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Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

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Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
14 posts
5 reviews
Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

Help! I am thoroughly confused. I have 7 days in Europe with an arrival and departure flight out of Paris.

I would like to do the following itinerary: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris.

What is the best way to travel between cities? I am really confused by the Railpass/Thalys trains. I buy a railpass and then also pay a Thalys reservation fee? Can I buy directly through Thalys being in America? Should I wait until in Europe? What is the cheapest way to do this?

Any tips from an experience traveller would be great. Thank you!

Hoofddorp, The...
Level Contributor
1,392 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

Hi there.

Buy your tickets in the railwaystation.

These cities are so close to eachother, and trains are running at least every hour..... no problems there. www.ns.nl

I don't Railpass is much cheaper....

Don't buy Thalys tickets, train is good, but loal trains are cheaper, and just the LILLE - Paris sector is high speed, the rest is usual fasttrain.



Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
191 posts
40 reviews
2. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

you could also rent a car... i'm going this week and we're going paris->reims->luxembourg->dusseldorf->amsterdam (open jaw plane)... for a week it might range from $240-$350ish... for us its a little more since we're dropping off in amsterdam instead of returning it back to paris.. it will be more if you want an automatic transmission too

it wasn't much more than a train, we have more control...

you can buy a car rental voucher through raileurope.com ...there might be other sites too... the car itself comes from a big name chain (alamo for us, it was hertz in the past)...

New York
Level Contributor
1,491 posts
67 reviews
3. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

Train is the best way to go. Why get stressed by driving yourself when someone else can do it for you? The French are very fast, aggressive drivers and the Belgians have a reputation for recklessness (though I have never seen anything untoward and I'm from New York and I know reckless.) Plus if you don't know the language driving gets even more difficult.

Have you looked at RailEurope.com? They will give you both point to point ticket/reservation prices and schedule so you can calculate whether to go the railpass or ticket route. I must tell you that I have not felt the need to get a railpass in twenty years and that while I use Raileurope to calculate costs, I generally do not buy tickets until I'm in Europe, except if I'm worried about making a train and want some peace of mind.

Some trains have mandatory reservations, regardless of whether you have a rail pass or a ticket, other trains just recommend them. It's been my experience that Europeans avoid reservations, if they can. There is nothing special about Thalys, except speed. Some of the slower trains are usually more interesting.

1 post
1 review
4. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

First of all "piece of cake!"

What you have posted is the easiest trip of all time!

4hours from Paris to Amsterdam

2 hours from Paris to Brussels

1 hour from Amsterdam to Brussels

Ticket is about $70 one way!

Buy a 3 country pass 5 days

Benlux, france and which other country you want!

Ever heard of Ryanair or Easyjet? The word cheap flight comes to mind (serious!) 10 bucks or something!

Relax, go to The Old Chruch cafe and sit on the second level and roll up some jack Heerer, best ever!

Also try going to Nice as well, just get out of Paris ( most exspensive! )

Have fun, this trip is really easy, everyone talks english, good smoke and nice trains, just keep your money, passport and air tickets close! Don't worry about the hotels either! Stay at Bob's Youth Hostel, Amsterdam, $20 bucks a night, cheers Marc.

Level Contributor
406 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

The train will be your best bet. Visit RailEurope.com and figure out if a railpass or buying your tickets individually will be least expensive.

Ryanair and Easyjet dont fly to all of your destinations.

This trip is very easy. I did it for the first time 2 years ago and I was very nervous, but it turned out to be the best experience ever! I bought a railpass and I didnt have any problems, I didnt have to worry about purchasing tickets at the trainstation or anything, I just hoped on my train and went. It was great!

BTW...Brussels to Amsterdam is 2hrs 45min, not 1 hour.

Have Lots of Fun

Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
14 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

Thanks! This is very helpful. I'm going to do the rail pass and just make reservations after I get there...wish me luck.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
191 posts
40 reviews
7. Re: Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels Travel

davy... i kept with my car rental plan and it worked out quite well.. i don't think we found it to be stressful.. if you can read a pictograph (that is, a sign with a picture of something), you can probably drive there... of course, if you really were going to drive there, you might want to take 5 or 10 minutes to catch up on the basics of things...

i wouldn't say that the french or belgians drive any differently than anyone here... if anything they drive better... have you been through ohio lately? THEY don't know how to drive... on a 2 lane highway, there will be mini-vans in the right AND LEFT lanes for miles... its really annoying, and that would NEVER happen in france.