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Driving Bruges to Paris. Is it worth the drive?

Driving Bruges to Paris. Is it worth the drive?

Old May 22nd, 2017, 09:28 AM
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Driving Bruges to Paris. Is it worth the drive?

Hello...
We will be arriving by plane the beginning of October in Amsterdam. Spending 3 days and then driving to Bruges for 2 days. Our flight leaves from Paris.
I was hoping for opinions on driving from Bruges to Paris. Is it worth it? Places to stop along the way?
We love the countryside, quaint villages and off the beaten track sites. And of course we love to eat and drink. We are in our late 50's but act 35...lol
Any and all suggestions are most welcome. Thank you.
Laurie
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 09:36 AM
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Bruges is always worth a visit, touristy as it is (just like Paris is touristy). There are lots of places where you could stop between Bruges and Paris. If you like cities, Lille would be a must. Then there are all of the WW1 battlefields, which are very interesting even if you didn't think they were -- I might even say especially if you didn't think they were since it is generally ignorance that generates disinterest. There is a Louvre in Lens and there is also the château of Pierrefonds, Chantilly or Senlis as you approach Paris. How much time do you have?
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 09:38 AM
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Is it worth it? That is a hard question to answer, for which we need to know how long have you got for this trip?
What are your likes or dislikes?
Hope you are returning your car back to NL!
One more thing.
Read this about gaining access to Paris inside the Périphérique
http://www.urbanaccessregulations.eu...7/france/paris
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 09:48 AM
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I found Bruges too sterile for my tastes, but many people love it.

I don't know why you would drive from Amsterdam to Bruges to Paris rather than taking the train - quick, less hassle, no worries about parking or ZTLs (no-drive zones).
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 10:07 AM
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Personally, I would not drive from Amsterdam to Bruges or Bruges to Paris. On that trip, I would go by train. I do like Bruges for a day, but like Ghent even more.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Is it worth WHAT?

If you rent a car in Belgium and return it in Paris, be prepared for a heckuva huge extra fee.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 10:22 AM
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We did the same trip in March 2014. From Bruges (which we loved. Stopped there for a couple of days going back and forth to Amsterdam) we made a tour of the great gothic cathedral towns - Amiens, Beauvais, Reims - before hitting Paris. Just driving by all the WWI battlefield signposts puts a chill down your spine - very sad. After Paris we visited Chartres as a part of our cathedral tour before heading back to Amsterdam. BTW, Reims was our favorite cathedral.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 10:46 AM
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I would not drive from Amsterdam to Brugge. Take the train. Same to Paris. If you want to hire a car for a couple days and see something of the country do so, but don't rent in one country and drop off in another.
I personally don't are for Brugge, but I am very much in the minority.

How much time do you have between leaving Amsterdam and arriving in Paris?
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 11:37 AM
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Considering how the OP announced the intentions, I would hope that the potential charges for renting a car had already been investigated before making the plan.

Obviously, taking the train is the "wise" option financially but it eliminates the delight of improvisation and wandering. And that is of course a shame.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:22 PM
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Thank you all for the insight and suggestions. I was aware of the costs for picking up in The Netherlands and dropping off in Brugge, but not for Paris. My thoughts are as such.
My husband, even though doing better now has been ill. I thought driving would be more relaxing and we could stop and go at our leisure. With that said it is not a must. Arriving Amsterdam, October 5th and leaving Paris, October 14th. These are the only 2 set in stone plans.
I would very much be interested in trip ideas. I think Bruges has just been a fairytale of mine since a little girl. I had thoughts of visiting Hague etc on the way to Bruges. That was another reason for the car.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:34 PM
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Thank you Kerouac..I agree with the "wandering". It has taken this many years to get here so I don't want to miss out on the beauty of these 3 countries. With not enough time to do everything, I'm obviously trying to come up with the best laid plan with being realistic. Thank you for your tips. I am researching them now.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:37 PM
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Why are you so intent on driving? Excellent train services. The Hague is an hour by train from Amsterdam. You could also do 2 nights in Antwerp. Very lovely city, and then you can day trip to Brugge. Thalys to Paris stops in Antwerp too. Same scenario in Brussels.

I love The Hague, lived there for years. It's the odd one out of Dutch cities. But it's not a city that wears its sentiments on its sleeve. (in contrast to Amsterdam...)
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Thank you Bedar and the others as well. The WW1 Battlefields are a must. I will check into the tours. It may be easy and allow us to see more.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:56 PM
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Been to Brugge but once. It was a charming city, especially at night. We had rented a car and were driving all over Belgium. We left the car at the parking lot by the rail station at Brugge as the town is a PITA to negotiate with a car.

We too visited some WWI battlegrounds as well including those near Ypres.

I too would take the train and then make local arrangements.


We have been to Paris many times, and three days is barely a glimpse.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 01:17 PM
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But since driving can be a lot of fun to certain people, it isn't difficult to drop off a car before crossing the border and getting another one in the next country.

You can leave a car in Bruges and take the train to Lille to get another car. (And as for the militant users of the Brugge spelling when writing in English, I would like to know how they write Florence, Copenhagen or Moscow when talking about those countries. Personally, I think it is more logical to use the accepted English spellings (and yes, I realise that most of those spellings come from the French, which certainly must irritate some people).
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 01:40 PM
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For beauty, visit some of the smaller cities and towns like Haarlem and Delft near Amsterdam. Easy and quick by train.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 02:35 PM
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How long do you have for that drive - if just one day it would be better by train as you would not have much time to get off the main autoroutes - side roads neat but take forever. If you have a couple of days could be sweet.

But think of car rental supplement for returning car in Paris if that is your plan - cars are useless in Paris and Bruges and most large cities.

Trains are great - Schiphol to Bruges in about 3.5 hours - Bruges to Paris about 2.5 hours - can go via Lille and stop there for a few hours.

For lots about trains and ticketing check www.seat61.com; www.thalys.com; www.voyages-sncf.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 03:03 PM
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I don't think that anybody is contesting the fact that the train is the most efficient way to travel.

But some people want to drive. I totally understand that.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 03:19 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. I love Bruges and Paris and had my first taste of Amsterdam last year and would love to go back.

My first experience in Bruges was over 30 years ago and when my cousins and I arrived we discovered our hotel was in a pedestrian only area of town so we drove as close as we could to drop luggage then my cousin went off to find a place to park. In the digital age this will be much easier to manage. We rented that car in Germany and worked out a deal with the car rental company to return a car they had that needed to go back to Belgium--we didn't have to pay extra and it was a nicer car than we had booked.

My husband and I enjoy taking trains in Europe but if you like the freedom of driving by all means do it. We would also recommend visits to the WW1 battlefields and Ypres in particular. We did a one-day tour from Bruges with Quasimodo that included Ypres.

Sometimes it's worth the money to have the experience you want and pay the drop off fee. Or go with Kerouac's suggestion and travel to Lille by train after returning the car to Bruges.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 03:23 PM
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In terms of international drop-off fees, when I worked in car rental in olden times (for Avis), there was no international fee for any rental over two weeks. I confess that I have no idea what has changed since then.
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