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Paris-brussels-amsterdam-paris

Paris-brussels-amsterdam-paris

Old Apr 20, 07, 12:26 am
  #1  
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Paris-brussels-amsterdam-paris

What is the cheapest way to do this route?
Have looked at Thayls trains but have no idea what sort of a coach pass I could get?

I thought about flying but getting to/from airports is a hassle. Ill only have two days in each city. Anyone know anything about where the coaches stop in each of the cities and how long..direct routes or many stopovers?

Also is it worth waiting for last minute fares for late August travel?

Confused

Thanks in advance
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Old Apr 20, 07, 1:57 am
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Hi

You did well looking at Thalys as it really does not make sense to fly. But I am not sure I understand your problems. You simply need to book (1) , Paris-Brussels (right now they are running a special, single fare of €35), (2) Brussels-Amsterdam and (3) Amsterdam-Paris.

Thalys uses Paris-Nord, Bruxelles Midi/Brussel Zuid and Amsterdam Centraal stations. Paris-Brussels is (generally) non-stop and takes 1h22; I am not 100% sure of the other timings but you can certainly find all the info online.

You can also book on www.voyages-sncf.com, or www.sncb.be or www.ns.nl.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 8:03 am
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If you want to look at coach travel, check Eurolines: http://www.eurolines.com/

The fares are often significantly cheaper than rail fares, though travel is often a bit slower and less comfortable than traveling by rail (especially if you are traveling during morning or evening commute hours).
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Old Apr 20, 07, 8:20 am
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If you want to reduce costs, travel Paris-Brussels on the Thalys, and Brussels-Amsterdam on the normal train. You will need to play with the fares to see whether it is cheaper to use a Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris, or the normal train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and then the Thalys to Paris.

Don't take the coach unless you really need to turn every cent before spending it.

SmilingBoy.
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Old Apr 22, 07, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by SmilingBoy View Post
If you want to reduce costs, travel Paris-Brussels on the Thalys, and Brussels-Amsterdam on the normal train. You will need to play with the fares to see whether it is cheaper to use a Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris, or the normal train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and then the Thalys to Paris.

Don't take the coach unless you really need to turn every cent before spending it.

SmilingBoy.

It needs to be mentioned that on Thalys (except for full-fare tickets) one needs to fix reservations - no changes possible after sale !!!
So, it´s wise to book only Paris-Brussels as soon you know the date and time desired. And then buy a ticket for a "regular" train (regular means also express) for Brussels-Amsterdam. That saves money, gives more flexibility due to non-requirement for fixed reservations on regular trains plus the difference in traveltime is limited (maybe 30-45 mins on a regular train...)
If you still fancy continuing on Thalys to AMS you may still buy a separate ticket BRU-AMS after arrival in BRU...

Flights between Paris and Amsterdam are a NO NO if you don´t want to spend $$$$$$$ (AF and KL are the only operators and merged into 1 company some time ago - so, without any other competitor it´s a real monopoly on that route now...) There are no LCC´s that serve this market nor would a "via-routing" on a LCC make sense (time and $$$-wise)
Paris-Brussels has no more flights (wouldn´t make sense anyway since Thalys-trains go Paris City - Brussels City in 1.30 hrs (imagine the time needed to go to CDG/ORY plus check-In deadline plus transfer BRU to the city)

