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First Trip to Europe for my husband!

never planned an intenarary before: we are looking at 2 days in Amsterdam, then to Normandy, then to Paris then we havent decided either to Strasborg and in to Germany for the October Fest or to Belgium/Brugge? where to fly out of? He loves Beer and I am a wine drinker any suggestions as to Germany vs Belgium? thanks ahead of time. Suni

Posted by
3313 posts

Debra - How many days do you have? You may want to reorder the sequence of your trip. Belgium is on the way between Amsterdam and Paris and Bruges is a short side trip. But you'd want at least two nights. For beer, you won't find better.

You'll have to go through Paris on your way to Normandy, and of course, on the way back. Again, knowing how much time you have for both Paris and Normandy would help comment on your itinerary. Don't try to squeeze too much in to only a few days.

Strasbourg is a relatively short trip from Paris by TGV. Go to to look at schedules and prices.

I'm not an expert on Oktoberfest but there is lots of advice here and on Lonely Planet. I understand hotel reservations are very hard to come by.

As far as wine goes, almost all of the places you mention are more beer (or cider in Normandy) oriented. Paris, of course, has plenty of wine but it comes from other parts of the country. Strasbourg will have good Alsatian wine.

Posted by
4132 posts

You don't say how much time you have, so I will just say that on the basis of logistics only, Belgium works better with this itinerary than Munich. (And the beer is magnificent.) But if Germany is a priority, you should figure out how to make it work.

As for wine, you could pick a region of France and dig into the wine scene there. Alsace is a candidate, though I would prefer a smaller town than Strasbourg as a base. Burgundy is another famous wine region that is closer to Paris than Alsace (but not much). From either you could plan to fly home from Paris, though Burgundy is also handy to Lyon and Alsace to Mulhouse.

Note: Though it might make sense for you to do so, you don't have to go through Paris to get to Normandy from Belgium. The Thalys goes direct to Paris, but there are still a few local trains that go via Lille and Rouen, where you could pick up a car to explore Normandy. Trip times are comparable or better. Rouen is worth a stop too.