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Stopover in France between Calais & Switzerland (Metz/Nancy?)

35 replies

TattiePants · 21/05/2022 19:05

We’re driving from the tunnel to Lucerne, Switzerland in the summer and need somewhere to stop off overnight. I want to get about 4 of 5 hours of driving done on the first day which takes us to the area around Nancy & Metz. Anyone been to either of these cities or anywhere around there that they’d recommend? Ideally somewhere we can have a wonder around for a few hours in the late afternoon, get some food and a few hours exploring the next morning before we set off again.

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Hbh17 · 21/05/2022 19:07

Stopped over at both of these when doing a similar route. Both excellent - Metz is perhaps a bit prettier, with a fantastic cathedral.

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Badlifeday · 21/05/2022 19:10

I've been to Metz a long time ago, very pretty.

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TattiePants · 21/05/2022 19:18

I really wasn’t hopeful about getting an answer - tried Tripadvisor and got no response. Thanks so much. @Hbh17 are they easy to drive into / out of? We’ll be arriving on a Sunday so I imagine the roads won’t be too bad but driving back out on a Monday morning.

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HannibalHeyes · 21/05/2022 19:29

Troyes was unexpectedly pretty, had a lovely night there.

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TattiePants · 21/05/2022 19:35

I’ve never heard of Troyes; off to investigate.

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User0ne · 21/05/2022 19:53

Who's travelling? Adults, children or both (and ages if kids)?

I'd probably pick a town rather than a city as you'll have more options, less traffic and be closer to whatever you want to see.

What's your budget like? France have a few hotel chains which do rooms for around €40 a night. They don't include breakfast but you'd be better off googling for a decent Boulangerie anyway. They're normally premier Inn standard so ok but basic.

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TattiePants · 21/05/2022 20:14

@User0ne 2 adults, a 16 and an 11 year old. Budget wise ideally keep it under 100 euros for the stopover, preferably in a family room. A premier inn / holiday inn express type hotel would be ideal.

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User0ne · 21/05/2022 21:24

In that case I'd look for a "premier classe", "formula 1" or similar. have a look to see where they are and pick one not too far from your route that looks like a nice place to explore.

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Eve · 21/05/2022 21:44

Not far from Reims or stop in Epernay - which is where all the champagne houses are.

I don’t know if they are still doing tours but Dom Pérignon Tour of the cellars was fascinating.

Troyes is a nice city as well , lots of restaurants in city centre to choose from.

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RaspberryChouxBuns · 21/05/2022 21:53

Colmar looks impossibly pretty and is on my to do list but I appreciate it's not half way.

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RaspberryChouxBuns · 21/05/2022 21:55

Don't stay in Formula 1 hotels they can be dives unfortunately. Look for Ibis styles/budgets and Hotel B&B (name of the company, it isn't a proper B&B)

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TattiePants · 21/05/2022 22:18

@RaspberryChouxBuns Colmar does look beautiful and we have a trip there planned for later in the holiday. After Switzerland we move on to The Black Forest in Germany and will only be 40 minutes away.

@Eve we've always planned to stop off at Reims or Epernay so I think we'll do that on the way back to Calais.

I think we've decided on Metz for the first night in France and there are a few reasonably priced hotels quite close to the centre including an Ibis and a Mercure. The kids will want the Mercure as it has a pool!

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NCTDN · 22/05/2022 08:57

We've stopped at Metz on the way to Germany and Troyes on the way back. They were both lovely.
Where in Germany are you staying?

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TattiePants · 22/05/2022 12:53

@NCTDN in a little village on the edge of the vineyards just south of Freiburg im Breisgau.

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Fitterbyfifty · 22/05/2022 12:54

HannibalHeyes · 21/05/2022 19:29

Troyes was unexpectedly pretty, had a lovely night there.

Another vote for Troyes!

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NrlySp · 22/05/2022 13:01

For your Switzerland trip take a look at the blog of Swiss family fun. Lots of great ideas and beautiful hikes. If in the Luzern area and want a cheaper day out the Burgenstock hotel has a beautiful walk and the highest lift in Europe. The hotel itself is vey posh but you can park outside and walk through the grounds for free. Down load an ap called parking Pay for your parking in Switzerland. Easier than paying with coins

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Doubleraspberry · 22/05/2022 13:03

Troyes is beautiful. We stopped off there on a trip to the Alps because my husband is obsessed with tripe and it’s the capital of andouillette. (Other food is very much available.)

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Doubleraspberry · 22/05/2022 13:04

My suggestion though was going to be Strasbourg. There is an Indigo campsite (with pool) on the edge of the city with cabins you can stay in, a short tramride into the city.

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EssexCat · 22/05/2022 13:07

TattiePants · 21/05/2022 22:18

@RaspberryChouxBuns Colmar does look beautiful and we have a trip there planned for later in the holiday. After Switzerland we move on to The Black Forest in Germany and will only be 40 minutes away.

@Eve we've always planned to stop off at Reims or Epernay so I think we'll do that on the way back to Calais.

I think we've decided on Metz for the first night in France and there are a few reasonably priced hotels quite close to the centre including an Ibis and a Mercure. The kids will want the Mercure as it has a pool!

Epernay is lovely. Definitely recommend a stop over there. Lovely restaurants and a nice area for a good wander around.

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TattiePants · 22/05/2022 13:47

I don’t think we can fit Troyes in on this trip but I’ll make a note for our next trip (I’ll be avoiding the tripe!). @Doubleraspberry I have Strasbourg on my list either for when we are in the Black Forest or later in the trip if I need an escape from Center Parcs! I’ll take a look at that Switzerland blog too. Thanks for all the great tips.

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ShouldersBackChestOutChinUp · 24/05/2022 07:08

Luxembourg City! Gorgeous. And the youth hostel is lovely to stay in.

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stringbean · 24/05/2022 08:35

For your return journey the Novotel at Reims Tinqueux is situated just off the motorway and has a pool and large garden area: not sure how old your dc are, but the family rooms are a good option and dc breakfast is free if adults are paying. Large supermarket opposite as well for last-minute wine purchases Smile

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crustybreaddarling · 24/05/2022 08:47

We had a weekend in Nancy at the end of March and loved it. Compact town, very walkable, beautiful square (Stansislav), lovely parks, very clean and friendly. And if you go, and you like chocolates, |'ll dig out the name of the chocolatier that sold the best chocolates I've ever tasted. They don't ship outside France otherwise I'd have a weekly order set up :)

On my to-do list for this week is to start the search for a 2-month rental there for later in the year so we can properly enjoy the town and area.

Have a lovely time, wherever you decide to stop.

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Moonmelodies · 24/05/2022 09:05

If you enjoy amusement parks, don't miss Europa Park when you're in the Black Forest. Considered by many the best in Europe.

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TattiePants · 24/05/2022 10:32

@ShouldersBackChestOutChinUp this is a trip that we originally had planned for summer 2020 and Luxembourg City was booked for the first night before we went into Germany. We’re starting in Switzerland and ending in France so couldn’t quite make it work going to Luxembourg this time.

@Moonmelodies DD really wants to go there but DS isn’t keen (doesn’t like theme parks) so the jury’s out at the moment!

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