Amsterdam - Paris 1st class worth it?

Mar 20th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Amsterdam - Paris 1st class worth it?

Have you taken a train Amsterdam - Paris?
We'll be traveling on a Sunday in July ; I imagine it will be rather full.
Is the first class that much better to be worth the difference in price?
danon is online now  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:13 PM
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I've never taken 1st Class on a Europe train, only 2nd class. It's always been comfortable enough. First Class is probably a tad more spacious and a little better upholstery.. maybe some services that aren't offered in 2nd class, but I don't know. The duration is right about 4 hours, and seems to go by soon enough...
Travelnut is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:21 PM
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I've taken this train in both classes. How much is the difference in price today? If money is any concern, second class is more than adequate.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:33 PM
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I'VE taken both

2nd class is quite comfy

1st class a lot more comfy

3 seats in the space of 4 means more room for legs and luggage and more likely to have empty seats nearby

And in 1st class on this train you do get a decent meal with wine, etc. served at your seat - nothing in 2nd class.

2nd class however is very nice as European trains go
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:39 PM
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1st class on a train is not at all worth the normal price difference with 2nd class. However, I sometimes take 1st class when booking on the internet, because you can often get 1st class tickets cheaper than 2nd class, or for only 10€ more, especially if you accept tickets that can't be exchanged or refunded.

In those cases, I absolutely go for it!
kerouac is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:44 PM
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I take both first and second class trains in France and Europe generally, depending on the distance and diff. in cost. No one can decide for you if it is worth the difference. To some people, if it cost only $5 more, it wouldn't be worth the difference. To others, it always is worth the difference.

You don't say what the price diff. is, so who knows. Lots of times, I don't think the diff. in price is really that great between first and second, so I opt for first for trips of 3 hours or more usually. I am not on any strict budget though, and don't travel by train a lot at home, so it's an easy splurge for me and I get enough pleasure out of those bucks. If you are even considering it, I suspect you aren't on that strict a budget, or you wouldn't even be thinking about it.

I do often like it because it's not as full as the other class, if I'm traveling with luggage a long distance. It isn't just more space (although that can be true) or the upholstery, sometimes the floor is different and the seat comfort, also. For example, I've been on second class trains where the seats weren't upholstered at all, but the first class ones were comfy (and sometimes there is no carpet in 2nd class). I've been on a 2nd class TGV packed with drunken young people on their way back home to Paris after a weekend who made a lot of noise and literally harrassed some elderly persons while everyone sat by and did nothing. I would have done something, but not being French and a smaller female, didn't think that would work so well (they were big and theatening, also--guys).

I"m not speaking about that particular train in particular, just the idea that anyone can objectively say whether it is worth it or not. It's a subjective decision.
Christina is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 12:58 PM
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With first class you can also reserve your seat for a small charge ($10?). This could be useful if you are traveling during a busy season and want to be assured of your seats.
BillT is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 01:03 PM
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You can reserve seats in both first and second class, but that's irrelevant in this case: all seats are reserved on Thalys trains and you cannot buy a ticket without a reservation.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for your kind replies.

Having taken only one hour train trips in Europe I was not sure .
Christina is absolutely right : some people would not pay 5 dollars more,
others find the money well spent.
Since we will be spending several thousand dollars on this trip, maybe the additional expense (to be more comfortable for a four hour trip ) is not such a big deal.
danon is online now  
Mar 21st, 2008, 02:00 PM
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I made this trip last year in 2nd class and it was very comfy. Brought our own snacks and the hours flew by.
SharonG is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 02:49 PM
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I don't know. Is a $200 hotel worth more to you than a $150 hotel? How can anyone answer what something is "worth" to someone else? We took the Thalys in First Class from Amsterdam to Paris last year. It was very nice. It was "worth it" to us.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 21st, 2008, 05:21 PM
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I took the Thalys 1st class from Amsterdam to Paris and it was one of the most memorable train rides I've had.

I had a Eurail pass. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been traveling 1st class.

One thing I remember is having a nice meal served along with the beer I had asked for. As the waiter was leaving I asked if I could have a 2nd beer and he said I "could have 17 more if I so desired." I don't think I got past two and 17 would have been tough given how fast the train was.
sshephard is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 05:49 PM
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thanks again - I think "17 beers"
will make it "worth it" for sure !!!!!!!!!!!!
danon is online now  

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