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London or Bruges?


In June, 8 day (leaving on 9th day) trip arriving in either Paris or London, and leaving from Amsterdam.

Choices are either London > Paris > Amsterdam OR Paris > Bruges > Amsterdam.

I have not been to Europe before, it'll be two people traveling. I really like what I can find about Bruges, but London is..London. Do you guys think London is missable or does it have so much to see that I just have to see it? I'm flexible and can be swayed either way, I know London should be more expensive, but ignore costs please.

If I go to London, then it would be two full days in London and Paris, one full day in Amsterdam. If I go to Bruges it'll be two full days in Paris, two full days in Amsterdam, and one full day in Bruges.


Posted by
9057 posts

Given the amount of time you have, I would just do Paris and Amsterdam. There is more than enough to do in both places to fill 8 days. A three city itinerary will waste a lot of your time traveling between places. In addition Paris to Amsterdam is an easy trip via the high-speed Thalys train in just under 3.5 hours, city center to city center.

Posted by
1830 posts

Some rough figures:

Paris – Amsterdam 3½h (Thalys direct)
Paris – Bruges 3h (Thalys + intercity train)
Bruges – Amsterdam 3h (intercity train + Thalys)

So for fitting in Bruges you need 2½h extra train travel time and extra time for going to the hotel and back to the railway station. Think about some 5h extra travel time in total, worstcase maybe a bit more to fit in the detour to Bruges. To arrive there around noon and leave the next day (enjoy the early quiet morning there) is doable to my opinion, but two cities in this journey is more relaxed, just what you prefer. The extra time from London is comparable I guess.

Posted by
134 posts

I would prefer Bruges to Amsterdam and it would be quieter after London and befote Paris.
From London you could take the train to Dover and take the boat to Zeebrugge which is the Port of Bruges.

Posted by
1830 posts

Sorry Florence, there is as far as I know no ferry between Zeebrugge (or Oostende) and Dover, however one between Zeebrugge and all out of the way to Hull. Or do I miss the most recent info?

Posted by
30293 posts

I agree with Wil. As far as I know there hasn't been a passenger ferry between Dover and Belgium for many a year.

I used to take the Oostende ferry back when it was the jet catamaran but that's been quite a while since its demise.

Or do you have the inside track on its restoration, florenceintuscany?

Posted by
785 posts

Skip London. Doing London, Paris and Amsterdam is just too much. Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges is more doable and you still might insider dropping Bruges. By staying on the continent the transportation connections are faster and you will not have to screw around changing currency etc. The time line you set up at the end of your post only adds up to five days, what happened to the other three. With the fast rail connections what you show, it really doesn't make sense.

Posted by
359 posts

Do just Paris and Amsterdam, with Bruges as a day trip from Amsterdam.

Posted by
6 posts

I am doing Amsterdam with then a whole month outside this area, then returning to Paris where I am based for 4 days then Bruges via Amiens and Ypres, but the train service is excellent between all of these cities including Amsterdam. In my opinion, a day trip from Amsterdam to Bruges is way too long travelling to do return and see much of anything.

In two whole days in London you could see a fair bit of the must dos in the city. The same in Paris, but not Versailles which needs a day or whole half a day in itself. I am in Amsterdam for 2 full days and wondering how much I will miss, but am doing a canal cruise, the Rijsmuseum , and Van Gogh., Anne Frank if I can get in, and staying in Haarlem at the Malts where Rick reccommends I have places to see there, like Corrie Ten Bloom museum and some other Dutch painter whose name I have forgot
There is a link via Eurostar between Bruges and london which only takes 2 actual hours and 1 1/2 in time as you lose an hour travelling ot London. It goes from Lille, which is a good central point around Bruges. Brussels has a Eurostar link as well to London. So you could fly into say Paris or London or Amsterdam and fly out of the other or Paris, and make use of all of your time if you wish. Personally I would be too tired to do all three or four places, but the travel between is not that bad really. The good thing would be if you flew into a place early in the am and flew out very late in the pm.