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Help with Brussels / Paris / Bruge trip April 07

Help with Brussels / Paris / Bruge trip April 07

Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:04 AM
  #1  
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Help with Brussels / Paris / Bruge trip April 07

Hi fellow travellers,

My husband and I are planning (well I'm planning and he's coming along) a trip to Brussels, Paris and Brugge for Mar/Apr this year. We'd like to be in Brugge over Easter. At the moment we are thinking :

Friday after work, leave on Eurostar from London to Brussels - pre-book a return ticket (we live in the UK).

2 night in Brussels

Train or bus from Brussels to Paris for 4 nights. I have been trying to find the journey time for Eurolines buses but the website is particularly unhelpful. Does anyone know how long it takes by bus? Other option is train, do we need to pre-book the train? I think we would take the fast train as the slow train seems to take 4-5 hours.

Train from Paris to Brugge - again, do we need to pre-book from the UK?

Brugge - 4 nights.

Return from Brugge to Brussels then use our return Eurostar ticket to London.

Does the routing make sense? Thanks for any any comments or help as we have not used the trains that much in Europe (mainly in Italy).

Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:16 AM
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I think it would make more sense to take the Eurostar to Paris, then go to Brussels, then Bruges. You can probably get train tix right at the station a few days ahead of time. Like when you arrive in Paris, buy tix for the trip to Belgium.
pepoling is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:21 AM
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There is a chocolate festival in Brugge in April. You can do a search on my name as I posted the website address recently.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:23 AM
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cheap return fares on Eurostar i think always require a round trip to either Paris or Brussels - can't mix or you pay much more.

As for Thalys train tickets Paris-Brussels - the only direct train option in reality, these tickets must be purchased far in advance to guarantee a low fare. Look at the SMILYS fare, sold only on round trip basis but cheaper than any one way Paris-Brussels - but these tickets are often sold out when they come on the system 90 or 120 days in advance - very hard to book. www.thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com for deals on Thalys trains. thalys trains take about 1.5 hours.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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A chocolate festival - that's right up our alley!!

You have got us thinking now, we thought it would be quicker to go to Brussels first on the Friday night after work but maybe that does make more sense to visit Paris first.

At the end of the trip, we would have to travel from Brugge back to Paris to to use our return Eurostar ticket back to London.

Comments?
Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:45 PM
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It's a tough call. I had a thought about hotel costs. I think a lot of Brussels hotels have dramatically lower rates on the weekends because it's such a business trip-oriented city. For this reason, you might consider going to Brussels first (it might also be easier to then get a mid-week room in Paris).

The fast train (Thalys) from Brussels to Paris is definitely worth it over the slow train.
Felly is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:53 PM
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I know you didn't ask for hotel recommendations but I wanted to mention a great B & B in Brugge. It's called Sint Niklaas B & B. I did a trip report on Trip Advisor about them. My husband and I went to Brussels and Brugge in April of 2005. They had only been open about a month. The rooms were wonderful and the breakfast was the best, most extensive I have ever had. Their website is www.sintnik.be
We rented bikes one day and rode along the canal and around the market. I think that was the day that I decided I liked beer!
rfbk50 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:14 PM
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Brugge is at its most crowded on the weekends. You'll have more of the city to yourselves (relatively speaking) mid-week.

Another nice lodging option is the Egmond. I stayed there in 2001 and liked it a lot.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:26 PM
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Thanks so much for all the tips. I'll have to get right on to enquiring at hotels in Brugge as I'm sure it will be busy over Easter. I think we've decided to visit Brussels first, by Eurostar.

Happy travels.
Kay
KayF is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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I would recommend basing in Bruges and day tripping to Brussels to see the few main sights in this, to me, one of Europe's least romantic cities. You could do a round trip Eurostar London-Lille then take local trains from there to Bruges. And when you come back from Paris to London you simply take TGV to Lille to go on your return Eurostar ticket to London. Personally i prefer Antwerp, Gent and Bruges over Brussels, which, however should be seen simply because it's a famous city. But unless into museums there's not much there for the average tourists and Antwerp, Gent and Bruges all have museums of equal or great prestige. And don't get me wrong, Brussels can be a fascinating city - a cosmopolitan one that is the capital of Europe - but for the average tourist quite a dud IMO as compared to the other three genuinely old-world atmosphere cities.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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4 days in brugge may be too long..3 would be sufficient..prebook the fast train from brugge direct to paris..there is one a day..and is totally worth it..I prefer Rue cler while in Paris
aggie83 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Many days there are no direct Bruges-Paris Thalys trains according to www.bahn.de site - i believe this train runs about one day a week currently so fine if it's that day - leave at 5pm from Bruges on Sundays is all i could find.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 14th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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We were in Brussels and Brugge in March 2005. We took some students to brussels for a seminar from our home base in Paris. Afterword we toured the old section, ate mussels, bought lots of chocolate. we spent the night and decided to head to Brugge the next day instead of two days in Brussels as origanially planned.
we also only spent one day in Brugge. Lovely town. But, it must have been at least 10 degrees colder than Brussels or Paris. And windy. Be prepared.
maggiez7 is offline  
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