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Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

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Toronto
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Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

We are travelling from Amsterdam to Paris. We can leave Amsterdam in the morning (9 or 10 am) and need to be in Paris by the pm (6 or 7pm). We are travelling with 3 kids (teens). We have a few travel options - but need your help to see if our desired option is a viable one. We could fly or take the train or rent a car and drive direct, but we are considering:

Leave Amsterdam in the am via rental car

Drive to Brussels (to see Brussels, even for a 1 hr lunch)

Drive to Ypres and see the Vimy Ridge memorial (1 hr)

Drive to Paris and arrive in the pm

This way we get to see Brussels and Vimy Ridge in addition to the travel needs. Does this seem reasonable?

Antwerp
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1. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Hi,

Are you going during weekdays or in a weekend ? Traffic by car can be hell in the mornings in the Netherlands, (espc. around Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam) as well as in Belgium, (espc. around Brussels and Antwerp), ...

Visiting Brussels in 1 hr is to optimistic: you have to count getting through the city to go to, for ex. the famous 'Grote Markt' what is the least you should see. Then have a short lunch in one of the many restaurants there, then getting back OUT of the city... I would count about 3 hrs for this... if you have a GPS in your car, that is, and if you find parking space :-)

So that makes your schedule to go to Paris by 6 or 7 a bit thight, considering that you first have to travel from Amsterdam to Brussels, I would be surprised if you are out of Brussels by 2 pm, what leaves just enough time to drive to Paris and find your destination there...

If I was you I would either skipp Brussels or skipp Ypres...

Consider traveling by train I would say !! Much safer schedule to make that way, if you first check the trainschedules.

The websites for Belgian and Netherlands trains are in one of the posts in this Belgium forum, but I don't remember wich one now.

Antwerp
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2. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

By the way: Vimy Ridge Memorial is in France !! (village of Vimy in the 'département Pas de Calais') !!!! NOT IN YPRES !!!

So as you are a Canadian I suppose you would like to visit that memorial. Lots of info to find on internet, just type ' vimy ridge memorial '.

If you decide to go there, I would skipp the Visit to Brussels, if I was you. If you go by car from Amsterdam to Paris, it will be easy to make time to visit Vimy Ridge, because it's in the nord of France.

And as you would be leaving the Highway anyway to visit Vimy, you will certainly find a nice restaurant for lunch in one of the villages in France. Mostly food is good there. Go where you can see the Frenchmen are going also ! Don't eat in one of these awfull Highway restaurants ! You would get a bad idea of our cuisine !

Antwerp
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3. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

OOPS ! Now I read in Wikipedia that there are restoration works going on, on the memorial, and that it would be closed until april 2007 !

You better check that out first before you decide what to do...

brussels
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4. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

the main problem with your plan is the start time.

You should be leaving Amsterdam around six am. You should miss a lot of the traffic in holland but you will pick up some in brussels. If you go on the inner ring you should easily be able to find parking in one off the many undergorund car parks in the centre of town.

Go to the grand place and look around and then pick up the E440 towoards mons and paris tkaes about t.5 to three hours depending where in paris you are going. the peripherique can be very difficult.

I don'think you would be fit for much once you got to paris.

You could always leave the car in Brussels at the gare du midi and get the Thalys to paris it only takes an hour and a half and arrives at gare du nord. Thats probalby what i would do

good luck

Toronto
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5. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

So it would appear that I should choose between:

Amsterdam - Brussels - Paris - and I would do that by Train

OR

Amsterdam - Vimy Ridge - Paris - and I would do that by Car

Can (many of you) recommend my best option.

Also, If I do dothe train option (ie. Ams - Bruss - Paris), what would be the best way to spend 2 hours and get a quick glimpse of Brussels? (recognizing that this is a family of 5 with luggage)??

Thanks

Antwerp
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6. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Well, if you would like to visit Brussels by train.

Take an early intercity train to Brussels (no reservations needed - there are a lot of them) , so that you can spend a little bit more time in Brussels.

Leave your luggage at the station in the lockerroom. And take a taxi or metro to the ' Grote Markt '

Then take after the lunch the Thalys to Paris. It takes only a good hour an a half or so ! So if you take one around 3 or 3.30 o'clock you will be in Paris on time. But you need reservations on the Thalys !! Make sure to make them ahead. And you can only take the Thalys you have reservations for - so change of train is not allowed.

Thalys in on the internet.

Succes.

Toronto
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7. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Why MUST you make reservations on the Thalys?

Can you travel without reservations - enjoying maximum flexibility?

If you make reservations and you miss your train what happens? Are the tickets now invalid?

Antwerpen, Belgium
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8. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Reservations are compulsory on Thalys. You can't just board the train like that. You make a reservation for a particular date AND hour!

If you have maximum flexible tickets (which of course are the most expensive ones) you can change them for a next train (or a previous train if that's what you wish) AS LONG AS there are free seats available. Which is never certain. You will have to do this at least one hour before departure of the train.

The cheaper type tickets (Smilys for example) become invalid if you miss your train.

As for your other questions, I would do as jawadde suggested: take the intercity to Brussels Central (no reservations required), put your luggage in the lockers or the luggage room in the station, walk to Grote Markt (which is only 5 min. from the Central station), see the Grote Markt, the beautiful Galleries and maybe the statue of Manneke Pis, have lunch some place (NOT at Beenhouwersstraat - Rue des Bouchers if you don't want to be ripped off) and take a Thalys train at around 4.30 / 5 pm. It's only 75 minutes to Paris Gare du Nord from where you can take either the metro, the bus, a taxi or whatever to get to your final destination.

Antwerp
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9. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Amboseli, zijt ge zeker dat de Thalys in Brussel Centraal stopt (ik vind het niet terug op internet - ik zie alleen de midi staan?)

Antwerpen, Belgium
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10. Re: Drive from Amsterdam to Paris vis Brussels and Ypres

Jawadde, you're right, I made a mistake in my previous posting.

To loveja: after you have finished your little tour in Brussels, go back to the Central station, pick up your luggage and take any of the commuter trains that stop at Bruxelles MIDI (Brussel/ZUID). It's only one stop, but it's from Brussel MIDI (= Zuid) that the Thalys trains leave for Paris, NOT from Brussels Central.

Sorry for all the confusion, and thanks for doublechecking on me Jawadde. ;-)