Brussels airport-Brugge-Paris by train

Jun 13th, 2005, 09:48 AM
  #1  
cem
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 43
Brussels airport-Brugge-Paris by train

Our family of 3 are arriving to Brussels from Venice at 2:30 pm. We want to take the train directly tor Brugge. We will stay 2 nights and then go to Paris. We nned to arrive in Paris by 5:00 pm.

1) Can you take the train right from the Brussels airport or do we need to make our way to another station. If so, taxi? How long?

2) How long would you allow from landing to booking the train ticket - 2-3 hours?

3) What is the easiest way to book this ticket? Brussels-Brugge return, and then Thalys Brussels to Paris. Or just buying each segment separately. I see that there is a direct train from Brugge to Paris but the times won't work for us.

4) If you do book the segments separately, again how much time do you leave between trains? We will have a fair bit of luggage.

5) Also, this will be on August 13-15 (weekend) - is August 15 a holiday in Belgium/France and if so will this make the train overly crowded?

I have looked at the SNCF, Thalys, and Rail Europe sites and am not finding them to be very user friendly. Any advice would be appreciated.
cem is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 09:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Direct trains from airport to at least Gent, maybe Brugge at least hourly. If need to change in Gent no problem.
As for Thalys trains the ABS All Belgian Station fare lets you take a free connecting train to Brussels to join the thalys to paris. Otherwise i'd tell you to go via Lille and do TGV from there - bit quicker and cheaper. But since Thalys is having a 50% off sale through late August (apparently only available in US thru RailEurope - there was a big discussion on this forum last few weeks - search for Thalys - i compared prices with RailEurope's sale with www.thalys.com and they were much cheaper with the special which apparently wasn't available online or from sncf (who along with Dutch and Belgian railroads operates Thalys) - i recommended calling BETS (800-441-2387) who are experts in booking Thalys - a RailEurope agent but Linda there is a whizz at booking and asnwering all your questions. Sale price i believe is $45 one way Paris-Brussels - again ABS fare lets you go free from Brugge to Brussels to get to the Thalys train. Without the sale and ABS plan it would be better to go via Lille.
PalQ is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 09:56 AM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi Cem,

The best site for train schedules is http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

You can buy your tickets to Paris as early as 60 days in advance online at www.sncf.com. There are often discount fares.

ira is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 10:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Can book 90 days in advance via RailEurope.
On www.sncf.com right now you'll pay 85 euros Bruges-Paris this is well over $100 so RailEurope's $45 fare for same destination (with ABS Thalys fare) seems a good deal even though they charge a $15 per order booking fee.
Now if you were in Brussels the Brussels-Paris Thalys could be a cheap as 25 euros on the special Ira is talking about but when put in Bruges-Paris all trains seem to be 85 euros - thus i believe you'll save a lot by going thru RailEurope - just did a quick check. maybe the ABS fare is available with sncf's 25 euro fare - check on that because then it'd be a super deal.
PalQ is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 10:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 193
When I went from Brugge to Paris, I went via Lille. It was snowing really hard so all the TGVs were delayed. If I went via Brussels, the itinerary given at that time gave me a 10 minute layover, which I would have missed. I saved 300 EUR going via Lille instead of Brussels because I had the Carte 12-25 and my sister had the Carte Enfant + (rail cards that give discounts), which gave 50% off for the whole family instead of paying full fare on Thalys. I would not recommend using RailEurope to book tickets: the tickets are ALWAYS overpriced; instead, try going to www.voyages-sncf.com for the SNCF. It works better in French.
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