Antwerp - Amsterdam -- Paris

Mar 23rd, 2014, 10:37 AM
  #1  
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Antwerp - Amsterdam -- Paris

Hi,
I will have business trip to Antwerp on 19 May for a week and thinking of extending my trip for another week to visit amsterdam and paris.

I cant find any direct flight from antwerp to amsterdam, and from my readings, the best transportation is by train. However, there quite a number of choices.

Appreciate if I can get feedback from the group on which train should I take. Beside my trip from antwerp to amsterdam and paris, I need to take train from brussels to antwerp as well.

Is there any other suggestion of place that I should include? Is it worth if I add scotland in my trips. I can take 7 - 10 days off after my business trip in antwerp
zack_naim is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:04 AM
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I don't quite understand your proposed itinerary. I'm guessing: you are flying into Brussels Airport, going to Antwerp for business, then after you are done with business you want to visit Amsterdam and Paris?

There is direct train service from Brussels Airport (if that's what you meant) to Antwerp.

Take the fastest train offered between Antwerp and Amsterdam, unless you can save significant money taking a slower train (and it is worth it to you). I usually start with www.bahn.de/en (German train site) for schedules. Sometimes you can't book international trains online or you might as well just do it when you get to Europe.

If you want to train from Antwerp to Amsterdam then go to Paris, you can either fly to Paris from Amsterdam or take another train back. Flying is probably faster and maybe cheaper too, though if you train you will go from city center to city center so no transportation to/from airports, no security line at the airport, etc.

There are lots of places to visit within easy striking distance of Antwerp. If Scotland is higher on your list than say the rest of Belgium (Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, etc.) then look for cheap flights out of Brussels or Amsterdam (or Paris depending on where you wind up) over to the UK. It's really up to you what you want to do.
Andrew is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:51 AM
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Flying is probably faster and maybe cheaper too, though if you train you will go from city center to city center so no transportation to/from airports, no security line at the airport, etc.>

Let's look at the time - 3.5 hours Amsterdam to Paris by train - can't see flying being any quicker with all the prep and bags, etc - getting to the airport like andrew says. And I cannot see flying being cheaper either - I booked tickets several times now for 39 euros Amsterdam to Paris - no extra charges - www.thalys.com if the official site of Thalys trains that run the Amsterdam-Antwerp-Brussels- Paris (Gare du Nord) route about hourly.

But Thalys trains have a Byzantine fare structure so just show up and you may pay $200 Amsterdam to Paris instead of $60 or so with the 39 euro tickets - which however are sold in limited numbers and sell out usually way before the train - they are train=specific and cannot be changed nor refunded so set in stone months before to get (though at times cheap fares may still be available shortly before the train - hard to tell.

Now Brussels Airport has direct trains I believe to Antwerp and these are local trains with a flat fare system pretty much - just a cheap ticket - buy it at the airport train station upon arrival - this is not a Thalys train.

Antwerp to Amsterdam has two choices - Thalys trains - OK if you can get a cheap fare but again booking way in advance is suggested or you can take IC trains with a fairly flat fare structure that lets you buy that ticket once in Antwerp.

For great rail info on trains in those countries check out www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.

There is a Benelux-France railpass but I do not think you are nearly traveling enough on trains to make it worthwhile plus even with a pass Thalys trains cost minimum about $35-40 supplement - forget passes.

I'd spend at least 3 days in Amsterdam and more in Paris.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2014, 12:03 PM
  #4  
 
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This is the site for Belgian railways. www.belgianrail.be/en

You can find a train from Zaventem to Amtwerp on it, and look at trains to Amsterdam under the international tab.

Unless you can get a bargain on a Thalys to Amsterdam take the normal IC, in which case you can buy the ticket at the station.
To Paris it is quicker by train, and probably cheaper even with your fairly short booking time. Either look at NSHispeed.nl or at Thalys.com/en for times and fares.
hetismij2 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 04:51 AM
  #5  
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Hi Andrew,

Your assumption is correct. Pardon of my english, still trying to improve it. Will think about Scotland or probably comes again in December.

Hi Palenq & herismij 2,

Thanks so much for your guide. Most likely I will take train and can be relieved to know that there is local train between brussels to antwerp.

Looking forward for the 1st solo trip
zack_naim is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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there is local train between brussels to antwerp.>

An IC or InterCity train - different than a local train in that IC trains, which used to be the fastest ones before high-speed Thalys trains that run on all-new different rail rights of way avoiding major cities - IC trains only stop at a few large cities en route - in between local trains stop at all or most stations.

Currently you may have to change once or twice between Brussels and Amsterdam due to some technical problems that have been dogging the line for some months now. (not sure of the snafu but there is one - soon I think the long-standing direct Brussels and Amsterdam - from the airport I'd go to Antwerp on direct train then switch to the IC there.

Take a short look at Antwerp as well.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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And you can easily buy your airport to Antwerp ticket right at the airport - NO need to worry about pre-ordering, etc. Seat reservations are not possible on those trains so it is open seating and open boarding - can always board.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 07:47 AM
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Antwerp to Amsterdam has three options

1- Thalys direct - about 1.5 hours
2- IC all the way, changing once or twice - about 2.5 hours
3- IC + ICD = 2 hours

1- could be cheap if you book a cheap ticket months in advance and then OK with non-changeble non-refundable - but at station will cost usually much more than the other two.

2- Cheapest on a walk-up fare basis but slowest and most changes

3- I would suggest this - IC to Rotterdam then ICD - along the Thalys high-speed tracks direct non-stop to Amsterdam - again a flat fare pretty much you can just buy in Angtwerp.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 07:56 AM
  #9  
 
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We have reservations from Antwerp to Amsterdam at the beginning of May on Thalys. 49 Euros a person.
IMDonehere is online now  
Mar 24th, 2014, 08:13 AM
  #10  
 
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That's a good rate for Thalys - and much faster than the IC. Thalys is an hour and 15 mins, the IC is 2 hours or more and requires a change of train. 28 euros for the IC.
Thalys can go up to 70 euros for a one-way.

As PalenQ says, the IC is slower but cheaper - and you can buy the ticket any time. Thalys tickets are fixed for one train, buy in advance.

If you want to go to Scotland; you could fly from Antwerp to Dundee with a change in London City - easy, but expensive.
Antwerp airport is fantastic - check-in half an hour before your flight and park for free just yards from the terminal.
Tulips is offline  
Mar 25th, 2014, 08:20 AM
  #11  
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Thank you tulips and PalenQ.
zack_naim is offline  
Mar 25th, 2014, 12:51 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ite-things.cfm

been going to Amsterdam at least annually with a few gaps for decades - he are some of my favorite things.
PalenQ is offline  

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