Paris to Geneva, Amsterdam or Brussels

Aug 5th, 2001, 05:01 PM
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Paris to Geneva, Amsterdam or Brussels

Greetings: Advice please on best sidetrip from Paris for 3 days or so by train. We are in our mid-20s and this will be our first trip to Europe. We have heard wonderful things about Geneva(in terms of beauty, which is what we like), Amsterdam (which is what a lot of our friends seem to like) and Brussels.
Advice to make the final decision please.

Aug 5th, 2001, 05:32 PM
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My personal favorite, of the three you mention, would be Brussels - for the food if nothing else. I find Geneva cold and not anywhere near as beautiful as, say, any of the Italian lakes. Amsterdam I haven't visited for many years, but it had when I visited it (two or three times in the late 80s, early 90s) a kind of stodgy dullness that didn't immediately appeal to me (and the food, apart for the riikstaffel, did not impress). That's just my opinion.We all come away with impressions of places based on what we personally ae looking for, so this kind of question is hard to answer.
Aug 5th, 2001, 06:00 PM
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If you'll be in Paris I would balance it with some Switzerland. I'd skip Geneva and go to Berne and the Interlaken area (Lauterbrunen, Murren, Schilthorn, etc). You can also visit Lucerne for the day. We did this over 20 years ago on our first trip to Europe.
These can be done as day trips from Berne. Great scenery, mountains, towns.
Aug 5th, 2001, 06:33 PM
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Myer: Thanks for the insight; we were actually thinking of the Bern area but thought we would be wasting too much time on the train considering we only have a week in Paris altogether. Do you still maintain that Bern (Interlaken) would be a good trip for 3 days (worth the train time)? We really do want to go to Interlaken...
Aug 6th, 2001, 12:53 PM
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Of the three cities you mentioned I would definitely choose Amsterdam.

Switzerland is gorgeous but I would choose somewhere besides Geneva if you want to visit Switzerland.

Likewise, Brussels left me cold, but I loved Bruges. I would still choose Amsterdam over Bruges however.
Aug 6th, 2001, 01:52 PM
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Having traveled all over and having lived in holland and in geneva, i would have to suggest that the above advice is good. In general, i would place belgium at the bottom of the list. If you only had three days, maybe amsterdam and brugge (belgium). Otherwise, I would tell my friends to go from paris to switzerland and spend all 3 days in switzerland. Switzerland is expensive (a little more than paris) and i would avoid geneva and opt for other cities. The best part about Switzerland is the alpes. Amsterdam is great for art, the diamond factories and the wild lifestyles. If you want a very calm trip, avoid amsterdam.
Aug 6th, 2001, 02:48 PM
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Another thought would be to stay in France and just spend those 3 days in smaller cities or the countryside near Paris. We've tried a champagne tasting day trip to Epernay from Paris, and I've heard Giverny is nice when the flowers are blooming. Three days in Paris can be quite hectic, and 3 days in the countryside (even if you have to rent a car) would be a nice way to see the other side of France and relax a bit. Driving is easy in France, too.

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