Travel to Ghent from Schiphol

Jul 11th, 2014, 01:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 9
Travel to Ghent from Schiphol

We will be arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol at 12:40 on Sept 16. What is the best way of getting from the airport to Ghent? If we book the Thalys train to Antwerp for 15:33, can we change it if our plane gets in early or late? Does it make sense to book the ticket in advance, or purchase the ticket once we are through customs - so we can get the next train?
ronsat is offline  
Jul 11th, 2014, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965
Arriving by plane forego the Thalys train and just take regular IC trains that go about hourly to Antwerp - currently necessitating a change of trains in Rotterdam but through service is on the way I hear.

IC trains have a flat fare - and one ticket is good on any - no reservations even possible - change at Antwerp Central station to an IC train to Gent.

Thalys train tickets can cost a fortune compared to the IC on a walk up fully flexible basis - the deep discounted fares of 39 euros or even 29 euros are sold in limited numbers and typically sell out weeks in advance - and they are train-specific and I believe if you miss the train (because of a late plane) you lose all your money.

IC trains roll about hourly Antwerp to Gent.

But you may build in some extra time and try to get the 29 euro fares Schiphol to Antwerp as with Thalys fares comes an ABS option - either free or a few extra euros - that lets you go within 24 hours to any Belgian station from where your Thalys train dumps you off - so you can look around Antwerp a bit too - throw your bags in a station locker - IC trains roll about hourly Antwerp to Gent.

Then if you do miss the Thalys you are out 29 or 39 euros or so and can still buy a full fare ticket on IC trains for about 50 euros or so I would think - but build enough time in and the Thalys can be an hour or so faster and significantly cheaper.

For lots of great info on Benelux trains check these sources: - great info on discounted fares; and - for Thalys booking - I recently booked some 29 euro Brussels to Amsterdam tickets and using the site was a snap.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,918
FYI, the Thalys website is
Cheap (non-flexible) Thalys tickets cannot be changed nor refunded.
For some IC trains you'll have to change twice: in Rotterdam and in Roosendaal. For some you'll only have to change in Rotterdam. Check before getting on the train!
For both Thalys and IC trains, there are special fares for juniors (-26) and seniors (+60).
MyriamC is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965
Myrian - do you know about the ABS fare - if it is included in the Thalys ticket or it costs a few extra euros? The ABS fare I mention above that could make the Thalys much cheaper all told - if they nab those deep discounted fares and then for no extra charge I believe take any train to any Belgian station, like onto Gent - anytime within 24 hours (48?) - meaning they could easily stop off in Antwerp for a few hours in that amazing city if they are not planning to spend some time there later.

Thanks in advance if any insights about ABS fares.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 12th, 2014, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965

Seems like ABS fare option costs perhaps 5 euros - but much cheaper than a regular ticket.
PalenQ is offline  

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