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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
8889 posts

You are comparing chalk and cheese. London and Bruges are very different. Big city, modern, hectic, with lots of layers of history versus medieval city which bloomed, possibly outshone London in it's heyday, then sunk back so that its buildings never got 'modernised' leaving it frozen.

You have very little time here, two days is totally inadequate for London, Paris or Amsterdam. I would do one and not the other. Not that either is inferior to the other, it is a matter of time; and Bruges is different from either. It would provide a calm break between two hectic big cities. So I suggest:
Plan A) Paris > Bruges > Amsterdam
or Plan B) London > Bruges > Amsterdam

In all cases travel by train. There are frequent High Speed trains for either option.

Posted by
10330 posts

I would skip London. I like to schedule by how many nights I have. You have to remember that 2 nights is one full day, 3 nights is 2 full days, etc. Don't underestimate how much time it takes when moving locations. You have to factor in checking out of one place, getting to the train station, taking the train, getting to your next place and then checking in there. I've been to all the places you mention. In your place I would skip Bruges and spend my time between Paris and Amsterdam. I personally would give more time to Paris.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks guys keep the suggestions coming!

I realize now that both are very different and may not even be comparable, but each opinion will help shape my decision :)

About your comment Andrea, thank you about 2 nights is one full day, etc. When I say I have two full days in each city I mean zero travel (except within the city) on those days. There are 4 travel days and 5 full days in each. So 5 full days in 3 cities.

So you value one extra day in Paris over seeing Bruges?

Posted by
2081 posts


different side of the same coin as far as im concerned.

If you do some homework, you may find one more appealing to you than the other.

also, dont forget that many of the museums in london are free, if museums are on your list.

happy trails.

Posted by
3392 posts

I think that Paris to Bruges to Amsterdam makes the most sense. It will be far less stressful, since it is a fairly straight shot from one to the next. You're going from a huge city, to a small town, to a medium sized city; perfect for 8 days to get a good overview. I would give Paris 4 days, Bruges 1 day, and Amsterdam 3 days. Trying to fit London in as well would be far too rushed and you wouldn't have enough time to see much at all. I think you'll have a much more enjoyable trip staying on the continent.

Posted by
15640 posts

I get the impression that you want a taste of Europe, so I'd definitely go with the big 3 - London, Paris, Amsterdam, 2 full days in London and Paris, 1 full day in Amsterdam. They are completely different and you can spend hours walking in all three and see completely different architecture, churches, shops, souvenir stands (yes, they're fun to browse). Bruges is great, but so are about 200 other places in Europe. Start with the "big 3" and you'll be back to explore again!

Posted by
5678 posts

The question you need to ask yourself is when will your next trip be? If it's ten years on or something like then, I'm with Chani and say do the big three. However, if you are reasonably confident that you will be able to get back, then save London. London, is so easy to fly into from the US. And it makes a lovely trip on it's own with easy to do day trips outside of the city.


Posted by
10330 posts

I do value an extra day in Paris, but I will say that for me there is no such thing as too much time in Paris. Two full days will only be a small taste. If you do the Hop On/Hop Off bus you can at least see more in passing. If you want to experience a smaller place then keep the day in Bruges. Two days in Amsterdam isn't bad.

As far as museums being free in London, that is true. With only 2 days you won't have time to linger in museums. I just spent 6 nights in London and even though I went to museums I didn't get to do them justice.