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Thaylis train vs. regular trains from Bruges or Brussels to Paris

Thaylis train vs. regular trains from Bruges or Brussels to Paris

Jun 24th, 2013, 02:09 PM
  #1  
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Thaylis train vs. regular trains from Bruges or Brussels to Paris

We are in the process of planning out the details of our first trip to Belgium and Paris. Is it possible to use local trains from Bruges or Brussels to Paris? We are planning a couple of days in Bruges and a couple of days in Brussels on our way to Paris.

Is it possible to book tickets on regular speed trains instead of high speed Thalys? We would like to use the most economical way if it doesn't add several hours to the trip. Where do we find the info to check the prices and buy the tickets?

Thanks for any info you can offer.
lateinlifetraveler is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Via Lille or via Brussels from Bruges it is about 2.5 hours all told - Thalys from Brussels and local train from Bruges to Lille then TGV trains to Paris.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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If you book early enough Thalys tickets can be cheaper than normal trains. There is a Thalys that runs from Oostende, mostly empty, too.
Look at the Belgian railway site to compare prices and see times.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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Thalys can be cheaper yes if you book way in advance to get the limited in number deep discounted tickets and do the ABS fare All-Belgian-Stations that lets you take any train within 24 or perhaps 48 hours to any station in Brussels - for a small extra charge. But typically you could pay much much more than the TGV Paris to Lille-Flandres route then local Belgian train to Bruges (again about the exact same time all told either way) - but these TGV trains have a fairly flat fare structure (though there are some discounts at www.voyages-sncf.com) - but even on a walk-up basis not bad - so try to do a cheap Thalys ticket - you may have to book 120 days in advance to get - and compare the other route where you can pretty much even wait until Paris to buy those tickets.
www.thalys.com for discounted Thalys tickets - other sites for lots of great stuff on trains in those countries - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 03:37 PM
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We are in the process of planning out the details of our first trip to Belgium and Paris. Is it possible to use local trains from Bruges or Brussels to Paris?>

No you must either use the Thalys trains or French TGVs part of the way - no local trains between Brussels and Paris or Lille and Paris - oh there may be but it would take all day with several changes, etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Can someone please define "cheaper" on the Thalys. Right now I am being quoted 59-69 euros, depending on time I leave. Thanks!
bosgal is offline  
Jun 27th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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That's for Brusells to Paris
bosgal is offline  
Jun 28th, 2013, 04:45 AM
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My son recently booked a Thalys train Paris to Brussels for 22 euros - that was for travel in August - the closer you get to the date the higher the prices become. He also booked a Brussels to Paris Thalys ticket for 29 euros - from www.thalys.com web site.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 28th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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bosgal - what dates and times are you trying for?
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 28th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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If you are only trying for a Friday or Sunday or Monday - heavy travel days IME you may not have any rock-bottom fares left - mid-week you may or may not.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 12:02 AM
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I've read everything that I think I could possibly read on how to book this trip on Fodors, and seat 61 and I don't know why I cannot seem to really understand it, or maybe I do, but I just don't realize it.

This is exactly what we want to do. On 7/14, from Brugge, leave in the morning, around 8-8:30, to Paris, and arrive around 4:30-5:00(can't check in earlier than that). I also checked with the landlord about arriving on July 14th holiday and she said there won't be a problem with the area by Gare du Nord to our apartment in St Germain. Please let me know if you disagree.

I know that there are two options.

Through PalenQ rec, one is Brugge-Lille-Paris.

First, take a local train from Brugge to Lille(is this an IC - what site do I book this through, or is this one of those that I can just show up on the day of as mentioned and purchase the tickets at the station), and from Lille, take TGV( pre-book through www.voyages-sncf.com) to Paris. (how will I be able to get tickets through this website - at the end of the purchase process, will I be able to print it off myself through my home printer? - I'm in US)


Since we've never been to Lille, I thought when we get off Lille, before proceeding with the Lille to Paris leg, we can leave our luggage in lockers, and then walk around Lille and have lunch, go back to train station and take the TGV to Paris.

