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Ghent to Luxembourg to Paris?

My husband and I are traveling to Belgium in the spring 2015. We have 4 days between our stay in Ghent and when we check in to our apartment in Paris. I considered doing some travel in north France (Reims, etc) but we thought we would try Luxembourg. I did see the post of Aug. 2014 which discusses some things to see and do in the area, but wanted to know if anyone had done this area via train? And did they find it difficult getting easy connections between the three countries? Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

Deb,

Alberta, Canada

Posted by
4684 posts

You won't find any direct trains from Ghent to Luxembourg, you'll have to change in Brussels. The railway trip is slow by current European standards but there's some nice scenery around the Ardennes.

Luxembourg isn't that worthwhile as a tourist destination though - if you want to do a loop back to Paris I would recommend Nancy (if you are into art nouveau) or Strasbourg (if you prefer a medieval or early modern atmosphere).

Posted by
359 posts

Consider stopping in Strasbourg and/or Colmar on your way to Paris instead.

Posted by
29221 posts

I have done the trip from Gent to Brussel many times by train. Gent is served by two stations, the main one is St Pieters, but both stations provide trains to Brussel. The ones from St Pieters tend to be more frequent and faster.

The train from Brussel to Luxembourg is frequent and direct, and is - as mentioned by Philip - not a bullet train. It tends to be operated by slightly older equipment and never exceeds about 160 km/hr (100 mph). The scenery is pretty nice.

Luxembourg operates a very integrated transport system, with trains going down several branches and supplemented by buses going to most cities and towns linked by connecting buses. Most CFL (Luxembourg trains) are modern double deckers which give nice views. The CFL buses are almost all modern air conditioned single decker front entry buses which are closer to coaches than buses.

Luxembourg City is easily walkable and lifts are provided to change levels in several places.

Luxembourg to Paris is a route I never have done. You would take a train from Luxembourg due south to Metz in France which I understand is a nice city. You then get the train into Paris. I haven't looked it up but I think that most high speed TGV Est trains to and from Strasbourg would bypass Metz, but there are certainly trains.

Posted by
4684 posts

There are also through TGV Est services from Luxembourg to Paris.

Posted by
29221 posts

cool - that's an improvement, big style. Thanks, Philip.

Posted by
6028 posts

I also think that Luxembourg is missable, but it's certainly not a mistake to visit there. I would say that Trier, Germany is also worth a day. Because it is so well-connected to Brussels, I urge you to consider Cologne, Germany if you haven't been there. It's good for four days even if you don't leave the city limits.

I noticed a college-sponsored (that is, escorted) tour with the title New Museums of Northern France, which certainly interests me, but wouldn't interest everyone. And you didn't say how much driving you'd be willing to do. Here is a link to the Smith College travel sponsor, but I HAVE NOT been on this trip. I'm posting for the museum list. For when the link disappears in the future, the cities seem to be Lille, Metz, Nancy, Reims, and Paris. I have been to the Lille Palais de Beaux Arts, and it is both worth a visit and roughly on your route.

http://alumnae.smith.edu/travel/smith-travel/2015-trips/new-museums-of-northern-france/