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Wher to go..2 days, no car, outside Paris

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Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:04 PM
  #1
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Wher to go..2 days, no car, outside Paris

I am headed to Paris for a work trip the 3rd week of Nov. I will arrive in Paris on Sat am and don't have to report to work til monday afternoon. I have been to Paris a few times already,so i am interested in going other places from Sat-Mon. I am not planning to rent a car, so it has to be accessible by train and able to get around easily when i arrive there.

I was thinking of Avignon, or Lyon (I was there many years ago and had food poisoning so i never left my hostel)

Any thoughts on other areas I might want to consider and get the most for my time?

thank you!
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:09 PM
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Rouen. Strasbourg. Easily reached by train.
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:12 PM
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Depends on your interests. Like Champagne? take a look at Reims. Not only Champagne houses to visit but the cathedral is majestic and where French Kings were crowned.

Strasbourg is just over 2 hours by TGV and a good base to explore Alsace.
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:15 PM
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Those are good ideas, not sure I'd go to Rouen for a whole weekend myself.

Reims, Angers, Dijon, also. You could easily go to Avignon, for that matter, by TGV, it's only 2:40. For an entire weekend, Marseille is perfectly possible, just a bit over 3 hours away.
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Weather can be really funky in northern France in Nov - head south to Avignon/Arles where in just those two nearby cities there is more than enough to occupy a weekend.

Book TGV trains really early to get deep discounted tickets - which means NOW as they are sold in limited numbers but are also train-specific and non-changeable non-refundable I believe. www.voyages-sncf.com is the official site but many find www.capitainetrain.com - same trains same fares - easier for Americans to get to work to book online. But you can save tons of money over waiting until Paris.

For lots of great info on French trains check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check their online European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of place near Paris to go by rail; www.ricksteves.com.

Lyon though it left a bad taste in your mouth last time is also a great place to spend a weekend.
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 05:31 PM
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Strasbourg is a great city easily reachable by TGV and there is a ton to see and do there based on easily walkable historic town center. Plus the germanic touch gives you some variation from Paris.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 08:15 AM
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London is only about 2 hours now on Eurostar trains if you don't restrict your possibilities to France - Amsterdam is 3.5 hours - two cities that are great in any weather.

I also love Strasbourg and there is enough there to fill a weekend.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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yeah, Brussels isn't that far by train, either, I went there once just for the day from Paris.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Brussels in November - dark dank and drearier than usual! Would be about last on my and many others' lists.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 09:12 PM
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Keep it coming with the ideas. I've been to London plenty of times and Brussels as well. I've done Amsterdam as well but have friends in towns outside there so maybe I should reach out to them..

I've never been to Strasbourg so I'll do a bit of research. On so want to make my decision soon so I can get my train and hotels booked.

Any other thoughts are welcome.
Thanks!
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Sep 24th, 2015, 11:18 PM
  #11
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For my interests, 2 days would be perfect for Rouen.
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Sep 25th, 2015, 07:31 AM
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Been to Rouen a few times and for me a day was more than enough but everyone has different interests - Normandy and the D-day beaches is another possibility - stay in Bayeux a lovely town and one of the few not decimated in D-Day and subsequent bombings and offers mini-bus tours to the key nearby D-Day beach sites - plus it has its own great cathedral. About 2 hours from Paris and no need to pre-book as you can only get minor savings on these non-TGV train routes.
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Sep 25th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Visit Lille for the spectacular "Renaissance" event.

http://www.lille3000.eu/portail/en/e...naissance-2015
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Sep 25th, 2015, 10:40 AM
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If it were me, I would choose a destination from among those served directly from CDG by fast train (TGV). Going into the city to then catch a train is a big, time-consuming hassle by comparison.

Basically that means south toward Marseille (Lyon / Orange / Avignon as possible stops) or north to Brussels. Lyon really does make a lot of sense. You could even squeeze in a daytrip to Beaune from Lyon on Sunday if you really wanted to cover some territory and drink some burgundy.

Here's a schedule page with a TGV map: http://www.bonjourlafrance.com/franc...ket-prices.htm
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Sep 25th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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I agree very emphatically with dfourh above. Suggest strongly choosing a solution that does not involve going into the city. That is a big time-sink.

Brugges is a nice option, Many people who go only go for a day trip from Paris, but those of us who have spent the night have found that it is even more charming when the day trippers leave. Many folks with your time-frame choose to do Brugges one night and Antwerp another. I would do that if I were in your shoes. The above observation about the weather is a caveat. Personally, I prefer to use weather as a tactic to go against the usual tourist flow, so if you are in agreement, then Belgium is your best bet, however, if you are adverse to cold rain, then heading south to the above suggested locations to the south of Paris is your better option.
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Sep 25th, 2015, 11:48 AM
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day trip from Paris to Bruges takes about 3 hours by train each way - yes possible but Bruges really should be an overnight stop or a great weekend - can do a day trip from there to nearby Gent, another Flemish gem.
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