I am looking into train travel from France to Belgium to Netherlands. What are the best websites to find and book train travel? So far I looked at raileurope.com and b-europe.com for Bruges to Amsterdam, and it seemed like there were different options listed at the two sites -- not very comforting.
That's because you want to visit the websites of the people that actually run the trains, not travel agents that mark up the tickets and only list trains they can make money on. Try:
Thalys operates highspeed trains between France, Belgium and Netherlands.
The other 3 are the national railway sites for France, Belgium and Netherlands.
What Sam said. I only used RailEurope's service one time, to pick up a train ticket that SNCF insisted I had to retreive at an SNCF boutique, but I didn't have time with the short connection in Paris, so I picked it up at the RailEurope office in Brussels when I arrived in Europe - cost 10E for the service, but it was the only option.
Another option for France is www.capitainetrain.com. It's another reseller, but it doesn't add a mark-up and can be more likely to take a US credit card than SNCF.
I also recommend capitaine. They work closely with SNCF and don't charge extra. Their customer service is personal and helpful.
i usually google the countries train service and go from there. there are some that will offer info and such and they are great for the logistics from getting to A to B, but in the end i will usually use the countries train web site. If some overlap, thats great.
The best place to see all the train schedules and whether they require reservations is at DB; see How To Look Up Train Schedules online. You can save money by reserving ahead for the Thalys train from Paris to Brussels or Amsterdam, but most other tickets within Belgium and Netherlands are affordable to buy at train stations as you go, allowing you to keep your schedule flexible.