Anyone use the Benelux RailPass before?

Feb 23rd, 2004, 08:41 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Anyone use the Benelux RailPass before?

Hi,

Has anyone use the Benelux Rail Pass before? It's the railpass for Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. I'll be in Leuven from March 28-April 3 and I wanted to day trip to a bunch of cities in that region. Are there lots of cities that I can visit using that railpass (besides the standard Amsterdam, Brugge, Luxembourg, Antwerp)?

Also, how's the cost work out? The sites that I've checked say the pass is $163. I've already checked with Railsaver.com and I can't quite figure out how to calculate day trips on there so I'm not sure if getting the pass is the best way to go.

Thanks!
Ashura is offline  
Feb 24th, 2004, 03:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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hello, i'm not sure how your railpass works; but in belgium you can buy the Tourrail railpass for belgium-holland-luxemburg.
It costs 126€ for +26 yrs old, and 95 € for younger ones in 2nd class.
With this pass you can travel 5 days in one month, it is available in any railway station.

Tickets in Belgium are relatively cheap, especcially in weekends when you can get return tickets at -30 to -50%.
check the website www.nmbs.be for prices. there is no need to buy a first class ticket on trains, 2nd class will do. there is a very dense railway system in both belgium and holland. you can get almost anywhere from Leuven... you may want to visit Liege or the Ardennes, visit Utrecht, train to Ieper if you fancy seeing the world war 1 battlefields, ... Use the pass for the longer stretches, and for visiting shorter ones, just take a (return) ticket.
lotje is offline  
Feb 24th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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Yes, four of us had them for our stay in Amsterdam and Brugge. We did them in first class, which even allowed us the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brugge without supplement, which was a nice luxury. You can hop on and off trains at random. We did several day trips from Amsterdam in which we'd take five or six trains in a day. Going to one town, getting bicycles, riding to another, taking the trains back on the bicycles, later getting off in another town for awhile. Those were two of the best days we spend, and we never would have done them without passes. While spending several days in Brugge, we did day trips to Brussels and Antwerp. We also got a major reduction of taking Eurostar from Brussels to London, partly because we got a passholder discount, and partially because part of our trip was within Belgium. At the time we added up the costs of what the individual tickets would have cost and we saved quite a lot. Plus we weren't spending a lot of time buying tickets. Incidentally, the longest time we spent was in line for nearly 45 minutes or so to make our Thayls reservations. And we also learned we couldn't buy tickets in the machines with our credit cards because our cards don't have the micro chip which those machines are set for.

On the other hand, it's hard to say if it will be worth it for you for a six day stay in one town. How many major trips do you plan to make and from how far? Although the prices aren't really exact, you can at least go to Raileurope and get estimated prices for the trips you want to take. We also had no problem finding prices on the website for the Netherlands trains.
Patrick is offline  
Feb 25th, 2004, 12:29 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the great information. I plan on at least 5 excursions, one to Brugge, one to Gent, one to Antwerp, one to Luxembourg, and one to Amsterdam.
Also, I've looked around and just realized that the railpass won't let me use the Brussels metro system. (at least as far as I can tell). Do you have any advice on that? Should I get a network railpass for the brussels metro?
Thanks!
Ashura is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 12:49 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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hi,
you can get a day pass on the brussels metro/bus/tram system. it is not very expensive, and anyway, most sights are near the brussels central station...
anything from grand place, cathedral, the mont des arts/kunstberg (with museums, royal palace, the area around the place ste catherine, the antiques quarter, parliament, ...can be done by foot.
The Cinquantenaire - with more museums and the area around the atomium can be done with the metro. You can also buy a 10 trip ticket at less than 10 euros.
lotje is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 07:22 PM
  #6  
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Hi Everyone,

The RailPass was a great investment because I didn't ever have to worry about stopping and buying a ticket (which a friend of mine had to do everyday). In the cities I went to, I ended up walking everywhere, so I didn't need to buy day passes on the local city systems.

But, to anyone travelling in the Benelux area, I'd highly recommend getting that pass.

Ashura is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 07:29 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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It's my opinion, but I can't recommend the pass. Indeed, rail travel in Belgium is quite cheap. And I can't justify the cost of the pass by saving standing in line. I would go to sncb.be and check on the costs of some of your day trips. You will be hard pressed to spend $150 in one week.
usbeauty is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 04:54 AM
  #8  
 
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We used the BeNeLux pass in 2003, and felt it was well worth the money. It cost $254 USD for the "partner pass", for 5 days, or $25.40/day/person.

We used it for travel between :
Amsterdam to Maastrich (NL) with stops in Utrecht & Gouda,
Maastrich to Ettelbruck (GDL) with a stop in Clervaux (GDL),
Luxembourg City to Brugge (BE) with stops in Dinant (BE) & Brussels,
Brugge to Delft (NL) with stops in Ghent (BE) & Rotterdam (NL),
then day tripping from Delft to Haarlem to Amsterdam to Delft.

It was convenient in that we did not have to stand in lines to purchase tickets, wasting precious time in the long lines. We purchased on-line before we left, and immediately activated it at the International Counter at Centraal Station when we first arrived in Amsterdam. We could easily hop on and off the trains and visit some of the towns between point A and B. Of course the pass is not a good deal if you do not plan your travel accordingly. Peace.

Robyn

artstuff is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 06:19 AM
  #9  
 
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If you are planning to spend more than a day in Brussels, then get the 10 trip ticket lotje mentioned. Otherwise, go for a day pass. If you get the 10 trip ticket, remember that each punch (in the little orange boxes) is good for an hour of travel no matter where you go or how many transfers you make. You must punch it each time you board a form of mass transit (bus, tram, metro), however you won't be charged for the transfer it you're within that one hour time frame (sounds confusing but it's very simple). Also, note that on buses in Brussels, you must board from the front (you exit from middle or rear doors). You can board trams from any door.
BTilke is offline  

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