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Help! Trying to figure out a train ticket Bruges-Paris asap

Help! Trying to figure out a train ticket Bruges-Paris asap

Jan 26th, 2011, 11:20 AM
  #1  
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Help! Trying to figure out a train ticket Bruges-Paris asap

I posted a few days ago but perhaps my title wasn't clear enough. We're traveling from Bruges to Paris on April 23rd, which is the Saturday before Easter, so I'm figuring that the Smoove fares are going to go very quickly and want to book asap.

I'd like to arrive in Paris around 1:30pm. First I looked on the Thalys website, but it only shows one direct train Bruges-Paris, in the early evening. However, there are lots of trains Brussels-Paris, includng one departing Brussels at 12:15 and arriving in Paris at 1:35, which would be perfect.

Then I looked at the hafas.benesystem website, which shows the timeline of a route from Bruges via Brussels to Paris, leaving Bruges at 10:35, arriving in Brussels at 11:34. Is this plenty of time for the connection - almost 45 minutes - and is it within the same Brussels station? (I think so).

In addition, I looked at the "any belgian station" info on Thalys, but it says I cannot do a Ticketless internet ticket - it must be picked up in Belgium or France (I'd really rather not worry about that).

SO - do I book the Thalys ticket Brussels- Paris now, then get the Bruges-Brussels ticket later? I think I enter Brussels Midi (aka Zuid) as the station. And what website do I use for the Bruges-Brussels station.

Thank you!!!!
Iwan2go is offline  
Jan 26th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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You can just as well as just as quick go to Paris from Bruges via Lille - take a regional train from Bruges to Lille-Flandres stations and change to a French TGV to blast into Paris - just about the same time as going via Brussels and could be much cheaper - Thalys has a Byzantine fare structure with lots of tiers of tickets - the cheaper ones sell out quicly at times and if you just show up you could pay $100 or more more than pre-booking. But the TGV Lille to Paris is fairly cheap even if not pre-booked and indeed you can get some tasty PREM fares in advance Lille to Paris at www.voyages-sncf.com - again early bird gets the worm. And the change in Lille is easier since it is a smaller station with less platforms, etc than hectic Brussels-Midi (South) station. And since rail links Bruges-Lille go hourly you can build a comfy change time in (same for Bruges-Brussels - twice an hour so jsut take an earlier train for more change time - and ask, if Thalys, about the ABS or All-Belgian-Stations fare that lets you take any train within 24 or 48 hours of your Brussels to Paris Thalys train for a good discount ovr buying a regular Bruges-Brussels ticket. But if it were me I'd go via Lille and forget about all the inauguries of Thalys fares, etc. Again just as quick and can be only one change of train via Lille.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 06:35 AM
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If you can score one of the deep discounts on Thalys trains and combine it with an ABS fare the route via Brussels could well be cheaper - so peruse www.thalys.com and see what is up - but you cannot I think book more than 3 or 4 months in advance. You could also check RailEurope in the U.S. as they also sell Thalys tickets but often IME are higher priced but not always and they offer periodic specials so check both sources IMO - and for any RailEurope product I'd say call the folks at www.budgeteuropetravel.com, a REurope agent who I have boubght railpasses from for years and can attest to great personal service via phone. But also check www.voyages-sncf.com to see what kind of discount you could get for Lille to Paris - the Bruges to Lille fare is a set price I believe - a regional train and not that expensive - perhaps $20 or so.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 09:34 AM
  #4  
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Thank you so much for your advice, PalenQ! I checked on the Thalys version via Brussels, and the cost from Bruges-Brussels is 5.5 E, then from Brussels-Paris is a Smoove fare of 25E, which sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Then I checked on the RailEurope site for both Brussels and Lille to Paris. Brussels is $36.00 (same as the Thalys website), but for the Lille route it's $51.00 and the time isn't quite as good, so I think I'll just go w/the Brussels route. But I'm sure that someone in the future will find your advice helpful as well.

Excited just to be going!
Iwan2go is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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I'd hop on the Smoove fare offer ASAP!
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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If you're worried about the time to connect at Brussels, then catch an earlier train from Brugge. They're every half hour and the ticket will be valid on any one (there are no seat reservations on these trains).
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 12:31 PM
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Since Paris is but a little over an hour from Brussels by Thalys trains you can easily see some of the highlights of Brussels in a few-hour layover - put your bags in a station locker at Midi station and head for the Grand' Place (often called one of Europe's most sublime squares) and the Mannequin Pis - the statue of a pissing young lad and a bit of Brussels shopping zone, etc. From Midi hop one of the very frequent trains to Brussels Centraal station - a few minute ride and a station that is a short walk from the Grand' Place.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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Iwan2go - What the heck did you decide?
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 16th, 2011, 01:30 AM
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Book from 'Bruges (ABS)' to 'Paris' at www.thalys.com.

ABS stands for Any Belgian Station, and what you then get is a Thalys ticket with seat reservation Brussels-Paris plus an open ticket for any train you like from Bruges to Brussels in the 24 hours before the Thalys leaves. Easy!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Man in sat 61 - how much does (or do?) the ABS or All Belgain Stations fare cost, in addition to the Thalys ticket?

Thanks
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 03:25 AM
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It's included in the price the system gives you at www.thalys.com
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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man - interesting because the Eurostar was the same for years - the ABS being free as it was included in any Paris to Brussels Eurostar ticket but now there is an extra fee - a few bucks or euros you must pay for the ABS fare

And not long ago thalys.com was charging extra for it to - so interesting the flipflop.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:27 PM
  #13  
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Oh Lord, PalenQ, I haven't been on the site for a while, so I just saw your post. I decided to do the Brussels route to Paris (Bruges to Brussels first, then Thalys to Paris). I jumped on the Smoove fare, as you suggested - cost was 25 euros.

And for the Paris-Amsterdam trip, I got first class Smoove for only 35 euros.

Thank you all again for your help!
Iwan2go is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 10:08 PM
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Go to BudgetEuropeTravel.com. Call their 800 number. They are extremely helpful in finding you the best fares and itinerary. They really know the rail system.
PeaceOut is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 06:38 AM
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Iwan2go - too! Well 25 euros Brussels to Paris! Incroyable as the French may say - Q - did you get the ABS or All Belgian Station Fare - if so how much extra did it cost?

Curious and thanks for the thanks.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 09:41 AM
  #16  
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I got the regular fare, not ABS, just Brussels- Paris. The trip from Bruges is only 5.5 euros, and seemed simpler. Maybe someone else would prefer the ABS though!
Iwan2go is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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Wow - 5.5 euro - why fool around with ABS? And I suppose that ticket can be used on any train as well.

Thanks
PalenQ is offline  

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