My cousins and I are traveling from Paris to Bruges, Belgium, then to Lisse, Netherland over Easter weekend this year. I have already booked hotels since they were selling out fast. Tonight I went to book train tickets between Paris/Bruges, Bruges/near LIsse, and there are NO TRAINS! Flights all have connections are 4+ hours or more and crazy expensive because of the holiday, I'm guessing. Are there any other ways between these cities other than renting a car? We are all 70+. Thanks so much for your help!
Rome2Rio indicates there are buses that take not quite an hour longer than the train from Paris to Bruges.
Really, no trains?!?
The bus from Bruges to Lisse (per Rome2RIo) looks a bit more painful, about 1.5 hours longer than by train.
Where are you trying to book at? I notice the Thalys website states it is currently down. Rail Europe lists several trains......
I think that there are trains, you just aren't getting the response from the website at this current time. The DB (german train site) also shows several trains.
Is this for travel on Easter Sunday? A search on Trainline reveals plenty of available trains from Paris to Bruges (via Brussels, as is normal) on that day.
Thalys train from Paris Nord to Brussells and a local train from Brussells to Bruges. Once the Thalys website is back up check that out.
Its up now. Yes, some trains are sold out in Standard class, but still plenty of trains with seats.
I just checked SNCF and found many trains scheduled from Paris to Bruges. The SNCB International website is misbehaving at the moment, so I couldn't check for Bruges to Lisse or to the Amsterdam airport, from which you can take the train or a bus to Lisse.
For the experiment, I used Thursday, 18/04/19 as the date and starting at 06:00 as the starting time for possible trains. I set the currency to EUR (€) and didn't see what I would call crazy expensive prices. Price varies by class, ticket type, day and time of day.
Yes there are trains, but the web sites have been down or are very slow.
Thalys will get you from Paris to Brussels the quickest; tickets will be more pricey but worth it. Then you change to Belgian Rail for the trip from Brussels to Bruges.
From Bruges, you can return to Brussels or Antwerp and catch a Thalys to Rotterdam or Amsterdam, then changing to local trains to Lisse. You can also take a local train from Brussels to Lisse but it will be slower.
Last year we booked our trip using the Rail Europe site. It was a little more expensive, but a trip like this you don't do everyday. Rail Europe is also located in the US; you can call them and they will walk you through your options if that makes you feel more comfortable. You can book all of your tickets (Thalys, Belgian Rail, Dutch Railways, etc.) through the web site
Many posters on this site will use and recommend the European rail sites; they are all excellent tools but you want to feel comfortable using them.
Good luck and you will find seats on a train.