AMS to Bruges by Train

May 14th, 2019, 08:22 AM
  #1  
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AMS to Bruges by Train

Is it necessary to purchase train tickets from AMS Sch to Bruges prior to going or can you walk up and purchase tickets at the station?
Is there a price differential?
Thanks
Banff is offline  
May 14th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Banff View Post
Is it necessary to purchase train tickets from AMS Sch to Bruges prior to going or can you walk up and purchase tickets at the station?
Is there a price differential?
Thanks
Depends on which train. If you take Thalys to Antwerp or Brussels and the train to Brugge from there, you'll have to book a place and you'll probably pay more. If you buy an International IC ticket online, you can get discounts, and you can take any train. Lastly you can buy from Dutch Railway ticket machine, but here too, it pays off to research the pricing system a bit (weekend returns are cheaper for instance).
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May 14th, 2019, 02:45 PM
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Thalys trains have deep discounts too - last week I check Bruges to Amsterdam and saw many seats at 36 or 39 euros - are any ICs that cheap? And with the Thalys ABS Fare (buy it with the Thalys ticket to Antwerp and it lets you go onto any (all) trains stations in Belgium for the next 24 hours - thus you could stay in Antwerp a day or few hours if you want then jump on any Bruges bound train.

You can buy at station the IC tickets as menachem describes for sure and arriving by train you may not want to be pinned down to one exact trains like Thalys requires on their discount tickets. So, don't worry about that - there are no seat reservations possible on IC trains so you always can board - first class not much more may be a good investment as those trains can get crowded during rush hours. First class more likely to have seats..

For lots of info on Benelux trains and booking own Thalys or IC ticket online check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.
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May 14th, 2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Thalys trains have deep discounts too - last week I check Bruges to Amsterdam and saw many seats at 36 or 39 euros - are any ICs that cheap? And with the Thalys ABS Fare (buy it with the Thalys ticket to Antwerp and it lets you go onto any (all) trains stations in Belgium for the next 24 hours - thus you could stay in Antwerp a day or few hours if you want then jump on any Bruges bound train.

You can buy at station the IC tickets as menachem describes for sure and arriving by train you may not want to be pinned down to one exact trains like Thalys requires on their discount tickets. So, don't worry about that - there are no seat reservations possible on IC trains so you always can board - first class not much more may be a good investment as those trains can get crowded during rush hours. First class more likely to have seats..

For lots of info on Benelux trains and booking own Thalys or IC ticket online check www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts.
PalenQ, you keep pushing the "deep discounts" on Thalys, but those are limited in number and almost never available. I'm in Brussels and Paris a lot, and I book Thalys frequently, have the frequent traveler pass to get me (slight) discounts etc. Only one time, when I had a scheduled meeting MONTHS in advance could I book the €38 single fare to Paris. Never again happened.
Try booking those seats, and you'll notice that oftentimes even DURING the booking process they will be gone. Any bookings closer than 4 months from now will not have them.

Also, the whole thing about 1st class and finding seats: that really only applies to rush hour. Not times when most tourists travel (after 9 am)

Last edited by menachem; May 14th, 2019 at 09:44 PM.
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May 15th, 2019, 02:12 AM
  #5  
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Ok, so...
1) It is possible to wait and purchase tickets in Amsterdam on the IC trains and the price never fluctuates?
2) I can purchase a Thayls ticket to Antwerpe, add the ABS and travel onto Brugge using any train?
3) The ABS was mentioned being good for 24 hrs? Is that 24 hrs from the moment of departure on your Thayls train? Would I be able to use the ABS on multiple trains? For instance, can I purchase a Thayls to Antwerpe and purchase a Thayls train from Brussels to Paris and use ABS to connect Ant/Brug and Brus/Paris as long as itís within 24 hrs?
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May 15th, 2019, 02:14 AM
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Sorry, on the last portion of the multiple questions I asked, I meant using ABS on the Brug/Brus connection.
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May 15th, 2019, 03:54 AM
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1) IC prices are cheaper went purchased in advance; not sure how much, maybe 2 weeks? You can take any train you like on the day that you booked.
2) Yes; though I think you just book through to Brugge as your final destination. When I book Thalys there is no ABS option; you put in your final desination. You change trains in Antwerp and can take any train to Brugge. Brugge/Antwerp is another 1,5 hours. Sometimes the connection through Brussels can be faster. If you want to get out and see a bit of Antwerp, be sure that your routing is through Antwerp. Thalys Amsterdam/Antwerp/Brugge will often require an additional change of trains in Gent. There's a direct train only once per hour.
3) You need to take the most direct route; it's not a free pass to use any train in Belgium that you like. The idea is that you connect from a local station to one where the Thalys departs. If you buy a Thalys ticket from Amsterdam to Paris for example, that doesn't mean that you can use that to visit Brugge in those same 24 hours. The ticket inspector will ask you what you are doing on a train from Antwerp to Brugge if you are traveling to Paris.
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May 15th, 2019, 04:51 AM
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Thanks for the detailed answers!

