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Trips from Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges and Paris by train

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Apr 19th, 2013, 01:16 PM
  #1
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Trips from Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges and Paris by train

We will fly into Amsterdam and spend three days there. Next we want to travel to Brussels and spending a couple of days there. From there, we'd like to spend a couple of days in Bruges before going to Paris. Is this route the most efficient? Amsterdam first and Paris last is already set. How about the Bruges and Brussels route?

Is the Thalys the best way to travel? If so, do we need to purchase tickets 90 days out for best prices? Are there different types of tickets? Thanks for any help with this.
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Apr 19th, 2013, 01:37 PM
  #2
 
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On your route outlined - A'dam to Brussels to Bruges to Paris you do not have to take any Thalys train but regular Inter-City trains in Holland and Belgium and from Bruges to Lille in France from where you get a TGV train to Paris - check out the Benelux-France railpass as it would cover all those trains and you have complete flexibility to hop any train anytime in Belgium and Netherlands - and on the train to Lille - and it is easy to get on Lille to Paris TGVs for just 3 euros with your pass.

That could be the easiest way as no advance planning is required. With Thalys trains you can use a pass but there are obscenely high passholder supplements that are actually at times more than the cheapest deep-discounted Thalys ticket! And yes I think it may be 120 days in advance but to get the deep discounted tickets you must lock yourself into a non-changeable non-refundable ticket months in advance. Thalys trains are faster - about an hour or so faster Amsterdam to Brussels but they do not go to Bruges. check www.thalys.com for fares. full fare on Thalys is really high so if doing the Thalys route yes book 3 or 4 months or whatever is the time period as soon as it comes on the site.

For lots of great info on trains in Benelux and France I always spotlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Apr 20th, 2013, 10:36 AM
  #3
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Your suggestion sounds perfect since we have our day to go from Lille to Paris set since our hotel is booked and it will be the last leg of our train trips before Paris.

Thank you so much for the link and information.
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Apr 21st, 2013, 08:12 AM
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If you want to save a tad on the Lille Flandres (not Lille Europa station that mainly serves Chunnel trains from London and TGVs to the south of France but not many to Paris proper - go to www.voyages-sncf.com and look for a PREM fare - limited numbers of seats on TGV trains sold at a discount but must be booked weeks in advance and cannot be changed nor refunded. But the savings on this route is generally not that much as on others so you can just wing it as well. If you have a France-Benelux Pass then you only pay 3 euros for the necessary reservation and this IME is easy to get - ask in Bruges train station if they can do it or just wait until Lille.
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