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Where to catch the Thalys train from Paris to the center of Brussels ?

After departing an AmaWaterways River Cruise, we plan to travel to Brussels to home base at the end of November to explore Belguim and the Battle of the Bulge. I wanted to do Luxembourg but for 3 of us, things are pretty booked up since it's the 70th anniversary.

So I found the Thalys high speed train and it says Paris Nord but I can't find if you catch that at the airport on somewhere in Paris?

Could someone help as we will be at the Port de Javel Bas docking station?

Thank you,

Kathy

Posted by
38 posts

Paris Nord means Gare du Nord, here
http://goo.gl/maps/3oDJ7

ETA - I'd take the RER C (yellow) line from Javel to St Michel Notre Dame, then switch to RER B (blue) that will take you right to Gare du Nord.

Posted by
8889 posts

Kathy not being able to find Paris Nord to somebody who has been to Paris is a bit like saying you can't find the Eiffel Tower (and contrary to what I was accused off elsewhere I am being jocular, not snarky). Paris has a number of main stations, Paris Gare du Nord (shortened to Paris Nord), Paris Est, Paris Gare de Lyon etc. Gare du Nord is the largest, and (unsurprisingly from the name) serves destinations north of Paris.
It has a big Métro and RER station called "Gare de Nord" underneath it so you can get to it from anywhere in Paris.

A photo of the inside of Gare du Nord is here. A close up picture of a Thalys train is here . Each train has a capacity of around 750 passengers.

"Port de Javel Bas" is just south of the Eiffel tower. The cheapest way to get to Gare Du Nord is by Métro/RER. But if you have a lot of luggage, or there are many of you, or you are a first-timer who is not sure of the Métro, then you could take a taxi.

Note main railway stations for a city are in the centre of the city, just like "Bruxelles Midi" which is where your Thalys will stop. One advantage of high speed trains is that they travel from city to centre, you do not have to waste time getting out to an airport.

Posted by
4059 posts

Thalys requires a seat reservation as well as a ticket. The reservation is included in the total cost. The tickets are somewhat cheaper if bought early, plus some seats sell out. You can print the ticket from your computer.

This map shows the port as being about 10 blocks downriver from the Eiffel Tower http://www.parismapped.com/port-de-javel-bas/
You can see stops for Javel Metro (subway) and RER train (suburban commuter, partially underground) a few blocks from the port.
To get to Gare du Nord, you can consult the interactive guide to Paris regional mass transit http://www.ratp.fr/en/
It will show you several options with varying changes and duration. For general advice about Paris commuting, see www.parisbytrain.com

Posted by
211 posts

Thank you everyone. And Chris, the Eiffel Tower is hard to miss and appreciate the advice from you and everyone. I have not traveled to that station and all of my research did not tell me if it was at the airport or this location.

Thanks again,

Kathy

Posted by
7394 posts

Note that all train tickets to Brussels of any kind include an immediate local train to the other two Brussels stations, Nord and Centraal, in case your hotel is near one of those. Of course there is also a subway and bus stops at Midi/Zuid (there are bilingual signs on the columns there!) station. There are several local trains per (daytime) hour, so it's easy to do, without running all the way.

I can see you will have all your luggage with you. But some people order their Thalys ticket to "Any Belgian Station", which means it covers a same-day seat (no reservation needed) to a place like Brugge or Antwerp, at a modest additional cost. Not urging you to do this, just mentioning it. You have to research the actual price. The sooner you buy, the cheaper the Thalys ticket, with no changes permitted-just like an airline.