Soon I will go to Belgium to a TGV station in France. Would like to find connections where I don't pay much more than the cheapest tickets and for example:

  1. Have an overnight connection with good timing. or
  2. Have a decent stopover in a nice location in the day. or
  3. Avoid Paris.

(3) is for not having to travel with luggage between different stations.

The fastest connections are like 8 hours. We can spend up to ca 30hours. Normally there will be one stop anyway.

Note that this can be as simple as being able to specify one stopover in one specific location. For (3) it can be no walking or travelling between stations.

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    As a reminder, we are not a travel agency or a route-finding service. Additionally, your parameters are very vague; what is "much more" for tickets or a "decent" stopover or a "nice" location are all extremely subjective. Please review the help center for a better understanding of what a good Stack Exchange question should look like, or consider getting professional advice and returning here to hone your options with more detailed information. – choster Mar 20 '18 at 18:59
  • "Soon I will go from France to a TGV station in France" what does that mean ? At least tell us your itinerary, from where to where. – Max Mar 20 '18 at 19:06
  • @max Oriogin is corrected. But this is of course about how/where to search. – Olav Mar 20 '18 at 19:10
  • @choster. This is of course about how/where to search. Also p3 is quite specific. (And it is normal not wanting to arrive 04am no need to be specific) – Olav Mar 20 '18 at 19:17
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    If you want to ask about how to search, how about actually asking that in the question? – hmakholm left over Monica Mar 20 '18 at 21:56

The question remains very vague, but I will make a few suggestions.

If you want to avoid Paris coming from Belgium then consider a stopover in Lille, or Lyon (both have multiple direct trains daily).

If you want to play around with itineraries with long stopovers, then I (ironically) recommend http://bahn.de, which has French timetables included. You can add up to two stops of up to 48 hours each. It won't give you prices though. Plenty of other sites will let you check journeys Brussels-Lille and then separately Lille-Destination. This may well be easier for you.

It is unlikely to work out much more expensive to buy two or three point-to-point tickets for each leg of your desired journey, I don't think SNCF will let you deliberately extend stopovers on a single ticket.

Try wikitravel for suggestions of nice places for a day, but be wary of towns that are far from the station. (A clue is if 'TGV' is in the name of the station: Avignon TGV, Aix-en-Provence TGV are all a bus ride out of town, so a pain for a quick visit.)

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    I once connected in Lille from a local Belgian train to a French high-speed train, because I booked the ticket very late and there were no seats available on the high-speed service from Brussels. I spent an enjoyable hour or two in Lille; it's definitely worth considering given the requirements set out in the question. – phoog Mar 20 '18 at 19:52
  • How would I search for stopover in Lille, (and one stopover only)? – Olav Mar 20 '18 at 20:22
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    You search for one train from your start to Lille and one for Lille to your destination. Several search sites allow for direct trains only, otherwise you will just have to shift through many results. I too have changed in Lille, (between the stations) and when my incoming train was not late it worked well. – Willeke Mar 20 '18 at 20:45
  • @Wileke Separate tickets? And it is not more expensive? – Olav Mar 20 '18 at 22:03
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    I paid €30 for my ticket Amsterdam - Lille and €46 for my ticket Lille - Bordeaux, but only €25 for each of the return tickets, and that price difference is because I was not early enough booking. On the way out my train to Lille was delayed and I missed the train to Bordeaux, the ticket was re-issued for Lille-Paris and Paris-Bordeaux without extra costs. – Willeke Mar 21 '18 at 10:29

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