Finalized plans Brussels - Paris?

Mar 1st, 2008, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 133
We were in Brussels over Christmas and had a great time. Brussels is a good 2 or 3 day city to catch the major sites. The Christmas market was quite nice. There was a lot of activity at night at the market and at the Grand Place.

There was a nightly light and sound show at the Grand Place which was great. One night a choir performed in the Grand Place.

We stayed at the Novotel Grand Place which was well located and very reasonable. We had two very good meals at Leon's and Au Armes de Bruxells.
spinesrgn is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
spine nice to hear a postive perspective! Thank you for sharing.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,147
I don't think Brussels is that bad. Eat some mussels. Drink some beer. You'll have a good time.

But, I'm not sure I'd choose it over London (in fact, I'm sure I wouldn't). I understand your concerns about everything being closed, but I wouldn't think Brussels will be any more exciting than London for those dates.

As to some of your logistical questions:

1) Given the holidays, I would give Priceline a try for Brussels. I've had good luck getting 4* rooms for $65 or less, outside of the work week. Same for London, though you will have to bid closer to $100 per room.

2) To get to St Pancras from Heathrow, take the tube to Kings Cross. It is a direct trip, and you won't need to change lines.
travelgourmet is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Just in case you stay with the original plan (which looked fine to me. I just spent the week between Christmas and New Years in London and I agree skip the 24-26th of December)

I stayed at the Brussels Marriot. Good location, very nice hotel.
CarolA is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,037
I agree with CarolA, Brussles seems like a fine idea. Given the 3pm arrival at Heathrow, and given that you are flying from the west coast, it makes sense to keep it simple those first few days before the apartment is available. To my mind, that means 4 choices: London, Paris, Lille, or Brussels, any one of which would be lovely. IMO going any further afield (ie somewhere without a direct Eurostar connection from St Pancras) would be too exhausting and complicated.

If for various reasons London and Lille are out, that leaves Paris or Brussels. Since you'd like to visit a Christmas Market, and since you'd have to change apartments in Paris anyways, Brussels is the obvious choice.

As another poster already said, you can take the tube from Heathrow directly to St Pancras to catch the Eurostar. It'll be simple as pie. Once you get to Brussels, get a taxi to your hotel (or arrange a driver pick-up, which ever is best for Brussels) You'll probably be ready to hit the hay after you check in.

And remember- you'll be with your family, you'll be in Europe- it'll be wonderful no matter what city you're in. Keep it simple for your own sanity and whatever place you decide on, you can make it work for you. It's all good!
Apres_Londee is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
Hi D,

I've checked some schedules for you. says that it is 1:11 hr from LHR to St. P.

If you arrive on time, you should make the 17:27 to Brussesls, arriving 20:33.

You can definitely make the 18:35, arriving 21:33.


Shucks, you won't have been up for 36 hr.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
Thanks so much everyone!

Ira - thanks for the checking...yes, it seems like being up for 36 hours ;-)

Carol - I have points for part of the stay in Brussels.

Apres - Lille is not out - I have been checking there as well - now it is all so fuzzy!

Dh suggested today that we stay in London after arrival for one night - 23-24 - to get our rest etc and then catch the train to Belgium on the 24th in the afternoon for either Brussels or Bruges that I can pick.

And then carry on to Paris on the 26th for our final place. I will be happy to do 7 nights there. As I mentioned in another post we really did too much on our first and only other trip to Europe.

Someday I want to do alone with dh and spend a few weeks in Italy...that would be dreamy...but for now - it is a child filled life we lead.
dawnnoelm is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
well - it looks like for now that we are spending the night of the 23 in London and leaving for Brugges on the 24 and spending the 24/25 in Brugges headed for a week stay after that in Paris.

I have enough points to do a Marriott for the night in London and am currently holding 2 rooms at the Renassiance and the County Hall. I need to decide and have searched the board for all the great advice given on both locations.

I know I am going to have to watch the train schedule for the 24th closely to be sure we can get out okay.

I also know that is not even touching London at all or enjoying it in the sense that we desired and it deserves but it will give us a night of rest and if we feel up to it explore a little. (Which is why I wonder if the County Hall is the best choice for one night)

In Brugges I have reserved
Sint Niklaas B&B - it only has three rooms and we are taking them all So will have the entire B&B. I believe 1 1/2 days there will be short enough to keep the teens from being bored.

Onto Paris on the 26th!

Thanks again - your a great group of very knowelegable and patient people. The advise, time and input is very appreciated.
dawnnoelm is offline  

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