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Brussels or London day trip

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Brussels or London day trip

We are staying in Paris but plan on taking a day trip to either Brussels or London. Don't know anything about either city. One better than the other? What should we do at either place when we only have a day (arrive 8am--leave at 9pm)? Thanks

England
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1. Re: Brussels or London day trip

Hi.

I don't know that these two cities are possible to compare! London is London! (No offence to Brussells, but...)

I've done the trip the other way - Eurostar to Paris from London Waterloo a few times and really enjoyed it. Check it out at:

http://www.eurostar.com/dynamic/index.jsp

Arriving at Waterloo East on the first train, (depart 07.16, arrive 08.55 local time), you can then either explore the South Bank on foot and by river, or head into Central London by tube.

For example:

Walk from the station to the London Eye, (go on it)

Walk or take a river boat to the Tate Modern, (go in for a few minutes - it's free!)

Walk to Shakespeare's Globe and take a tour

Eat at one of the many restaurants facing or near the river

Walk to the replica of the Golden Hinde and admire it from outside, (not worth going onboard IMO!)

Walk to Southwark Cathedral and go in

Walk back to the river and take a boat back to the London Eye

Time allowing, walk over Westminster bridge and admire the Houses of Parliament from outside

Return on foot to Waterloo station and the Eurostar

Alternatively:

Arrive Waterloo

Take the Northern line to Charing Cross

From Charing Cross station, walk to Trafalgar Square and see Nelson's Column and the (in)famous pigeons

Pop into the National Gallery by Trafalgar Square, (it's free)

Walk along Charing Cross Road and visit the second-hand bookshops

Then, either carry on walking to the British Museum, (free), and then visit Selfridges on Oxford Street for some shopping, or pick up a Big Bus Company Tour. Check them out at:

http://www.bigbustours.com/

Eat at one of the many restaurants in the Charing Cross area

Return to Charing Cross station and catch the tube back to Waterloo and the Eurostar

Hope this helps.

USA
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2. Re: Brussels or London day trip

I saw all I wanted to see of Brussels in 1/2 day. A lifetime is not enough for London.

Indianapolis
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3. Re: Brussels or London day trip

I agree with Hoogo. I've taken a day trip to Brussels from London and a single day is all I needed to see what I wanted to. To me, a day trip of London is really depriving yourself. It's like only getting to enjoy one bite of a perfecty prepared meal.

Guildford, United...
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4. Re: Brussels or London day trip

Brussels is probably the least interesting European capital city. There are many more interesting places in Belgium.

Cardiff, Wales
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5. Re: Brussels or London day trip

flyeaa

There really is no comparison - Brussels is interesting but for beauty there are dozens of European cities which are more attractive and interesting - and I bet you even the good folk of Belgium would agree.

London is a vibrant and pulsating place, steeped in history at every turn but also at the leading edge of where the world is probably going. No ornament (it's a higgledy piggledy maze but that makes it all the more human) but you don't have to worry about heading for this attraction or that (though there are many if you want them) - just find a space to suit you and stand there and breathe it in.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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6. Re: Brussels or London day trip

Thanks for the helpful info. We'll probably get back to London for a bigger trip in the future, but just wanted to go for a day since we have time. The people in the Brussels forum were very rude to my question, so we have chosen London since the people seem a lot nicer!

Seattle
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7. Re: Brussels or London day trip

flyeaa: I read the responses on the Brussels forum, and yeah, they were not particularly welcoming.

Along with the other suggestions posted above, you can take a city bus tour to get an overall view of the main attractions, and then choose one or two that really appeal to you and spend a little bit of quality time in them.

London, UK
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8. Re: Brussels or London day trip

LeeB's suggestion is a very good one.

A tour bus round London will give you an idea of the shape, size, scale & rhythm of central London - a taste of things to come on your next visit. Will also allow you to wind down after your journey.

You might like to throw in a visit to one of the 'hot' exhibitions during the day - you may need to pre-book to ensure entry or avoid queuing. F'rinstance, you could see the Kandinsky at the Tate Modern & have a late lunch upstairs in the restaurant with the stunning views of St Pauls across the Thames.

Thereafter you could walk along the river back to the station to Eurostar to Paris or wander along the South Bank taking in the views & historic sites. Maybe a ride on the London Eye as it's within walking distance of Waterloo.

If you keep things to a minimum to can comfortably experience some of London's top notes.

So a bus tour, exhibition, great lunch/afternoon tea & a gentle stroll can be done. Avoid shops & crowded attractions too far from the Eurostar - too many travel logistics <stress>.

Virginia
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9. Re: Brussels or London day trip

Flyeaa, We returned from Brussels trip last week and must say we enjoyed our stay. The people we met in Brussels were warm and welcoming, unlike some posters on this forum. Don't let them scare you off from enjoying what the city has to offer. Brussels can be enjoyed in a day whereas a day trip to London might be a bit ambitious.

10. Re: Brussels or London day trip

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