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Closed on Mondays and other questions

Highland Heights...
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Closed on Mondays and other questions

Hello,

We will be in Brugge on a Mon-Wed. in July. One tripadvisor "Go List" stated that everything in Brugge is closed on Mondays due to being open all weekend. Is this accurate? We have only two days.

Also looking for ideas for the trip. traveling with my husband and two daughters,aged 14 and 11. Will visit Ghent, otherwise open for exploring.

One last question. How is the drive to Brugge from Paris? The train is $400 R/T for all of us, so we are considering driving. I know the car is NOT needed once we arrive. Have never driven far in Europe.Suggestions??

As always, thank you savvy travelers.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Closed on Mondays and other questions

Museums in Belgium generally close on Mondays, with a few exceptions - I think the diamond museum in Brugge may be one of them.

You could try working through http://www.trabel.com/brugge-museum.htm.

Shops will be open.

I would never drive in Paris or Brugge so also not between them. For route see viamichelin.com. If you think driving is a cheap option I would advise you to make sure you assess ALL costs associated with it, i.e. not just car hire but also gas, parking.

You could also take the train from Paris to Lille and from there take local trains to Brugge, usually changing in Kortrijk. This would avoid using the expensive Thalys to Brussels, although you would still have to take a TGV to Lille, which you would have to book in Paris (but you can buy tickets up to about an hour before departure). You can sometimes do this without a change in Kortrijk e.g. leaving Paris-Nord at 07:58, arr. Lille-Flandres 09.00, dep. 09.06, arr Bruges 10:27 (2h29) (also at 10.58 and 15.58 and 19:58 although it can be done just as fast if not faster with the extra change at Kortrijk). You would have to get the price off SNCF but it would normally be cheaper than Thalys.

Greer, South...
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2. Re: Closed on Mondays and other questions

I second the suggestion made above about taking the train from Paris to Lille and then onto the local Belgian rails. I have done this with other trips (Germany, Luxembourg) this way in Belgium and saved a lot of money.

However, this means you'll need to do a little wiggling/figuring out with suitcases on these types of trains. However, since you'll be on more "touristic route" trains rather than trains where people are going to work, it may be easier and you'll avoid some of the rude glares with a lot of luggage!

Secondly, you can save by getting what is called a Go Pass for your daughters aged 14 and 11. It's a 10 trip (so 5 RT) open ticket where you write in stations. You'll only be able to use it from the first Belgian train station in (not in Lille, for example), but that may also save you money. Check out the Belgian railway website at www.b-rail.be for more discounts that I may not be aware of.

London
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for Bruges
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3. Re: Closed on Mondays and other questions

As regards Bruges being closed on Monday this applies to the state museums and some of the smaller shops. The private museums, for example the chocolate museum and the new chip museum, are open - and things like the carriage rides, boat rides and bus trips around still operate. In some ways the whole city can be regarded as a museum, so just walking around can be as interesting as any museum.

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4. Re: Closed on Mondays and other questions

I will have to disagree with the 'dont drive' option. If you are a confident driver you will have no problem driving. Once you are out of Paris it will be easy and you are just going to be on a motorway. You wont even realise you are in another country as its one straight line, just have to remember to look in the other sides mirror when changing lanes or stay in the slow lane! If you plan a good route in advance to get onto the motorway in Paris you will be fine. When you get to Brugge, again naviagtion is easy. They have a ring road that runs all the way round the city with various main roads that run into the town. If you look at a map you will see that your hotel will be near to one of the main in roads so just find it out and head for it. Driving in Europe is not difficult you just have to concentrate for a while before you get used to it. It also helps if you have someone in the passenger seat navigating while you concentrate on the driving. I have however always found the road signs to be very good.

That said each to their own. I enjoy driving in Europe and seeing new scenery but I am a confident driver and am used to city driving - I drive through Picadilly Circus in London every day!!

5. Re: Closed on Mondays and other questions

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