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Old 16th February 2010, 12:27   #1
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Default Paris & Brussels in three days - Suggestions Please

I am writing this with a bit of trepidation. I already went through Sam and a few others Paris travelogue, but couldnt stop myself from asking this. So kindly bare with my query.

My Fiancee is in Prague right now on business. She and an Indian couple who are in Greece are planning to visit Paris & Brussels in April. The couple will be arriving in Paris on April 1st evening and on April 2nd they will visit Disneyland.

Fiancee will arrive in Paris on April 2nd evening and will head to hotel where the couple will be staying. Hotels are already booked (details below). So they have planned the following itinerary. Please do suggest any additions, changes.

And they are getting the weekend off from work only these few days so its not possible to extend the trip. Three days.Fixed. (Easter week).

Itinerary:

Paris:

2nd April - Disney Land (only the couple will be visiting)

3rd April: (probably in this order)

Arc de Triomphe
Eiffel Tower
Louvre Museum
Place de la Concorde
Notre Dame Cathedral
Champs Elysees
Cruise + Illumination of Paris (Optional)

4th April:

Paris-Brussels TGV is at 4 PM. So free all day till 3 PM. Any suggestions?

Arrive at Brussels 5:23 PM, check-in to hotel, free all evening. Suggestions?

5th April:

Main plan is to visit Mini Europe. Apart from that, some landmarks within Brussels. Brussels to Prague flight is at 5:40 PM.

So request your suggestions for things to do, places to visit for these days.

Thanks!
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Old 16th February 2010, 13:00   #2
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In Brussels you should hang out at the Grand Platz - great fun and full of things to do and see. Drink some vin chaud (hot wine), enjoy some waffles and if you like beer you will love Belgium because you can try out some lovely dark trappist beers like Duvel and Chimay and so on. Also visit the Museum - a short walk from the Grand Platz. Worth seeing the Palais Du Justice and the Manneken Pis too.

Else, if you prefer, you could book a day trip to Bruges - a beautiful medieval town situated a little out in the countryside. Well worth it and it is an experience to treasure. Unbelievably fantastic place Bruges!

These are only some of the things I enjoyed when visiting there so I thought I would share with you. However, you appear to be rather pressed for time, so my feeling is that you should do less, but whatever you do, do it well and thoroughly. Then the experience will remain with you in your memory for far longer.

Paris - worth visiting the Louvre, the Sacre Coeur Church and of course the famous Arc and Eiffel tower. Sacre Coeur is beautiful. You can even get your portrait sketched by one of the many street artists you will find sitting there with their easels.
The Louvre will take ages to do justice to all the exhibits and the Mona Lisa has a massive queue usually. You can hang about at the Trocadero building main front where the skaters congregate in the evening and can take snaps of the Eiffel from there - lovely view.
For some retail therapy or window shopping it is worth visiting Place Vendome and the Avenue Champs Elysees. Brilliant boutiques selling highly desirable (super expensive) stuff!
Also well worth spending some money on a night cruise along the Seine river - brilliant experience - takes a couple of hours but its great!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 16th February 2010 at 13:10.
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Old 16th February 2010, 13:06   #3
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That's quite a bit planned on the 3rd of April.

Arc de Triomphe - If you don't mind not entering it from the subway and just taking photos from the end of the road, then I guess you can finish this off in 5 mins.

Eiffel Tower - Watch out for the serpentine queues for tickets. Also there are two legs of the tower which houses the elevator from ground level. If you wait for them, there's going to be an awfully long wait. Especially with April 3rd being a saturday, you are going to have atleast 5 hours of your time on this tower. A suggestion would be to take the leg that don't have the elevator. The tickets are cheaper, and you can climb the first level. That's faster than waiting for the elevator from ground floor. It's a big climb, but I did that and enjoyed it.
Again, the view from the tower is different in day and night. I loved the night part more. So you may want to keep this as the last thing for the day.

Louvre Museum - This is a place that requires 2 days. There's a huge crowd flocking to two of the most important exhibits. The venus di milo and the Monalisa. I loved the some of the other paintings more than the mona lisa (which was a big let down for me).

Place de la Concorde
You can start from here on a bus or a train and get off at Arc Du Triumphe on the way to the central districts. Good photo points here.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Nice cathedral where teh seine splits in to two. There's a famous Pizzeria nearby where you can grab a bit with wonderful views.

Champs Elysees - I skipped this one. I rue missing it (strangely rue is french for road!)

Cruise + Illumination of Paris (Optional)
As you've mentioned this as optional, I'd suggest you try this in the evening before climbing on to the eiffel tower. Else after you climb down you can go on a cruise.

Also I had a great panoramic view from the Grande Arch which also houses a museum (of computers) on the top. Was fun up there.

If you do get time, do go to Versailles.

Paris requires atleast a week.
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Old 16th February 2010, 13:16   #4
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@shankar_balan @MX6 , thanks for the replies guys.

As I have mentioned, its my Fiancee who will be visiting these places while I will be in Bangalore :( . So she was asking for suggestions on must see places that can be covered in these many days. Wine trail and other leisurely items maybe some other time since she will be in Brussels only for one day and a visit to Mini Europe is a must, Bruges will not be possible.
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Old 16th February 2010, 18:03   #5
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I had visited Paris in 2008, so some points to share...

Looking at the list of attractions to cover, it might be worthwhile to invest in a hop-on/hop-off ride. This ride covers all the points you are interested in: About.com: http://rendez-vous-boutique.com/opentour/english/index.html

Eiffel tower: We had kept it as the last point to visit in the day, so we climbed up during twilight hours. Then we stayed on the upper deck for close to two hours. Thus we got both the views, daytime as well as in the darkness. It gets really windy and chilly up there! However, the cruise will have to be skipped...

Since 4th April is open till 4pm, you can keep Louvre alone for 4th Apr... Then you should be able to cover other attractions on 3rd.

Hope this helps...
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Old 16th February 2010, 20:29   #6
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At the outset, too many things planned for 3rd April. I would suggest that since she has time on 4th April as well till 4 PM, some of these can be moved to day-2.

One cannot miss the Paris by night view from Eiffel. Ideal to reach in the evening and try and get both the day time and night time view. Try this website and book tickets for Eiffle online as MX6 is right and the queues can get really long & boring. (Note: I have never used this myslef, since when I went this was not available).
Website: The official site of the Eiffel Tower

Maybe Notre Dame Cathedral can be moved to next day.

Keep quality time for Louvre. We kept a better part of the day and still felt short of time. Again I suggest that you visit their website and clearly chalk out what not to miss so that time can be utilsed correctly.
Website: Louvre Museum Official Website

Last edited by ptushar : 16th February 2010 at 20:31.
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Old 8th April 2010, 08:13   #7
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Thanks for all the replies folks. My Fiancee visited Paris and Brussels and she is back in Prague. Waiting for her to send pics so I can upload here. She has also visited Skoda museum in Prague will upload those pics too!

Thanks!
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