Ok, so I've just gone onto the b-europe site and clicked on "deals" ... right now it appears that they have a deal from Brussels to Paris on an "IZY" train????? Not sure what that means but if I purchase that ticket ($67 euro's for 3 adults - teen considered adult - and one child) and also purchase a separate ticket from Brugge to Brussels it seems like that option is cheaper than just purchasing Brugge to Paris??

Is this a good option?

Thanks
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May 15th, 2019, 06:01 AM
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Normally it's either
IC+TGV
or IC+Thalys
Izy is a new low cost service; i have not used it. I think it takes at least an hour longer; check the travel time. And cheap seats are folding seats; not very comfortable for 3 hours.
One-way Brugge-Brussel is 14 euro.
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May 15th, 2019, 08:05 AM
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The IC/Thayls connects through Brussels while the IC/TGV connects through Lille. I thought it might be nice to stop in Brussels for a minute given we've never been there before but the IC/TGV connects Bruges/Paris through Lille while the IC/Thayls goes through Brussels but is quite a bit more expensive. The IZY actually goes through Brussels as well and is the lowest fare of all three.

Nonetheless, I'll probably go with the TGV option.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Lille is a nice enough city too to spend a few hours in - not many train stations in France however have left luggage anymore but one as large as Lille Flandres may have one.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:28 AM
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PalenQ,
I was only thinking of stopping in Brussels, not Lille. But with the IZY not sounding like a good option and the TGV via Lille being less expensive than the Thayls through Brussels, I'm guessing the TGV through Lille is my best bet.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:33 AM
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The trains for Paris leave from Brussels Midi; you'd want to be at Brussels Central to see some of the city. Not a problem, there are frequent trains, but it's not just stepping out of the station to look around.
The area around Brussels midi is not very exciting.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:40 AM
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I can only see connections from Brugge to Paris via Lille which require two changes: one in Kortrijk, and the second one from Lille Flandres to Lille Europe (b-europe says: 22 minutes walking). Maybe you've found a more convenient connection, though.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:48 AM
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French TGVs Lille to Paris mainly use Flandres station, right - yes usually change in Kortrik - easy small station.
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May 15th, 2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Banff View Post
PalenQ,
I was only thinking of stopping in Brussels, not Lille. But with the IZY not sounding like a good option and the TGV via Lille being less expensive than the Thayls through Brussels, I'm guessing the TGV through Lille is my best bet.
Thalys sucks the way they do the pricing. I'm always paying too much for what I get, between Rotterdam and Brussels or Paris.
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May 15th, 2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
French TGVs Lille to Paris mainly use Flandres station, right - yes usually change in Kortrik - easy small station.
Thanks for pointing to it.
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May 15th, 2019, 02:59 PM
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TGVs Lille Flandres to Paris also have discounted fares - www.oui.sncf - not as much as Thalys which if book 3 months in advance can result in deep discounts.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
TGVs Lille Flandres to Paris also have discounted fares - www.oui.sncf - not as much as Thalys which if book 3 months in advance can result in deep discounts.
My experience is that if you book 3 months in advance on Thalys, those deep discounts will likely not materialize.
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May 15th, 2019, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by menachem View Post
Thalys sucks the way they do the pricing. I'm always paying too much for what I get, between Rotterdam and Brussels or Paris.
Thalys pricing is unpredictable. I travel between Antwerp and Amsterdam quite often. Tomorrow morning Thalys is 29 euro second and 45 euro first class. The IC at the same time is 38 and 61 euro.
With the new policy of making IC more expensive last minute, my kids sometimes take Thalys as it can be cheaper than IC. Obviously local people do not book their trains months in advance.
Take another train tomorrow afternoon, and the rate is 73 euro on Thalys. You cannot count on getting last-minute low prices unless you're flexible with your hours.

That ABS 'hop on any local train' fare that PalenQ is always on about; doesn't exist on my version of Thalys. Prices change depending on where you start; from Brugge it's more expensive than from a town closer to Antwerp.
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