Is it worth it? Is the train station close to the city center just to get a sense of the place?

The second option is Brugges-Brussells Midi-Paris. We also want to do the same, leave Brugges, on our stop in Brussells, leave our luggage in the lockers, go to Grand Place, have lunch, go back to train and take the next leg of journey to Paris.

Everyone says that we can do this, and just book the ticket through Thalys or B-Europe.com This is the where I get royally confused, please bear with me.

On some posts, I read, don't worry about the local trains from Brugge to Brussels(is that the IC?), "you cannot prebook anyway", just show up at train station to purchase the Brugges-Brussels ticket on date of departure, just book the Brussels to Paris leg ahead of time through Thalys or b-Europe.com.

On other posts, I've read, book Brugges(Departure) and Paris Nord(Arrival). If I do that though, the Brugge to Brussells and Brussels to Paris trains are timed so closely together that it won't allow me to be able to get off in Brussels and explore a little bit.

Sorry if it sound like I am beating this to death but I think there are some nuances that I might be missing?
bosgal is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 12:19 AM
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I agree that it is slightly confusing. However, I think if you book the Bruges to Paris via Brussels option, only the high speed link is fixed.

www.seat61.com says:

You can buy Bruges to Paris tickets at www.b-europe.com, this gives you an open ticket from Bruges to Brussels (no reservation necessary or possible, valid on any train that day) plus a reserved seat on a specific Thalys train from Brussels to Paris, all in one transaction with print-at-home tickets. Simple!

We did something similar in reverse (London to Bruges via Brussels). It was more straightforward since we added the "Any Belgian Station" on at the end rather than the beginning.

I'd recommend the "layover" in Brussels. It was a pleasant quick stop.
indy_dad is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 12:58 AM
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So indy_dad, I went to b-europe.com, entered Brugge(Departure), Paris Nord(Arrival). It lists out all the trains leaving from Brugges with a final destination of Paris. What you're saying then is what I should pay attention to, and purchase, is the train itinerary with the Thalys leg that will get me to Paris at the time that I want, which is 16:30, without regard to the Bruges departure time?

So as an example, this is one such itinerary:

LV 12:59h Brugge ARR 13:55h Bruxelles-Midi IC512
LV 14:37h Bruxelles-Midi ARR 15:59h Paris Nord THA9348

If I get the ABS supplement, I am not limited to leaving Brugge at 12:59. I can basically leave Brugge for Brussells at whatever time I want(in the morning), arrive in Brussels and explore, and then back at the station to take the 14:37 train out of Brusells to Paris?

Thank you!
bosgal is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 01:18 AM
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That's my interpretation.

You can see my Brussels and Bruges bits on the first part of this post:

http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04...amsterdam.html
indy_dad is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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First, take a local train from Brugge to Lille(is this an IC - what site do I book this through, or is this one of those that I can just show up on the day of as mentioned and purchase the tickets at the station)>

Yes there are no seat reservations on those trains to Lille, some of which require a change of trains at Kortrik - from on platform to another.

(how will I be able to get tickets through this website - at the end of the purchase process, will I be able to print it off myself through my home printer? - I'm in US) - Yes that is my understanding - be sure to put the UK as your country of residence or if you put U S you will be routing to RailEurope, USA which usually has higher prices.

Lille is a nice town to spend a few hours in - surprisingly nice to me for gritty northern France - put your bags in a station locker and poke around.

Yes ABS fare can be used on any train with 24 hours of the Thalys train from Brussels to Paris (perhaps 48?).
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Brussels Midi has both lockers and a staffed luggage storage area. As far as I can tell, Lille has neither. The Lille station is close to the historic center but I think Brussels a better choice, more to see in a short visit.

The conductor on our train to Brussels warned us to keep an eye on our belongings in the Midi station.
Mimar is offline  
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