Where to in Europe (already going to Paris and London)

Discussion in 'Europe' started by canucklehead, Jun 19, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I will be in Paris for a week in July for week and will likely drive to the coast for 2 days prior and have 2 days free before heading to London for a few days (including work). That leaves a weekend free and am trying to decide on the following:
    a) Amsterdam (its been a few yrs since I was there)
    b) Brussels (is there much to do?)
    c) areas outside of London - Cambridge, Brighton
    d) ???

    suggestions for a couple of days would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Take the TGV to Lyon for the experience and a different city?
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    Depending on what you like to do and whether you want a relaxing weekend or a museum marathon, think about Versailles, Fontainbleu, Caen, the Honfleur area, the Champagne region, Brugges, Burgundy, maybe some of the Rhone villages.

    Brighton will be packed with British family tourists and I greatly prefer Oxford and Cambridge when the real students are around rather than the tourists and foreigners taking special summer courses or visiting for conferences. Bath is great if you've never been there. Birmingham is a surprisingly nice and interesting city with good food, especially modern upscale but inexpensive Indian food.

    A weekend isn't long if you must work in London on Monday morning. Were you planning to fly to London from Amsterdam or Brussels or must you return to Paris for the flight? If Paris is work, would you want to spend the weekend in Paris? Also, if you decide to spend the extra time in more rural areas where a rental car makes sense, it would be better to have the rental days be contiguous and try to get a weekly rate since European daily rates can be very high and tend to require additional payment for every kilometer you drive.
     
  4. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Ever been to Edinburgh? Lots of pubs and plenty to see. Easy 4 hour train trip down into London from there. I get up there every couple years. PHOTOS

    I don't think you'd have any problem staying occupied in Brussels. I was just over there and photos are linked below.
     
  5. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    All great suggestions. I like the idea of Lyon by TGV.

    I do like the idea of other parts of France (Lyon, Fountainbleu). My flights to London are open and Monday is a travel/flex day.

    Brighton and Cambridge (or would that be Campy and Camby :D) would be to see friends (and to revisit from about 3 yrs ago). Work will be in the Versaille area and hope to get around the area in my off time. I am not too worried about museum hopping in Paris and London as I frequently visit those cities (prob every other yr, London used to be 2X a year).

    I love Edinburgh and had considered that on my list, along with a possible return visit to Dublin. Your pics of Brussels look good!
     
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  6. Jenny & Curt
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  7. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Thanks!!!
    10yrs of French in schools..... I can say a lot of swear words!!! :oops: My conversational French waivers, but after a few convos, my confidence level improves.
     
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  8. Redcap
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    Both Brussels and Amsterdam are nice cities. Different, but nice.
    If you like beer then Belgium is the country to visit.
     
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  9. roadwarrior365
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    I could also suggest visiting Ghent, which is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too. The Marriott there is one of the best hotel's in the chain.
     
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  10. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    +1 for Brugges

    I just spent this past weekend and Madrid and really enjoyed it! Definitely plan to return and recommend to others! :D
     
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  11. Gardyloo
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    Brugge is lovely but if you're put off by crowds - I mean throngs of tourists, it's not the best destination in July. The small size of the old town merely serves to concentrate the visitors.

    Same idea but less tourist-inundated are Delft or Antwerp. Both lovely old cities (Delft like a mini-Amsterdam with its canals, fabulous main square) with decent enough train connections.

    Also a fairly quick TGV ride, what about Strasbourg? Great walking city, probably some of the best food in France, and some decent hotels very close to the train station. View from the Mercure hotel:

    [​IMG]

    ...where you can continue postgraduate study nearby at the Academy of Beer:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Lynda
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    Lynda Milepoint Staff

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    I'm not super fond of Brussels, so that would be out for me. But I do enjoy Antwerp, which has already been mentioned. If you decide to head up to the UK, Stirling, Scotland is worth a stop, especially if you enjoy visiting castles. But then, I'm also fond of Ireland. Have fun!
     
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  13. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    As far as Europe car rental ,I always call back to the states to make my European car rental , best to do 3 day with no millage charge --walk in rates are worse than NYC rates I have been to all the place mentioned above my first choice Champagne region,second train to Lyon --ENJOY!
     
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  14. Jenny & Curt
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    I use US (.com) car rental websites, from the States if possible, to book car rentals from US-based companies like Avis & Budget -- I have found them much cheaper than their .de or other counterparts.
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    Strasbourg is wonderful in July. It's much less crowded than many of the other locations but the city is quite appealing and the river tours are always nice. In other seasons and circumstances I'd have other preferences. There is also a lot of mixed german/French culture, architecture, wines and beer to keep anybody happy for a few days.
     
  16. MSPeconomist
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    I agree. It's a lovely city that you want to visit when it's possibly to enjoy outdoor cafes and all of the flowers.
     
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  17. Rejuvenated
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    Love the waffles and chocolates there. :cool:
     
  18. dc_traveler
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    We were in Lyon recently and thought it was great. (We stayed at the Sofitel which has nice views of the city from the top floor bar.) If you go to Lyon, Switzerland is not terribly far away. We liked Lausanne and Montreux in particular. No matter where you go, it sounds like it will be a great trip!
     
  19. MSPeconomist
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    I agree with you, but I don't think it's realistic to go to Lyon for the weekend from Paris and then go into Switzerland to Lausanne and Montreux especially. This is too ambitious to be enjoyable. Montreux is worth a quiet relaxing weekend all by itself and it's quite a ride by train or car as it's on the far end of the lake. Lausanne is closer but it's still IIRC about an hour beyond the border or airport. IMO for a weekend it's better to go someplace where a weekend is the right amount of time and then stay there.
     
  20. dc_traveler
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    That's a great point. We did feel like we spent a lot of time on the train.
     
  21. milchap
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    Chartres or Mont Saint Michel
     
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  22. MSPeconomist
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    Mont St Michel requires a car. It's much better to avoid weekends and see it when the crowds aren't quite as bad. There are very few hotel rooms actually in Mt St Michel and remember that you can't get in by car. A better realistic option is to take a hotel in one of the nearby towns (not really so close) and plan to be in Mont St Michel late in the day, after the tour buses leave. Sunset from the shore is special and romantic. Watch out for the high tides which put the parking lot under water.
     
  23. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Spent the last few days thinking more closely at where I want to go and its not easy with so many places. I think I will head to Lyon from the airport, check out the city and overnight there before I head to Avignon for the day (and return at night). The following week is still open, but I think I am going to go to Dieppe or Juno Beach/Caen. If I have a car, I will drive south to Mont St Michel before heading to Paris, though I would be just as good to stay in one town. I am tempted to just get a rail pass rather than drive, as the prices were prohibitive for an automatic car.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, I think I have some future destinations in my sights. :)
     
  24. milchap
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    Bon voyage. !
     
  25. canucklehead
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    merci, will you be at MegoDo III, it would be an honour to meet you and hear about your trip to Russie!
     

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