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Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?

Fredericton, Canada
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Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?


I am looking at booking my TGV tickets for my trip in October. We are flying into Paris from Canada and want to go to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and use the train to travel and do it the cheapest and less confusing way possible.

If I look at the prices on SNCF site, I could get SMILYS fares for 54 euros Paris to Brussels and 33 euros Brussels to Amsterdam. However, on the Brussels to Amsterdam leg, there are also intercity trains which require no reservations for 68 euros.

I understand some of the pros and cons for each option. Taking the SMILYS on both legs requires us to set up our itineraries and coordinate the two legs properly. On the other hand, the intercity train is not only more expensive but requires us to transfer to Brussels NORD.

In your opinions, which option is the best option?


Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?

Hi Randy,

Can't comment on the price/reservations model (generally the intercity is cheaper than TGV, strange...). CAN comment on the intercity: it definitely goes all the way to Brussels SOUTH (Midi) but also stops at Brussels Nord. So you could just transfer at South to/from the Intercity if so required.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?

The maion railway station is Brussels South (MIDI) and most trains terminate/ pass through there, so you should be able to transfer in Midi rather than North (and believe me Brussels Norhthis one of the world's most depressing stations - you don't want to go there unless you have to!)

I suggest that you pose your question to the Brussels Tripadvisor - they will give better info as this is really a question about train transfers in Brussels!

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?

Just one more thing the international train is run by the Dutch train company NS (National Spoorwagon) www.ns.nl and you probably got the return price there. If you travel over the weekend they normally have special prices going Friday & returning Monday. trains run every hour from Brussels Midi (south) as already said and take approx three hours. There is also the Thalys which runs from Paris to Brussels to Amsterdam and is a much more comfortable train (not that there is anything wrong with the NS train) and it takes a slightly shorter time as it does not stop at all the stations the NS train does.

Try looking for first class fares as they sometimes have special offers at not much more than the second class fare. The Thayls is the same train at the TGV just with different livery but needs reservations whereas the NS one you can just walk up and buy. I think on first class Thalys you get a meal included on certain trains at mealtimes but you would have to double check this.

Perhaps on your reservation you could book a fare with two legs, ie one to Brussels and one to Amsterdam. The new high speed link from Brussels to AMS is not finished yet unfortunately as this would cut the journey time by around an hour. Maybe next year.

Anyway for comfort take the Thalys and for flexibility take the NS.

4. Re: Train Questions - Paris->Brussels->Amsterdam - Best way?

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