i am coming to Paris with my family (my husband and 3 youth boys on 2nd week of Dec 2017. I am preparing the itinerary for our 12 days trip. I am thinking of renting a car and driving to a few countries/cities nearby ( Zurich, Luxemborg, Brussels).
My husband used to drive in Austria last winter and we did fine with the driving.
However, I need some advice regarding this road trip, in terms of weather, risks, constrains and of course safety.
Here's an alternative for you to ponder:
Rather than hiring and using a car, with the stress of traffic, traffic congestion and possible weather conditions plus the cost and hassle of city parking........why not research using the train?
European trains are safe, comfortable and very often much faster than driving. The network is extensive and services frequent...and you see the countryside as you travel. As examples:
Paris > Zurich takes just over 4 hours.
You could easily make a round trip by train: Paris > Zurich (4 hours), Zurich > Luxembourg (from 4 hours), Luxembourg > Brussels (just over 3 hours), Brussels to Paris (under 1.5 hours).
The official German railway website in English carries times and details for almost all European trains:
For fares you'll need to look at the official railway website of the country of departure. All have English language pages.
You can buy tickets online in advance for many trips (and there are often advance discount fares too), either through the official railway websites of agencies such as www.raileurope.com
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I assume you intend to change your accommodation during this part of your trip? Zurich certainly isn't a feasible daytrip by car from Paris (6+ hours one way) and you'll have little time to explore the other places you mention (Luxembourg 4+ hours, Brussels much the same).
Assuming you drive sensibly and within the law of each country (laws do vary) I don't think you need to worry much about safety.
No-one can possibly tell you what the weather will be like so far in advance. It is possible that there may be snow in some places but, even if there is, you're much less likely to encounter issues if you are using major roads to visit cities than if you're exploring in very rural areas on rarely-used roads. Wet and/or icy roads are much more likely than snow. If the road is wet or icy, it's always best to drive with caution.
You'll need to find a hire company which will allow you to take the car from Paris into Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The vast majority will allow this but you should let them know beforehand that you intend to take the car out of France. You may well have to pay a premium for doing so.
Do be aware that parking in cities is very often both difficult and expensive...and that you will almost certainly encounter traffic congestion.
www.viamichelin.com will give you route, route info, route alternatives and estimated driving times (always allow more to account for traffic congestion and road conditions).
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