To Bruge

Old Jun 16th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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To Bruge

Can some one explain the difference in taking the Thayls train from Amsterdam to Bruge versus taking an IC train? I think it takes about an hour longer on the IC train...is that correct? Is that the only difference?
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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The price is different too, and neither train goes directly to Brugge (or Bruges one or the other not Bruge). Also for Thalys you have to book and get the train you have booked. For teh IC you can just turn up, buy a ticket and go.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 07:52 AM
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Amsterdam to Bruges - change in Antwerp to a regular IC train - so you can take Thalys or IC trains (yes about an hour longer) to Antwerp - the nice thing about the IC trains is that as hetismij2 says it's a flat fare system so you can just wait until Amsterdam to buy your ticket and the ticket is good on any IC train - which run hourly - currently you have to change in Rotterdam I think but word has it that soon once again direct Amsterdam to Antwerp trains will be back up and running like they did for years.

Now Thalys could be cheaper - but this means booking weeks or months ahead of time to nab the limited in number deep discounted tickets - but a nifty feature of that is the ABS fare where with a Thalys ticket to a Belgian station if you get the ABS fare (may cost a few extra euros or be free not sure) then you can go from Any Belgian Station to Any Belgian station from where your Thalys lets you off - Angtwerp Centraal in your case

and then take any train within 24 hours (48 ?) to Bruges - meaning you could take a look at wonderful Antwerp for a few hours - put your bags in a station luggage locker and then come back and board any train to Bruges.

But to do this means booking months in advance to get the limited in number deep discounted tickets and I believe they are non-changeable non-refundable but could be cheaper all told and faster.

But if you just want to forego all this cumbersome advance planning just do the IC trains as hetismij2 describes.

For lots of great info on Thalys and Benelux trains check out these IMO superb sites - www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. For Thalys fares and booking do direct to the official site - www.thalys.com.
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=antw...=1600&bih=1075

In anatwerp itself even if just changing trains be sure to check out what is ubiquitously listed as one of Europe's most gorgeous, magnificent train stations - an Art Nouveau wonder locally called the Railway Cathedral (if I have the term correct).
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Old Jun 16th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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In my experience the IC trains can become very crowded at times - first class to Antwerp is not all that much more - in Belgium the IC trains seem not so crowded so 2nd class would be comfy - and it could be on the Amsterdam to Antwerp trains but IME it has often been SRO at some point. And currently you have to change trains once I believe - usually in Rotterdam. A first-class ticket IME guarantees you several seats to yourself.

Just on observation. On Thalys 2nd class is fine as there are not standing room - everyone has to have a seat reservation before boarding. First-class Thalys does however involve a meal at some point or at least used to -not sure now - with wine, etc.
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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1st class Thalys meals aren't worth it. Desserts are nice though and you do get free alcohol
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Old Jun 18th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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When Thalys were first rolled out I did first class with my railpass just to see what it was like - and besides the usual larger seats, etc the meal then was, for a train, outstanding - some kind of gourmet mousse for dessert and lots of wine or booze the whole way, which took much longer then than now.

Now with a railpass to take 2nd class sans meal the obscene supplement is about $40 - and you can get cheaper discounted tickets than that if you book early enough or about the same and not use a day on your pass.
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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Thank you everyone.
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