where to go on the train?

Sep 21st, 2013, 02:19 PM
  #1  
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where to go on the train?

okay- I am torn we are traveling the last week of November. After leaving Paris, I have an apartment in Brussels but I am willing to pay for hotels. in the beginning the plan was to go over to Nuremberg spend the night go to the Neuschwanstein castle and then back up to Frankfurt spend the night then back to apartment in Brussels but so many people are saying don't miss Amsterdam. I know Munich is quite far but last time I loved riding on the train looking at the beautiful scenery. We have a week in Brussels so what would your suggestions be? I really was looking forward to seeing castles this trip. Just so you know we loved Brugge and have been many times if this helps for the trip ideas.
tracihorst is offline  
Sep 21st, 2013, 02:48 PM
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Well without saying where to go all of those places are easily reached by trains - and if traveling to that many places investigate the Germany-Benelux Railpass, valid on trains in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (a gem of a Duchy and one of the physically most gorgeous cities in Europe as it is bisected by a deep gorge!) - hop on virtually any train anytime (save the Thalys trains which you need never have to take) - full flexibility.

Check out these fab sites IMO for lots of goodies on Benelux and German trains - www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of itineraries by rail in those countries (http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id2.html.)
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:21 AM
  #3  
 
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Budget about 2 - 3 days in Brussels if you are prepared to see outlying gems like the Horta House in St-Gilles, the spend the rest doing daytrips out from there.

Brussels is not really a good base for Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Munich, if I understand you correctly, because they are just too far. See Belgium from Brussels, or areas bordering on Belgium - even Cologne and Aachen are not bad day trips from there. If you have seen Bruges before, try Ieper (Ypres), Ghent to the west, Antwerp to the north and maybe Leuven or Dinant to the east. Amsterdam is also super, but I understand there have been some problems with the trains between Brussels and Amsterdam (the Fyra) so could be a difficult trip if you are restricted by train (and car makes no sense in Amsterdam or Brussels) - you might need to look into this. All of those (except maybe Amsterdam) are day trips and easily accessible by rail as the train network in Belgium is very good. Luxembourg is also not a bad trip from Brussels.

Lavandula
lavandula is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 01:17 AM
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Definitely visit Antwerp if you have not been there, easy daytrip from Brussels. The new Red Star Line museum has just opened, and there is the new MAS museum, on Antwerp and the port. The central station where you arrive is a beautiful building, and you can walk to the old center easily.

Trains to Amsterdam; the intercity trains are running again, and there is the faster (but more expensive) Thalys. Book early if you want to use Thalys. Amsterdam is worth a visit, for the newly reopened Rijksmuseum and van Gogh museum, and if you have never been there, go to Amsterdam and not to Frankfurt or Munich, which are much farther. On the Thalys it's less than two hours.

Maastricht is another good daytrip - charming small city, with great restaurants, shopping and sightseeing.
Tulips is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:58 AM
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Going top Nurnburg and then talking about Neuschwanstein???? Not exactly in the same neighborhood.

If you must travel by rail and you are also worried about the distance, one thing you COULD do is take the night train from Paris to Munich and go from there to Fuessen for Neuschwanstein, etc., and then make your way back to Brussels.

Frankly, I think if Brussels is where you are going to be centered you should be looking at doing things within a day or less travel from there.

I'd like to help but I find your original post confusing since that apartment in Brussels is obviously important and you ask where to go on a train.

The question is, for how LONG do you want to BE ON the train and how far from Brussels are you willing to travel????
Dukey1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 04:32 AM
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I would definitely visit Amsterdam before Frankfurt. Have you been to Ghent?
mamcalice is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 05:01 AM
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"in the beginning the plan was to go over to Nuremberg spend the night go to the Neuschwanstein castle and then back up to Frankfurt spend the night then back to apartment in Brussels... I know Munich is quite far but last time I loved riding on the train looking at the beautiful scenery... I really was looking forward to seeing castles this trip."

Sounds like your idea was to spend a night in Nuremberg and another in Frankfurt for the end goal of visiting Neuschwanstein. Yeah... I think this calls for a change of plans.

Neuschwanstein: tour takes only 30 minutes but you'd be making an 17-18-hour train journey round trip and spending the better part of 3 days getting there and back from Brussels. What makes such a trip even more curious is that N'stein isn't a real castle, but a late 19th-century mock-up.

Real castles, scenic train rides in Germany: with 2-3 days, there's plenty of time to slip across the Belgian border and see some real castles in the Middle Rhine Valley and Mosel Valley. It's only 3.5 hours by train from Brussels to Braubach, where you can tour a real castle that has stood there overlooking the Rhine for 7 centuries; Marksburg is open year-round:

http://welterbe-mittelrheintal.de/index.php?id=278&L=3

Rheinfels Castle, just upriver in St. Goar, is open for self-guided tours on weekends:

http://sr47.de/t/pics/4e40ada973.jpg

1,000-year-old Reichsburg Castle, in Cochem on the Mosel River, is open daily in winter for tours at 11:00, 12:00, and 13:00:

http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/28323...rg_cochem1.jpg
http://www.burg-cochem.de/

Train service to the above towns is excellent and dependable; the tracks follow the river banks, which makes for very scenic rides. In fact, there are roughly 40 castles and castle ruins in the 40 miles of river just south of Koblenz. Koblenz, the area's train hub, would be a good winter base town for both the Mosel and Rhine rivers for a couple of nights. Be sure to check out the Christmas markets in the area (Cochem, Mainz and Rüdesheim have good ones.)
Russ is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 08:50 AM
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Go to Amsterdam and visit the Muiderslot:
http://www.muiderslot.nl/english
if you want to visit a castle.
Tulips is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Yes Muiderslot Castle is one super-duper neat castle in a neat surroundings! Very close to Amsterdam - 15 minutes by bus from Weesp train station, which is 15 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal station.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2013, 02:19 PM
  #10  
 
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where to go on the train?
Posted by: tracihorst on Sep 21, 13 at 6:19pm
. . . to Frankfurt spend the night then back to apartment in Brussels but so many people are saying don't miss Amsterdam.


This time the majority are correct. Unless you have a personal reason to visit Frankfurt and Brussels I would skip both for more Amsterdam and its surroundings. For an illustrated introduction to riding the trains in Europe see http://tinyurl.com/eym5b.

With only a week I suggest you consider the CityNightLine overnight train from Munich to Amsterdam. By November the trees will be bare and the scenery will be nothing to write home about.
spaarne is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2013, 07:56 AM
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http://www.citynightline.de/citynigh...en/index.shtml

CityNightLiner official site - these are comfy night trains.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 24th, 2013, 06:58 PM
  #12  
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thank you for all the suggestions. It has given me many more options to research especially since some sounded to be a better way to go. Being able to train and spend a couple days in different cities dragging our luggage did not work well for more compainions. that's why I found the brussells apartment as a base. I am dying to see Castles, they are my favorite! I do have a foodie with me so if you have eaten in any amazing restaurant please let me know.
Are the castles and surrounding opened November 24 thru Decemberthis time of year opened on Sunday and Mondays?
tracihorst is offline  
Sep 24th, 2013, 10:09 PM
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You'll have to check the websites for the castles you want to visit for opening hours.

Brussels has many good restaurants. Try Belga Queen.
Tulips is offline  
Sep 25th, 2013, 11:42 AM
  #14  
 
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I am dying to see Castle>

Gent's grim old castle has a torture chamber in it - at least it did years ago when I last visited it.
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