Train Information-Brugges-Paris-Provence

Dec 26th, 2002, 07:48 AM
  #1  
Anthony
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Train Information-Brugges-Paris-Provence

We fly in to Paris in July and are thinking about a 2 or 3 day diversion to Brugges, Belgium.

Two questions:
1. is it worth visiting and if so for that long?
2. what about the train logistics from Paris to Brugges and then from Brugges to Gare de Lyon(?)to get the the TGV from Paris to Avignon? I would be interested in knowing the train time between Brugges and Paris as well.

Please no websites, personal experience appreciated.

Thanks!

Also wishing my fellow Fodorites a Happy and Healthy New Year.
 
Dec 26th, 2002, 08:23 AM
  #2  
Eye Spy
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I personally do not believe 3 days in Brugge is necessary. You can take the train from Paris one day, enjoy Brugge, overnight there, take the train to Ghent, enjoy the day there (a must see is the Cathedral with Jan van Eyck's splendid altarpiece: a true must see) and return to Paris late afternoon/early evening. Therefore, technically you would have 2 days/1 night in Flanders. Naturally, it's personal choice and how interested you are in seeing and experiencing the city -- that requires a longer stay. Yet, if you are going to see the city and enjoy it but only for a brief period, 2 days/1 night should be fine for you. Both cities are not that large and the train connections back to Paris are frequent and do-able.

Have a great trip!
 
Dec 26th, 2002, 08:31 AM
  #3  
Eye Spy
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One more thing. Train to Brugge would leave from Paris-Gare du Nord. To get from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de Lyon the quickest way: Take the RER D at GARE DU NORD Direction CORBEIL-ESSONNES until the GARE DE LYON. Total trip time is about 15 minutes.
 
Dec 26th, 2002, 09:06 AM
  #4  
TGV
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It is not necessary to go via Paris if you go from Belgium to the south of France. Take a local train from Brugge to Lille Flandres (usually with a change of train in Kortrijk/Courtrai). There are TGVs from Lille Flandres or Lille Europe (the two stations are 400 metres apart) to Avignon.
 
Dec 26th, 2002, 05:36 PM
  #5  
Betsy
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Brugge is well worth a side trip. It is easy to get there from Paris. Take the Thalys from Gare du Nord (you need reseravations) and you'll need to change trains in Brussels. Its a 90 minute ride to Brussels and I think another hour to Brugge. Trains are hourly between Brugge and Brussels. You could see it with one night. If you are interested in WWI it is a very interesting area. Quasimodo tours offers a WWI day tour of battle sites. If you were to do that it would be better to have 2 nights in Brugge. As the earlier poster said, it is easy to get to Gare de Lyon from Gare du Nord.
One other piece of advice. There is a new TGV station in Avignon. The TGV will also go to Avignon central. Personally, I would make sure my train took me into Avignon central. Transportation into town is mostly via bus. By the time you've gotten into town by bus, you might as well have been on the train. They pack the buses and in July Avignon can be very hot. I was there this past summer and nearly passed out waiting for the dang bus to load. Have a wonderful trip!
 
Dec 27th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #6  
Anthony
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Thanks for all the pertinent information. The TGV from Lille to Avignon is a very interesting alternative as is all the other information.

Je vous remercie et Bonne Annee!!
 
Dec 27th, 2002, 07:06 AM
  #7  
bru
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Anthony:

I agree with the other posters, but please be aware that Brugge will be packed with tourists in July and the train from Brussels to Brugge will be really packed if it is a weekend with people going to the beach.

If it is a weekend, get a 1st class ticket from Brussels-Midi (this is where the Thalys will arrive from Paris) to Brugge. It will be about 10 Euros more, but at least you will have a seat.

Normally, I would Brugge would be worth 2-3 days, but IMHO not in the summer. You might consider a day in Ghent as suggested before or a day in Brussels (which you have to go through anyway), or even Antwerp (which is about a 35 minute train trip from Brussels, although not in the same direction as Brugge)
 
Dec 27th, 2002, 07:19 AM
  #8  
TGV
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You can take a TGV from Paris Nord to Lille Flandres, where you change for a local train to Brugge (usually with another change in Kortrijk/Courtrai). The route via Brussels is 50% longer in distance (and more expensive).
 
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