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2 weeks in Netherlands, Belgium & France in October

We've been busy planning our itinerary and making reservations for an upcoming 2 week trip to Netherlands, Belgium & France in October. We are flying into AMS and out of CDG, spending 2 nights in Amsterdam, 3 nights in Rotterdam (to see friends and take day trips to Delft & Gouda), 3 nights in Brugge and 5 nights in Paris. We've booked a bike tour in Brugge, a day trip to Normandy/D-Day Beaches from Paris and a full day bike tour to Versailles from Paris. I've been listening to some of the Rick Steves' audio tours & interviews and am looking for feedback on how to best spend the remaining 2 1/2 days we have in Paris. I love the idea of walking and exploring the Arrondissements, the Promenade Plantée, the Siene and enjoying cafés and people watching, vs. trying to fit in all of the major tourist sites, but would still like to see some of them, such as the Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, etc. (planning to skip the Louvre this time around.) I've only been to Paris once many years ago on a whirlwind tour, and my husband has never been. So for those of you who are Paris experts...how would you recommend we spend those 2 1/2 days? And if you have any tips on weather that time of year and what to pack that would be helpful too - I'm figuring cooler weather with rain likely at times. Thank you for any suggestions!

Posted by
4 posts

(We've also booked trains from Rotterdam to Brugge, and Brugge to Paris. Planning on using public transportation for the entire trip.)

Posted by
4863 posts

I hear the Eiffel Tower is hard to get a time slot, so you might want to book that before you get too many answers here. You may wish to evaluate fatigue associated with the long daytrip to Normandy against the day of the bicycle trip to Versailles. I've never bicycled that far.

Since you have three nights in Brugge, which doesn't really have three days of sights, you should prepare a nearby city to visit by train if you feel inclined. Local train reservations are un-needed in Belgium.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for the Eiffel tower suggestion. Re Brugge, we do plan to visit Ghent for one day while we're there. We have a day in between the Versailles bike tour and the Normandy tour, and the biking part of the Versailles tour is just around the palace and gardens, not all the way from Paris. :-) Thanks for your reply!