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Is this Workable? London-Bruges-Brussels-Paris

Is this Workable? London-Bruges-Brussels-Paris

Old Feb 4th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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Is this Workable? London-Bruges-Brussels-Paris

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe in May or Sep. We are putting aside 15 days. We are thinking of doing the following:

Fly in to London and stay 6 days. Then travel via Eurostar to Bruges via Brussels. Spend 1 night in Bruges. The next afternoon, travel back via Eurostar to Brussels. Stay one night. Then travel via Eurostar the next afternoon to Paris, where we will stay the remaining nights before flying back. Is this a workable itinerary? I understand that there are probably far more to see and do in London and Paris, so I have set aside more time in those 2 cities. But I am not sure if this is too hectic an itinerary? Please advise!

On another note, I am still confused about traveling into Bruges and from Bruges back to Brussels. Is it better to buy a Eurostar ticket for both routes, or use other forms of trains?

I would also think it is better to buy a Eurostar ticket to get from Brussels to Paris as well, right?

Thanks so much! Appreciate any advice given!
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Old Feb 4th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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"I would also think it is better to buy a Eurostar ticket to get from Brussels to Paris as well, right"

Bo Eurostar operates from London to Paris and London to Brussels. You need to buy a separate ticket ultimately from the French or Belgian national railways between Belgium and France. The easiest way to understand this is at http://www.seat61.com. The handiest timetables are at www.bahn.de

Virtually all Eurostar tickets to Brussels are valid for any destination in Belgium if you change at Brussels.From Bruges to Paris, it's sometimes easier to get a train to Lille and change there, and not bother returning via Brussels: you'd book a through Bruges-Paris ticket, via Lille
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Old Feb 4th, 2012, 11:11 PM
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We did a very similar trip a few years ago, though we had longer than you. For the Eurostar, book as far ahead as possible, when the tickets first become available they are the cheapest. It doesn't sound like you have much time in Brugge, I suspect once there you will wish you had longer than one night. We've had two trips there and would go back tomorrow.

You need to buy a Eurostar ticket to Brussels, you can use the same ticket to Brugge, just keep it with you and show the conductor. It should say on it 'Valid to any station within Belgium'. You don't need to prebook the Brussels to Brugge bit. The Eurostar only goes to Brussels, from there you get off, change to another platform, within the same station complex, and get a local train to Brugge.

To get back to Brussels you can buy a ticket at the station in Brugge and just hop on the next train. We found a handy station map online which helped us in Brussels with finding where to go, there are signs of course but looking at our map before the trip did help.

From Brussels to Paris we caught the highspeed Thalys train, which you can book online. Just google Thalys. The Eurostar does not travel between Brussels and Paris.

Kay
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 12:42 AM
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Yes, the Man in Seat 61 explains the 'Any Belgian Station' extension

http://www.seat61.com/Belgium.htm

whereby the non Eurostar Brussels to Bruges/Brugge leg is conveniently included in the Eurostar ticket.

Both the Eurostar and Thalys sites appear to allow for booking Bruges/Brugge (being Flemish the locals prefer the latter) to Paris, even though it is not a Eurostar route and only one or two of the more than a dozen Brugge to Paris options each day are Thalys all the way from Brugge - the others involve a change from the local train to the Thalys in Brussels.

Agree that you should spend at least two nights in Brugge. (FWIW I enjoyed my two night stay last year at the Hotel Loreto, nicely located between the station and the Markt, and also managed an easy excursion to and along the coast by train and then tram.)
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 01:06 AM
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I would drop the night in Brussels and spend both in Brugge. If I remember correctly it takes 3+ hours to get to Brugge from London so you will only have 1/2 day there and then you will be packing up and heading to Brussels, for another 1/2 day then on to Paris. I would pick one of the two (Brugge!!) or spend 2 nights in Brugge and stop for the day in Brussels on the way to Paris to see the main square which is lovely and have lunch maybe and then head to Paris. I just dont feel Brussels is as interesting as Paris or Brugge.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 01:33 AM
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I agree that you should spend 2 nights in Brugge. It's a lovely little town with loads of atmosphere. It's only 1 hour from Brugge to Brussels by train. I'd leave your luggage at the railway station in Brussels and pop into the Grand Place for a quick look and lunch, then carry on into Paris. That way you cut down on the number of hotels you're using and save time on checking in and out of one. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 01:40 AM
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Hi there, i completley agree with the above.. unless there is a strong desire to see something particular in Brussels i would strongly recommend you consider 2 nights in Brugge and just stopping in Brussels for lunch on the way from London (its easily done with just the one eurostar ticket- we did this, the main square is about 10 minute walk from station and you don't need to pr book seets on the brussels- brugges bit, trains run every half hour or so and you just jumo on any one when you are ready (take about an hour)., arriving in Brugge late afternoon/early evening for dinner and then a whole day to explore by foot. You can then go from Brugge to Paris via change in Brussels. Or vice- versa stopping on the way to Paris.

Brugges is absolutely lovely and you need 2 nights to get a full day to wonder round. So so much nicer than Brussels for scenery in my honest opinion.

It may be a personal thing but Brussels to me was not somewhere i would return to quickly (honestly-probably never in fact)- the main square is definitely worth seeing but we were so pleased we only stopped for a relaxing lunch, as it seemed to get very grotty quite quickly outside this main square, i would have been very upset if i lost a brugge night for Brussels.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 07:44 AM
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Brussels, IMO, has among other things the best food in all of Europe. I don't know why it gets such a bad rap - I love it. I'd spend a night there, then 2 nights in Bruges as well. I'd take a day off London to make that possible.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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I will also put in a good word for Brussels. Lots to see beyond the Grand Place including a great art museum and some amazing Art Nouveau architecture.
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Old Feb 5th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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Nothing wrong with Brussels, just prepare yourself for the fact that it's predominantly Art Nouveau rather than mediaeval (Grand' Place being the exception). There is plenty to see. Vttraveler has a very good trip report - you should click on her name to find it. Visitors who are prepared to do more than just wander the streets around the Grand' Place usually get more out of their visit - make the effort to see a couple of museums, and make sure you live the good life by enjoying some of their restaurants and cafés.

Lavandula
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