My sister and 15 yr old son and I will be going to Belgium and Paris and we only have 8 days. Never went to Paris and always wanted to go and my sister insist into going to Belgium part of her bucket list. My dilemma is to please everyone in the group. So how long is acceptable to stay in Belgium and which cities should we see?
You sound like you are going begrudgingly. There is a wealth of really cool stuff there - including the world's best filled chocolates - that it is worth a little of your time researching what is available.
Much more than just making a list here. Do you have a public library anywhere near you? In the travel section of the library are likely to be various tourbooks, some by the owner of this website and some others, and probably a Belgium section. Have a read through for a few hours and you will see all sorts of things to see.
When is the trip?
What sort of things does your sister want to do?
Going on a first trip to Europe with my son 15 and older world traveler sister. I always wanted to go to Paris in love with the City and believe there's lots to do there. My sister has this need to travel wants to reach 100 countries,is at country # 91 so far. She wants my son to experience Europe and was going on like we need to see Rome,Venice,Florence etc so I saw a great Italian tour that is 2 weeks long and figured in doing at least 5 days in Paris before going on the tour. I want to visit Chamonix for 3 days prior to going home. She insist in visiting Belgium because never been. She has been traveling for 35 yrs and has been around Belgium and never been and wants to immerse herself in the culture. Belgium is not big and if we land from Montreal to Paris I am told first day won't be doing much so now 4 days Paris and 4 days Belgium . I think it's too many days in Belgium. Does not mean anything to me and it obviously didn't for her since never been. So trying to figure a reasonable length of time to please her.
If you sister just wants to go to Belgium so she can cross it off her list, then I think 4 days is too many. A couple of days in either Bruges or Antwerp and then off you go to Paris would be my unsolicited advice.
Does she also want to "collect" Luxembourg?
Why don’t you split up? She can take the train to Belgium and stay as long as she likes while you and your son stay in Paris. Why should you have to rush Paris so she can check something off her list?
If you don’t want to split up, spend two days in Belgium and the rest in Paris. I adore Belgium, but Paris has so much to offer and needs at the very least four full days for your first visit. More is better.
Yes she wants to do Luxembourg to cross off the list but has not said anything yet. Thank you for your input maybe I will suggest she goes by herself and we meet up to fly to Rome together I don't think she really cares about Paris as well.
Belgium and Luxembourg go together well. I rather like Luxembourg and its laid back pastel beauty and go there almost every year.
So yes, maybe send your sister off to collect those and you send more time in Paris and then meet up in Rome.... then you will both be happy.
Last summer I spent 18 days split between Paris & Belgium. If I was planning a trip there with the knowledge I have now and had to hit both places in 8 days, I think I'd fly into Brussels and take a train straight to Brugge. Of all the cities we visited in Belgium, this was my favorite. Spend three nights there. You'll be mostly just recovering from jet lag the first day, but that'll give you two other days to enjoy the area. Maybe explore the city one day and a bike ride the next? We did a bike ride into the countryside while there which was a lot of fun. Then take a train from Brugge to Paris (you'll go through Brussels to connect, but it's easy to do). That'll give you five nights in Paris.
Brugges and Ghent - tourists cities. Brussels and Antwerp - big cities. I liked Antwerp more. Belgian culture - there are two - French speaking, Flemish speaking. Flemish is very similar or the same as Dutch. Brugess is a gem but crowded.
It’s a shame she’s only collecting countries. Hopefully she’s experiencing some of them. Each is unique with what it has to offer. I’ll soon be in Belgium for 9 days and only visiting Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp. Have been to Brussels previously and am only spending one night there to be closer to the airport.