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Help! Online booking for Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels

Help! Online booking for Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels

Old May 9th, 2004, 02:17 PM
  #1  
aya
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Join Date: May 2004
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Help! Online booking for Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels

I am planning to go to Bruges from Amsterdam in two weeks. I figured that I can take Thalys to Brussels in the morning, spend a few hours working around the main square just to get a feel, and then take IC to Bruges in the evening. From what I found from surfing internet, IC does not have online booking site for trip within Belgium. So I went into www.thalys.com. Alas, when I clicked on 'validate' after selecting the departure/arrival station and date of travel, which is done in English, it goes to the next screen in Dutch where I think I am supposed to select either I am adult or child, prefer smoking or non-smoking seat. The next screen again in Dutch only is for ID and password, I think. My problem is, from there on, everything is in Dutch and I cannot proceed with my booking. Has anyone purchased Thalys ticket in advance? I know their Belgium site has English translated information for researving seats for Thalys, but it does not allow me to collect the ticket while I am in Netherlands. Please help!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 03:34 PM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi aya,

You have to register before you can purchase a ticket.

Use http://www.freetranslation.com/ for translating from Hollander to English.

Het goede geluk
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Old May 9th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Are you working from the U.S.? If so, then you can use:

http://www.raileurope.com/us/index.htm

If you want to have your tickets delivered to you in the U.S. prior to your departure, then RailEurope is the official site to get that done. (Other methods may require you to pick up your tickets in Europe and there are others here who can explain how that is done.)

RailEurope is a reliable site, but it involves extra charges for delivery. In addition, it will not provide you with access to the lowest-cost fares that you MAY be able to get in Europe, provided those low-cost tix are still available for your itinerary.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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Aya, are you aware that there are hourly International Express trains from Amsterdam to Brussels, departing A'dam at :23 after each hour. International Express trains do not require a reservation and cost less than Thalys. Also the Thalys stops only at Brussels Zuid/Midi station. The International Express stops in Brussels Gare Central which is where you want to be, only a few hundred meters to the Grand-Place/Grote Markt. Thalys requires a short backtrack to Central on another train. The time for each journey is exactly the same, 2h47m.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Two more points:

Another source of schedules is the web site of the Netherlands Rail at www.ns.nl. Click the International link and the English link. Everything comes up in our lingo.

Also, I suggest that you buy your ticket in the Amsterdam station, either at an international ticket window or the international office if you want to use a credit card and/or inquire about special fares. Train tickets are also available at travel agencies, reisbureaus.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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In case it matters, Thalys is not high-speed b/t Amsterdam and Brussels. You can take a 'regular' train just as well, no reservations required.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 05:32 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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topping
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Old May 10th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Aya: IC trains between Brussels and Bruges do not need reservation. There are 2 trains an hour (or more), end destination usually is Oostende or Knokke/Blankenberge.

Ira: your post proves that websites like www.freetranslation.com aren't very reliable, because 'Good Luck' isn't translated as 'Het goede geluk' in Dutch. 'Veel geluk' is the right expression.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 08:16 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Great advise from hopscotch and others.
Did this trip in January. Train was great from Amsterdam to Brussels and 2nd class was clean and comfortable.
When you go from Brussels to Brugge during the week the rates are much lower after 9:30 am.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 11:00 PM
  #10  
aya
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Join Date: May 2004
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Thank you very much for useful information. Since I will have two days in Amsterdam, I will buy the ticket when I arrive there as it seems the easiest. It is nice to know that Brussels-Bruges does not require reservation. This is my first solo travel and I already feel like it is going to be the great one after reading your posts (helping hands...). Many thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2004, 02:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Stephen G: the lower rates are not on regular tickets. It's just that you can only use your Rail Pass after 9am on weekdays (except July and August, then it's valid whenever). A Go Pass (if you're under 26) costs €41,50 and gives you 10 individual rides in Belgium. A Rail Pass (+26) costs €62,00. Check the number of trips you want to do and if it's worth buying the Go Pass. If you plan return travels in weekends, just buy a weekend ticket, it's 40% off on a return ticket.
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