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Train Tickets from CDG to Amsterdam

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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:38 AM
  #1
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Train Tickets from CDG to Amsterdam

Hello,
I am confused as what's the best way (best site) to buy tickets from Paris (from CDG preferably) to Amsterdan. We would like to go to Amsterdam right after arriving at the CDG airport in Paris. According to the Rail Europe site, I can buy tickets departing from CDG airport to Amsterdam for about 200 euros, which seems very pricey to us. I know there are trains leaving from Paris Nord to Amsterdam for a lot less (35 euros for cheapest non flex for certain departure times). So, in order to save money, is it my only option to grab the metro from CDG to the Paris Nord station and from then take the Thalys to AMS? And if so, what departure time would it be safe to purchase train tickets for (leaving from Paris Nord) if my plane arrives at 1:35pm at CDG? I would appreciate any help and/or suggestions. Thank you in advance
MelissaT305 is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:00 AM
  #2
 
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I hope this link works:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-tickets-.cfm

Which will probably give you more information than you want, but there it is. Our itinerary is also a little different, so may not apply for you, but there may be some things of note.

The actual fare depends on a lot of stuff, including local market conditions and how far in advance you book.

One respondent to my thread suggested trying thalys.com. I have not booked using that site so my comments are of limited use, except that it does seem like it is possible to travel with just a printout of the email confirmation of the ticket, as opposed to having to pick tickets up at a station kiosk, etc. etc. I note that for 23 April (as an example) the cheapest I could find for non-flex were 66 euro.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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You have two choices - take the RER or other transit option into Gare du Nord and start from there - probably the cheapest way

Or hop a French TGV from the airport to Brussels and then buy either a Brussels to Amsterdam Thalys ticket or a regular hourly IC train ticket Brussels Midi to Amsterdam.

If flying in and not knowing exactly what train you will really be able to get on a train yes means you have to put a lot of fudge factor time in - and you can also buy on www.capitainetrain.com or www.voyages-sncf.com CDG to Brussels Midi tickets - then take the flat fare or just about IC trains to Amsterdam - or buy a discounted Thalys ticket Brussels to Amsterdam but then you have to deal again with a train-specific non-changeable non-refundable ticket.

I'd go into Paris and get a 39 euro ticket from there to Amsterdam - I booked one last summer in high season for my son just a week or so before.

check www.seat61.com for more info or perhaps these other info-laden sites - www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

13:35 arrival - I'd try for about the last train of the day in Paris and if you have a few hours to kill stash your bags in a locker at Gare du Nord and walk around or if luggage rolls just keep it with you.

I have more and more been on planes that landed in the middle of the airport and had to wait for buses to get us to the overcrowded terminals - I actually missed a Thalys train I had reserved once by a few minutes (at Gare du Nord) because the transfer by bus from plane landing way out on tarmac and then circling the whole airport to get to the terminal took forever.

You gotta figure if you miss the 39 euros pre-booked you would have to pay full price of about $200 - RailEurope often quotes full priced and fully flexible tickets or more!
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:22 AM
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I would not ever risk just having an email confirmation rather than an actual ticket when on the train -- even if it is a print-at-home ticket. You usually can get a PDF to print at home, anyway. Can you get by? Sure, it's possible if the conductor wants to, but it isn't the rules so I wouldn't risk it and there isn't any reason to do that except not wanting to spend the line in a ticket window.

The best site is the French railway, www.voyages-sncf.com But some people can't use it because they can't read French and/or can't follow the questions it asks correctly (ie, what country do you want to collect your tickets in--you should not say the US if you want to buy from them).

But it's hard to recommend in your situation because you don't state the date and prices vary all over the place based on the date and time of day. For example, if you want one for just a week or two away, the cheapest fare even on SNCF is over 100 euro.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #5
 
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You have two options:

1) Take the RER (express metro train) every 15 minutes into central Paris to the Gare du Nord, 45 minutes journey time I think, buy this ticket locally. Then take Thalys high-speed train from Paris Gare du Nord to Amsterdam from 35 euros. You can book the Paris-Amsterdam train at www.b-europe.com or www.thalys.com.

2) You can take a high-speed TGV direct from CDG airport station to Brussels and change there onto a Thalys for Amsterdam. This is arguably more comfortable, as no need to rough it on an RER into The Big Smoke of central Paris, it's comfy high-speed trains all the way direct from the airport but it tends to be pricier. I'd use www.b-europe.com to book this, to avoid the Machiavellian redirects on voyages-sncf.com and possible credit card rejection too.

Fares work like air fares, cheap in advance, over 130 euros on the day fully-flexible, so only buy on the day if you have a good relationship with your bank manager!!!

On the other hand, the cheap tickets mean no refunds, no changes, miss the train and your ticket is worthless, so allow HOURS of leeway in case your flight is delayed.

All these sites give print-at-home tickets, this is now the norm on these TGV and Thalys routes.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 11:10 AM
  #6
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Christina,
I am arriving on June 16 at CDG at 1:35pm, but it seems that I cannot use the www.voyages-sncf.com site since I am in the US and it's not possible to collect the tickets here.

Not knowing how long it will take us at the airport to pass through immigration and collect luggage and then to get to Gare du Nord makes it really hard to select the departure time for the Thalys train. I'll keep on researching but I feel like the longer I take, the less options I have for the lower fares with Thalys.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Do you guys think I will be able to pull it off if I buy train tickets leaving from Gare du Nord at 18:25 when my flight arrives at CDG airport 13:35pm.

I think 5 hours is plenty of time to get out of the airport and into Gare du Nord, but then again, I've never done it.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Man_in_seat_61, thank you for clearing things for me.

I would like to try the second option you listed as I agree it's more convenient but when I go to www.b-europe.com to try to book the high-speed TGV direct from CDG airport station to Brussels, the only departure options I get are 'Paris Nord' and Marne Lavalle-Cheesy; there is no option for the CDG airport.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 12:03 PM
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Five hours should be plenty of time - UNLESS your flight is significantly delayed by mechanical or other problems. The chances of that are slim - but they are not none.

At some point you are just going to have to bite the bullet and make a decision.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 12:27 PM
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Christina, while I have never put it to the test, the thalys.com website says one of three media is acceptable if choosing ticketless: a Mobile Ticket on mobile phone, the Thalys TheCard (which of course one must apply for and get beforehand) or a "printout of your email confirmation" (it shows an email with a scannaable digital code). That may be what they meant, anyway, a pdf file? I dunno, I just repeated what I read on the website.

Melissa, the bigger question is, how late do you want to arrive in Amsterdam? This is a 3.25 hour journey from Gare du Nord to Amsterdam. Leaving Gare du Nord at 18:25 puts you in Amsterdam at 21:30 - and you wouldn't be in your hotel until likely 22:00. Makes for a long day after a transAtlantic flight. I would look at options - overnighting in Paris before heading out the next day, or even splitting the journey between Paris and Amsterdam at some point. I think, given your relatively late arrival in CDG (the afternoon is already well underway even if your flight arrives on time) that you are cutting it a bit fine. You are tight on time and you are trying to go the tightest possible option on fares as well - not a realistic combination to maximize.
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