Family Vacation in Brussels/Paris/Amsterdam Pass or normal Tickets

  • 25 March 2023
  • 6 replies

Family of five arriving in Brussels (by air) on Apr 8th and eventually heading up to Amsterdam on Apr 12th.  While in Brussels we’d like to do a day-trip to Paris (only if we can use high speed Thalys) on the 10th and possibly Bruges on the 11th. 

Would it make sense to purchase Eurail for these three days of train travel?

Is there a way to price out the Eurail passes with seat reservations for Paris on Thalys before purchasing the Eurail pass?

Thanks in advance for the assistance!

6 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

It’s unlikely a pass would be the cheapest, Thalys reservations for passholders are expensive and have a small quota. It does depend on who is in your group, the only way of knowing is to cost out the alternatives


Checking the 10 and 11 April; there is no availability for passholders on 10th and only 1st class for the times needed for a day trip on 11th.

That would be €64 reservation fee for a return trip per person on top of pass cost.


Cheapest normal return fare for 10 Apr is €218 or 11Apr is €179  for 1 Adult.

Regular Thalys fares:

Passholder reservations for Thalys:

Belgian tickets for local and IC to Amsterdam

Unfortunately it is a popular and expensive route with few bargains to be had at short notice.

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Seat reservations on Thalys for passholders (if available) are €27/€32 for Brussels-Paris, and €22/€27 for Brussels-Amsterdam. That’s one-way, per person, in second/ first class.

As @Al_G said, there’s very limited passholder availability for Brussels-Paris on your dates, and prices for regular tickets are high. If you can skip Paris, you’ll save a lot of money

I’m going to give you one more website to look at - sorry! is really good for quickly scoping out prices on a wide range of trains and countries. It’s not always the best place to buy, but it is very easy to use, and would cover all your trains here. (For regular tickets. It doesn’t sell passholder reservations.)

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Brussels to Amsterdam would cost :

- 49€ per adult Thalys 09:52 (1h50 journey)

- 25€ per adult hourly IC (you can travel whenever you want that day) (2h50 journey)

Brussels to Paris as already been said, maybe consider Bruges and Gent ?

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Brussels to Amsterdam would cost :

- 49€ per adult Thalys 09:52 (1h50 journey)

- 25€ per adult hourly IC (you can travel whenever you want that day) (2h50 journey)

The €25 fare (€38 in first class) has to be booked at least one week in advance e.g. on Booking via Belgian railways is €1 more expensive (and booking it at the ticket office means another extra fee). Children under 12 travel for free if you include them in the same booking. You have to choose a specific train but you can travel at any time on the same day.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I don't think a Eurail pass will make sense.

If your children are under 12 they travel on free on the Belgian Railways (if an adult pays). If they're 12-26, there are some very cheap options too (youth ticket) .

It's easter weekend 8- 9-10 april, so a prolonged weekend. All domestic Belgian travel can be done with weekend tickets at 50% discount,so perfect for an outie to Bruges

Tuesday 11/04 may get more cheap Thalys prices to from Paris than the prices in the prolonged weekend. 

wow!  how great to wake up and get all the excellent feedback & suggestions.  thank you all!  

it seems like a day-trip to Paris is not in the cards for us this time, but for sure we’ll plan to get out to Bruges & Ghent.