P.S.: I agree that considering going by coach is a "bad joke" Don´t even think about that especially as your time is limited. The saving would be like 15-20$ only...
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Old Apr 22, 07, 9:50 pm
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Thanks to all. I think I will Thalys it for the sake of my sanity! Cheers
CJ
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Old Apr 22, 07, 10:19 pm
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May I glom on to this post? What about TGV? Does it also go to Amsterdam/Brussels or should one concentrate on the Thalys? TIA - I'm in the process of trying to figure out the European train system.
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Old Apr 24, 07, 1:22 am
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I went from Ghent to Amsterdam friday, using the high speed train was a no brainer with 3 changes needed, I used the IC train and bought a first class ticket to be sure of sitting down to find first class packed. Standing room only. Eventually when the gaurd came to check tickets he threw out about 10 americans who knew full well they were sitting in first on 2nd class tickets. There was no service until we left Den Haag !!! so if making sure you need a seat book high speed, the changes are a pain but at least you get to sit down
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Old Apr 25, 07, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Flyer_70 View Post
May I glom on to this post? What about TGV? Does it also go to Amsterdam/Brussels or should one concentrate on the Thalys? TIA - I'm in the process of trying to figure out the European train system.
THALYS is in fact an international "TGV".
So, Thalys is a brand but also runs as a separate company (shareholders are the respective railway companies of the countries the trains pass through. (that being the Netherlands/France/Germany/Belgium )
Some TGVīs are also "international" by going from Paris to Geneva in Switzerland.
From june there will be a TGV line running form Paris to either Frankfurt or Stuttgart/Munich)
The german "ICE" is just a brand although some units are owned by the dutch railway company.
It also goes international from Germany (to Vienna/Zurich/Amsterdam)
In Spain thereīs the AVE which runs only domestic.(donīt know much about it)
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Old Apr 25, 07, 3:32 pm
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You don't like Brussels, right?
Originally Posted by MHG View Post
THALYS is in fact an international "TGV".
So, Thalys is a brand but also runs as a separate company (shareholders are the respective railway companies of the countries the trains pass through. (that being the Netherlands/France/Germany/Belgium )
Some TGVīs are also "international" by going from Paris to Geneva in Switzerland. Also Lille-Brussels is a TGV line (or at least it was until recently)
From june there will be a TGV line running form Paris to either Frankfurt or Stuttgart/Munich)
The german "ICE" is just a brand although some units are owned by the dutch railway company.
It also goes international from Germany (to Vienna/Zurich/Amsterdam/Brussels)
In Spain thereīs the AVE which runs only domestic.(donīt know much about it)
SmilingBoy
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Old May 1, 07, 4:04 pm
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If you know exact dates, you could also book Paris-Brussels (ZYR) return, and Brussels-Amsterdam return. If you book as early as possible a Thalys ticket may well be cheaper than a normal train ticket. If you go to the Netherlands for the weekend, you could save (on the normal train) by booking a "Benelux Weekend" ticket. Also, return tickets during the weekend are almost 50% off in Belgium.

Reservations open 3 months in advance I believe ; internet reservations possible ; ticket pickup at a distributor. It's probably advisable to do this in advance, I once saw a guy having to cough up like 500 Euro for his ticket because he had some trouble with the distributors (his claim, he showed a reservation printout to the conductor),

Thalys tickets when booked at last moment tend to be horribly expensive. It may be worth looking at 1st class tickets ; I recently booked a 1st class ticket ZYR-CDG that was cheaper than anything left available in 2nd class (cheaper fare bucket). The most economical Thalys tickets (Smileys) are return tickets, usually sold out VERY quickly.

Thalys is a company owned by several European railway companies ; they run trains Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam, and Paris-Brussels-Cologne (they used to run to CDG as well, this line is now run exclusively by TGV (high-speed subsidiary of SNCF, the French railway company).

Bus : Eurolines as mentioned before. Cheaper and more flexible than Thalys, but takes 5 hours Paris to Brussels, only 2 or 3 departures per day, v.s. 1hr25, 20 departures per day or so. Thalys Brussels-Amsterdam is little faster than the traditional train.
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Old May 1, 07, 4:11 pm
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I forgot to add : The Eurolines bus station in Brussels is next to the North station (CCN). Not sure where it is in Paris or Amsterdam.
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Old May 15, 07, 9:30 pm
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Thalys

Go for Thalys. I've done this very route and it worked out very well. Bear in mind that Thalys manages the reservations much like airlines (but not that bad). So if you want cheap, get it in advance (2 weeks should be ok) and it won't be flexible (you won't be able to change it for a later time).
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Old May 17, 07, 1:39 am
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I have a question about the Thalys. I'd like to take a side trip from Paris to Brussels but I would like to keep my timetable open until pretty much up til the last minute. Can I buy the ticket on the train (taking the risk of not having a reserved seat?) or is there a vending machine at Paris Nord where I can get a last minute ticket? I realize you can buy a ticket at the counter, but in my experience the lines at Paris Nord can be horrendously long. I'll be prepared to pay the full price in this case.
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Old May 17, 07, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by tsastor View Post
I have a question about the Thalys. I'd like to take a side trip from Paris to Brussels but I would like to keep my timetable open until pretty much up til the last minute. Can I buy the ticket on the train (taking the risk of not having a reserved seat?) or is there a vending machine at Paris Nord where I can get a last minute ticket? I realize you can buy a ticket at the counter, but in my experience the lines at Paris Nord can be horrendously long. I'll be prepared to pay the full price in this case.
I believe they charge VERY high surcharges for a ticket on the train. Why not book trough the internet, once you decide when to travel? You can now simply print out your last minute tickets. I believe the vending machines are only for picking up tickets pré-booked through the internet.

Hope you'll enjoy Brussels.
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