I have checked the train information and is seems that we are already too late to get a train reservation from Brussels to Paris in Sept. Since I cannot be sure which day we will arrive in Brussels, the TGV doesn't look like an option for us, unless we pay a hefty price. So I checked out the bus websites and was confused. There was a big difference in price between the two . Does anyone have experience with the bus to Paris? Which company is better or faster or more reliable? Is the TGV the only train that goes from Brussels to Paris? I really hate thought of spending 4-5 hours on a bus when we just got off an all night flight.
you're not looking at RailEurope, are you?
I was looking at thalys.com. The problem is that we are flying stand-by and cant be certain of our arrival date. Im sorry but I find this train info very confusing. It seems to me that our only choice would be to buy a last minute ticket, which is more expensive. (Please correct me if Im wrong.) We are planning to use the train for the 2 weeks we will be traveling in England and France, is there an open dated pass we can get? Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!
I was checking into the bus prices and schedule also,
any recomendations there?
The main train between Brussels and Paris is not a TGV but a somewhat different train run by the private consortium owned by the member state railways called Thalys. Thalys are renowned for low advance tickets well advanced, and very high last minute tickets and exceptionally high passholder tickets.
There are TGVs from Brussels to Lille, France, and onwards from Lille by TGV to CDG airport, Paris, and/or Disneyland.
TGVs again have very low PREMs and iDTGV fares well in advance but in your circumstances that won't help - their walk-up fares are not low.
I guess flying space available/nonrev you are used to waiting. If you don't mind a little round-the-sun-to-get-to-the-moon traveling you can take all cheap trains - local or regional Brussels to Gent, connect to the regional or intercity from Antwerpen to Lille, local train from Lille to Paris.
Are you flying standby into Brussels because flying to Paris is not available? Paying the full-fare Thalys ticket price at the station is the simplest solution, about 99 euros per person in 2nd class (or 69 euros for seniors age 60+). The Eurolines bus also has advance discounts (online booking not working now) but Rick's book says you'd pay about 34 euros one-way on short notice.
The BritRail Pass is very easy to use without pre-selecting travel dates. Activate the pass at a British station and then hop on any train, no reservation necessary, or get free seat assignments at the station for a few of your longer trips.
The France Pass does not work the same way. TGV and other high-speed or long distance trains require reservations which are limited for passholders, can sell out weeks in advance, and are not sold at stations less than three days ahead. See details through the above link.