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Itinerary suggestions for 3 hours via train from Brussels

Does anyone have suggestions for a trip that includes flying into Brussels, then taking a train.... somewhere, anywhere, within about 3 hours of Brussels? This would be an 8 night itinerary, to include 1 or 2 towns/cities to base for several nights. No car. We have already done the Antwerp, Bruges, Amsterdam trip so would like something other than that. . We may end up backtracking to Brussels, depending on airfare. I realize this is a fairly broad question. I just need a jump start on ideas. This will be our eighth trip to Europe. I really wanted to go back to Italy for the 4th time. Airfare has just skyrocketed for my dates(inflexible)... almost the day that my vacation was approved. Brussels seems to be,by far, the best fare from ATL,at least at this point. I continue to track airfare daily. Thanks for any input!

Posted by
4686 posts

What are your dates? MUST Be into/out of Brussels both? Can you open jaw into BRU out of another city or vice versa?

Where in Italy? Have you looked into more than one Italian city?

Budget flights may go out of Charleroi Airport (CRL).

You could always train to another airport in the Netherlands (e.g. AMS) and fly out again - might make sense if you can get an open jaw to return from somewhere else.

I love the Balkans - Slovenia and Croatia. Been there? Any good flights to Zagreb, Ljubljana, Split, Dubrovnik from BRU?

By train otherwise? How about Luxembourg? Luxembourg City is OK, but the countryside is gorgeous, and cute little towns like Vianden can be reached easily by bus or train. Then onto the Mosel Valley in Germany? Fly home out of Frankfurt?

Training down to France offers a lot of opportunities, obviously. Normandy? Alsace?

Posted by
235 posts

Our dates are Nov 2nd- 11th. Have checked daily airfare to Milan, Florence, Bologna, & Rome. Other cities....London, Madrid,Barcelona,Lisbon,London, Paris. ,Consistantly, airfare seems to be lowest to Brussels and Zurich out of ATL. We have been to Ireland twice recently. Jan and Feb ,I saw fares 914 to the 1100’s round trip to Florence. The boss just would not approve. Wish we could leave from Orlando. I saw London for 700 last week. That would add an extra day to the trip that we don’t have.

I would love to go to Croatia or Budapest. Any where in Europe. We do travel on a budget. So more money we save each trip means more trips! Thanks! I’m open.

Posted by
4686 posts

Well, I'm not sure I'd recommend Croatia - at least not the coast for November. It would sure be less busy then, but also might not be great weather.

How about Poland? (Poland is cheap!) Fly into Warsaw out of Krakow. Train between them. You might need to spend the last night in Brussels.

You could see inland Croatia and Slovenia: fly into Zagreb, Croatia, out of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Train between them. From Zagreb, take a day trip down to Plitvice Lakes National Park, an amazing park with waterfalls and big lakes. Play it by ear with the weather - if you get a nice day or two in a row without rain, go for it. (2 hours by bus from Zagreb, so go really early in the morning or spend a night right in the park at a park hotel. Or rent a car. Or take an organized tour.)

From Ljubljana, you could day trip up to Lake Bled and some little towns - again, weather-permitting.

You might get some beautiful fall colors - not sure about the timing.

Posted by
4684 posts

You wrote "train." My first choice is Cologne, second choice Trier, third choice Luxembourg. Because I want to see Louvre-Lens that is another area. I liked Lille, but I don't know about 3 days. Have you been to eastern Netherlands?

Was BRU really your only choice? How about if you connect to United in Houston or Newark? With 8 days you are crippling your planning. How about Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Basel, Zurich?

Posted by
2681 posts

Europe has plenty of secondary or tertiary cities. Paris is less than 3 hours, from there you can head to Lyon, Reims, Aimien. From Brussels, there is Nancy, Germany cities. Endless choices. Get a map, draw a circle to represent a 3 hour distance and plot. Shame you don't want a car.....but understandable.....Belgium is a nice little country for road trips.

Posted by
306 posts

If your fare to Brussels is inexpensive that is great!
If you want to travel elsewhere either by train, plane, etc, you will have to factor that cost into your travel budget plus your time to get to your destination. If you select another city other than Atlanta, once again you factor in travel time, parking fees, etc.
But if you can get a reasonable fare from ATL to another international airport, then book your flight over, you might find a better fare - this is something you will have to play with.
Last year we flew from ATL to Toronto before arriving in AMS. Was less expensive than a direct flight fom ATL to AMS and added about 4 hours each way including layover time.

I would pick where you want to go and select the best fare you can for your destination.

If you really want to return to Italy go for it and don't look back

Have fun planning!

Posted by
235 posts

Thanks all, for your input! Afterall, this forum is what gave me the confidence to go on that very first trip to Italy in 2013 and I have been struck with the European travel bug since!