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em Nov 23rd, 2002 11:22 AM

Paris to brussels...shall I go by rail or road
We ar e a family of 3 adults and a baby going to paris. We would like to go to brussels for 5 days. SHall we drive from paris to brussels or take the train?

BTilke Nov 23rd, 2002 11:28 AM

Definitely take the Thalys (high speed train). It's at least twice as fast as driving. Also, driving around Brussels is no picnic; traffic is terrible, streets can be confusing. It's easy to catch a cab from the train station. <BR>The Thalys offers family compartments at the end of each train car (at least they do in first class, not so sure about second) that are separated from the main train compartment by glass partitions. However, two sets of facing seats in the main compartment would also suit you.<BR>BTilke (Brussels)

Ronda Nov 23rd, 2002 12:03 PM

BTilke is so right about driving in Brussels! It was a nightmare. If you do decide to drive, I would turn the car in at the Brussels airport and take the train into Brussels. Whatever you do, don't turn the car in town. <BR><BR>

Ronda Nov 23rd, 2002 12:05 PM

PS Where would you rent a car in Paris? Again, I suggest renting at the airport and not driving into Paris.

Rex Nov 23rd, 2002 03:58 PM

I suppose that I am a fearless driver, but I didn't consider driving in Brussels intimidating.<BR><BR>The decision might be based on what you want to do once you get to Brussels. If you are staying in the city, then it does seem unlikely that a car will confer any advantage.<BR><BR>But the Thalys seems very expensive for such a short ride, and with three (adult) passengers, you could save money with a car rental - - IF (and maybe only if) you have some reason to keep the car for (a) second/third day(s).<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

StCirq Nov 23rd, 2002 04:59 PM

Ah, but if you drive, you can have the incomparable experience of following the Meuse, in one of the prettiest valleys in Europe, with wonderful towns and sites along the way.

xxx Nov 23rd, 2002 10:36 PM

It's only an hour or so if you take the comfortable Thalys high-speed train. I would imagine that it would be exhausting driving up to Brussels with adults only, but you have a baby also. <BR><BR>Take the train!

BTilke Nov 24th, 2002 12:08 AM

We have driven in Paris and New York City at rush hour (even worse, trying to get back into NYC on a summer Sunday evening), through northern Germany during an ice storm, and all over Europe, but Brussels was among the worst. Rex, did you try driving around the Place Louise and Palais de Justice during morning rush hour? Also, many of the streets in Brussels are currently under construction, detours are up all over the place, and given the slow pace at which anything in Brussels gets done, those detours will still be in place. <BR>We've usually taken the &quot;fast route&quot; up from Paris and it still takes up to 5 hours in a not particularly scenic route. And heaven help you if you get stuck with a truckers' or farmers' &quot;manifestation&quot;. That happened to us last February and it took 11 hours (!!) to drive from the Paris airport back to Brussels. The farmers blocked most exits, so we couldn't get off the roads to find a back route.

ttt Nov 24th, 2002 03:08 PM


Lucky Pierre Nov 24th, 2002 05:41 PM

City center to city center in about two hours. Only the train gives you that kind of deal. And in comfort, too. With a baby along, sheesh.

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