In Paris itself trek out to La Defense for what many say is the finest Christmas Market in Paris - if into Christmas markets.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 12:06 PM
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It isn't really an issue of whether you are "tired" of Paris, but just that for a lot of people, they want to see a variety of places on their major trips as they don't get to travel to Europe that often. I often travel 2 hrs each way on a day trip, that isn't that long, a lot of people easily waste that time doing nothing of any importance. FOr example, if you got there by 10:30 am and left at 5 pm, a lot of people aren't doing anything that special 5-7 pm anyway (or before 10).

It's nice to see places other than huge cities like Paris.
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Nov 2nd, 2013, 09:35 AM
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I agree 100% with what Chirstina wrote above - folks tend to say there is so so much to see and do in Paris you should spend all of a week or longer there - some say even going to Versailles is too much - and it's only a short RER ride away - but often folks say Paris has so so much to offer.

Well so do the more typically French regional cities within an hour or two of Paris by train - Chartres, Reims, Strasbourg, Lyon, Dijon, etc.
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:32 AM
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One factor with winter trips is the shortness of daylight - it may starting getting dark around 4 pm so if doing a longish day trip I'd leave really early - a town like Brgues just ain't the same in dark (though it can be nicer in some ways as the old humpbacked wooden drawbridge are sublimely illuminated after dark!
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 10:06 AM
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You could also consider a short trip to Lille from Paris -- less than one hour by TGV, good Christmas market and completely different architecture and cuisine.
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 10:34 AM
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We loved the few days we spent in Strasbourg at Xmas time a few years ago! It's very festive! You can see our pics here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7612385490187/

We also spent a few days in Bruges at Xmas the year before and it was great as well. You can't go wrong!

Be sure to check out what days the Xmas markets close just in case some are closed after Xmas...
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 10:48 AM
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We have been to Bruges in both November and August. I much prefer August. It is a great little town.
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