Brussels to Paris on IC Ontercity train

  • 13 July 2023
  • 5 replies

Hello all!

i could not find seats on the Eurostar to Paris from London, so i booked to Brussels instead. we still need to get to Paris and i’d like to avoid reservation fees. 

The timetable on Interrail shows me INtercity trains every 30 minutes or so, but these are non-existant on the french or belgian train sites. 

not sure who to believe any more! 

as i am traveling with kids, i would not like to be too disorganized. 

what do you advise? 

thanks for your help 


Best answer by thibcabe 14 July 2023, 07:46

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Which Eurostar is it ? Most Eurostar trains to Brussels stop in Lille-Europe first. I'd very much advise to leave the train there (it's not an issue).

From Lille :

- TGVs to Paris (1h) : 10€ limited fare (but pretty much always available on this route) or 20€.

- slower (and infrequent) TER regional trains : fully reservation-free, simply hop on.

In any case it is much faster than going all the way to Brussels and coming back ! :)

There are no direct Intercity trains between Brussels and Paris, only Thalys trains with expensive reservations (27€). There are reservation-free routes but with connections. Which route did you see on interrail ? Was it direct or via Lille or Maubeuge ?

If you let me know the train and the travel date, I'll suggest an itinerary :)

thank you so much for your reply!
I will be taking this train below

06:16 London St. Pancras International

the date is july 20. 

my concern is that all the trains i am finding on the interrail timetable...actually do not exist :( 

why is it? i had a travel plan all worked out and now i have to start from scratch. 

very upset 

Userlevel 7
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Which interrail timetable ? Yes Rail Planner is a bit unreliable but you should find the trains. They'll first show the fast connections with mandatory reservations but you can deselect those.

Unfortunately this Eurostar doesn't stop in Lille so you'll have to go all the way to Brussels. Don't worry the journey will only be a bit longer.

Option 1 :

- IC Bruxelles-Midi - Tournai 10:13 - 11:15

- IC Tournai - Lille-Flandres 11:22 - 11:52

- TGV Lille-Europe (5 min walk) - Paris-Nord 13:03 - 14:32 10€ per person

There are also multiple later TGVs from Lille-Europe or Lille-Flandres if you'd like to make a stop there. You could also visit Brussels for a bit (hourly trains). By regional train from Lille :

- TER Lille-Flandres - Amiens 12:53 - 14:12

- TER Amiens - Paris-Nord 14:38 - 15:56

Option 2 :

- spend a few hours in Brussels

- IC Bruxelles-Midi - Charleroi-Central 13:15 - 14:07

- R Charleroi-Central - Maubeuge 14:24 - 15:20

- TER Maubeuge - Paris-Nord 15:42 - 17:41

Other departures at 09:15 (too tight) or 15:15.

A third option would be to take a ferry instead (but I don't think Eurostar could get refunded). It's not faster anyway.

Do not hesitate for questions.

thank you so much for your help! much appreciated!