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Rouen or Brussels: Day Trip from Paris

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Nov 11th, 2013, 12:53 PM
  #1
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Rouen or Brussels: Day Trip from Paris

Hello,

We are fine tuning our upcoming trip to France during Christmas and New Years for 15 days, and will be spending 8 full days in Paris, 4 days in Chamonix over Christmas, and have 2 days left for day trips from Paris at the end of our trip. We have already decided on Strasbourg, but our question is should our other day trip be to Rouen or Brussels? Both seem appealing to me and you guys are the experts, what should we do?

Thanks
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Nov 11th, 2013, 12:54 PM
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I'm not a big fan of Brussels but I did enjoy Rouen for 2 nights.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Also, we will only be trailing by train if that makes a difference.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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joannyc was their any reasons?
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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I am also considering Amsterdam for 2 days and Strasbourg for 1 cutting out a day from Paris
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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I visited both in May, Rouen as a day trip and Brussels overnight. I'd been to Brussels previously (day trip) and knew what to expect. It's OK as a destination, much bigger than Rouen with a "world capitol" feel. The Grand Place is gorgeous when lit up at night. Otherwise, Brussels didn't do much for me. However, I didn't dig deep. There was a threat on Trip Advisor from someone who loved Brussels and gave a lot of details of why - you might dig that up.

Rouen is not quite a small town but it is much smaller than Brussels. You'll probably stay in the core, which feels like a small town. It has a neat, quaint feel, though in December I'm not sure what it will be like. Maybe if there's snow it would be very pretty.

Other than just strolling around and exploring, what would you want to do in each place? Museums? Meals?

I'd probably go with Rouen in part because it should be a quicker train ride and with short days in December you'd have more daylight to explore. Then again, unless you have specific things to see, there isn't a lot to explore in the center.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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What about Bruges? I also visited in May. If you want to see what Bruges looks like at Christmas time, see the movie "In Bruges" (which is set at Christmas). I'd definitely choose Bruges over Brussels.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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I am also considering Amsterdam for 2 days and Strasbourg for 1 cutting out a day from Paris
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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Now I think it is between Rouen and Amsterdam
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Between Rouen and Amsterdam, I'd pick Amsterdam because it is a completely different vibe from Rouen/Paris.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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I was going to say I think I preferred Brussels to Rouen, there is just much more to see, but Rouen is cheaper/closer. I wasn't crazy about Amsterdam, but think it is worth seeing, of course. I don't think that would be in January, for me.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Of all three cities you mentioned, I would rank them (scale 1-10)
Paris 10 (for a reference)
Amsterdam 8
Rouen 6
Brussels 4
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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My PC is acting strange. More cities you are considering or have been recommended by others:

Paris 10
Amsterdam 8
Rouen 6
Strasbourg 6
Brugges 6
Brussels 4
...Grand Place in Brussels 10

There is a lot to see in Amsterdam!!!

Stu Dudley
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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than you! I think I will fly from Geneva (Chamonix) to Amsterdam. Take the train from Amsterdam to Paris. And then a day trip to Strasbourg from Paris. Next question, should I do 3 days in Amsterdam and not go to Strasbourg, or 2 days in Amsterdam and 1 day in Strasbourg?
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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I always add a day to my first destination in Europe (so that I can recover from jet lag) after a long 11 hr flight from the US. So stay at least 3 nights in Amsterdam.

I think there is a lot more stuff to do in Amsterdam than in Strasbourg. We've stayed in Strasbourg on 3 trips - two 1 nighters & one 2-nighter. We've been to Amsterdam 3 times also - and our last trip was a 3-nighter, but we did not visit any museums or the Anne Frank house (did that on prior trips). FWIW, Michelin devotes an entire Green Guide to Amsterdam (200 pages), and only 15 pages in the Alsace Green Guide to Strasbourg.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Your help is greatly appreciated StuDudley, I think we will spend 3 nights in Amsterdam. SO our trip will look like this:

Paris: 5 days

Chamonix: 4 days

Amsterdam: 4 days

Paris: 3 days
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I do feel bad for not seeing much of France though. Is Paris and the Alps enough? This will be my first trip to Europe.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Put all of your time in Paris at the front of the trip. Fly multi-city option into Paris and out of Amsterdam.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Airplane tickets are already purchased
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Nov 11th, 2013, 02:32 PM
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Bummer.

Then I'd go directly to Chamonix after landing in Paris. Then onto Amsterdam and have all 8 days in Paris at the end of your trip.
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