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Help a Newbie Navigate European Trains!

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May 29th, 2014, 11:58 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Help a Newbie Navigate European Trains!

Hello seasoned travelers!
So I've got my Eurail pass...and getting ready to book some train travel...but then realize I have no idea which specific train stations are closest to my hotels. I'm hoping some of you more experienced travelers can tell me which stations I should choose, based on the locations of my hotels. I'm staying in the city center of all cities. My itinerary is below. IMPT NOTE: I'm taking high-speed trains whenever possible. Thanks so much!

Train trip 1: Prague to Dresden
Prague
Unitas Hotel
Bartolomejska 9 Prague 11000 Czech Republic

Dresden
Swissotel Dresden Am Schloss
Schlosstrasse 16 Dresden, SN, 01067, Germany

Train trip 2: Amsterdam to Bruges
Amsterdam
Hotel Fita
Jan Luijkenstraat 37 Amsterdam, 1071 CL, Netherlands

Bruges
Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges
Hoogstraat 6 Bruges, 8000, Belgium

Train trip 3: Bruges to Paris
Hotel Allison: located in 2nd arr
gobarbgo is offline  
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May 30th, 2014, 12:42 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 149
The train from Bruges to Paris arrives in Paris at Gare du Nord. You do not have a choice of arrival stations in Paris. Your train to Amsterdam will arrive at Amsterdam Centraal. Can't help with the others. I am not sure but if the other cities are like Paris, even though they have a number of stations, you will not have a choice of stations. Certain stations will go only to specified stations. Try using www.bahn.de/en or just google searches with train travel between the starting point and the destination to see train schedules and stations for the cities on your itinerary if no one answers with more information.
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May 30th, 2014, 03:32 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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If your train to Bruges stops at either Amsterdam Lelylaan or Amsterdam Zuid they would make more sense than Centraal from where your hotel is. You can get tram 1 to Lelylaan or 5 to Zuid.
It depends somewhat on what route you are taking to Brugge, so via Antwerpen, Brussel, or even Vlissingen and the ferry.

NS Hispeed is changing it's name on June 15th to NS International. The international intercities to Belgium will be found on NS.nl from then.
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May 30th, 2014, 03:33 AM
  #4
 
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Oh and if you are going to Belgium on the normal incercity, not Thalys, you don't need to book a ticket.
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May 30th, 2014, 03:52 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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http://www.seat61.com/

Probably the best site out there for helping travellers navigate the worlds rail systems. It's very reliable.
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May 30th, 2014, 04:04 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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For Prague, go to the main rail station, Hlavni Nadrazi which is closer to your hotel than Holesovice and is also where your train to Dresden will start out.
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May 30th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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There is only train station at Brugge which is a short cab ride from most hotels.

The Centraal Station in Amsterdam is dirty, congested, dangerous due to the layout of trams and buses, and difficult to navigate to find the correct bus or tram due to the lack of helpful signs. OTOH, as a tourist it was impossible to avoid. Your hotel is near the Rijksmuseum which is near the 2 or 5 tram. Depending on the time of day, it may easy or not to negotiate with luggage.
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May 30th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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with a railpass from Bruges be sure to take the routing via Lille Flandres station, changing there to a TGV train to Paris-Nord -with a pass you only need pay the 3 euro or so mandatory seat reservation fee for the French train - IC trains from Bruges you can just hop on.

If you take the Thalys train route via Brussels you will have to pay, in addition to using a day on your pass, a steep $35 or so supplement.

Like hetismij says avoid the Thalys when going from Amsterdam to Bruges - take IC trains via changing in Antwerp.

Both routes take about exactly the same time.

In addition to www.seat61.com other superb European rail sites are www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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May 30th, 2014, 09:06 AM
  #9
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Great advice! Thank you everyone!!
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May 31st, 2014, 08:52 AM
  #10
 
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Thalys trains can be cheaper than IC trains IF you book way in advance to get the deep discounted tickets and also the ABS or All-Belgian-Stations fare that you can get with a Thalys ticket - this allows you to go to any Belgian station from any Belgian Thalys station - like from Antwerp to Bruges on any train - could all in all be cheaper than just buying regular tickets once there - but you have to book in stone months in advance often to get these very limited in number tickets. www.thalys.com.
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May 31st, 2014, 08:57 AM
  #11
 
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If you haven't already, use Googlemaps to locate things such as your hotel in Amsterdam (and other cities). You'll also see nearby transportation stops.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ja...18262c0be449ef
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Jun 1st, 2014, 12:42 AM
  #12
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Great idea, Dukey1, thanks for the link. And PalenQ, I'm able to book in advance, as my itinerary is set in stone, so I'll check out Thalys. Thanks again.
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Jun 1st, 2014, 08:12 AM
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And the Bruges to Paris Thalys can be booked similarly in advance - use the ABS fare to get to Brussels - you could actually spend the day there because you only have to take any train within 24 hours of your Brussels to Paris Thalys train - thus could be cheaper than the Lille route.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 11:26 AM
  #14
 
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Even the Lille to Paris TGVs can have discounts though not huge ones like Thalys and normal fares are not so sky high - more a flat fare schedule - but check that route out price-wise too - trains from Bruges to Lille Flandres station (not to be confused with Lille Europa station served by Eurostar trains that is just a half-mile away and has few trains to Paris besides Eurostar trains-

anyway trains from Bruges to Lille Flandres are pretty much flat fare IC trains - a ticket can be used on any but probably may have to validate it yourself in that case - an open ticket by sticking it in some trackside cancelling machine so it cannot be used again.
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Jun 5th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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If your train to Bruges stops at either Amsterdam Lelylaan or Amsterdam Zuid they would make more sense than Centraal from where your hotel is. You can get tram 1 to Lelylaan or 5 to Zuid.>

There are no trains from Bruges to Amsterdam - you change at Antwerp - there are trains from Antwerp to Amsterdam, currently involving a change of trains in Rotterdam or other place but after July 6, 2014 rumor has it that once again there will be thru Brussels to Amsterdam Centraal trains.

But anyway to get to the stations hetismij talked about probably means getting off at Schiphol Airport's train station and changing to trains that do not go to Amsterdam Central but to those two minor stations on the southern fringe of Amsterdam and that is a good tip because yes it will be much easier getting to your hotel that way than by going to Amsterdam Centraal station and taking trams all the way to the hotel.
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Jun 5th, 2014, 07:15 AM
  #16
 
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This is a good booking site, especially for Americans who can sometimes have issues with booking tickets online with US credit cards.

https://www.capitainetrain.com/en
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Jun 5th, 2014, 08:07 AM
  #17
 
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DebitNM's site is according to those who used it and www.voyages-sncf.com easier to use than the latter - same trains same prices but it is only for trains involving France - not trains in say Holland or Belgium wholly - like Amsterdam to Bruges.
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