Train ticket purchase --- Gent to Paris

I've read that train ticket purchase for US residents are higher than for residents of other countries. At www.seat61, there are some helpful hints about which sites to use. When we tried to purchase tickets through the Belgium train site, they rejected our payment, even though our credit card company didn't reject it. Other sites take us to the raileurope site where the fares are more. Some sites want to mail you tickets, but you can't give a US address, and they won't let you have an option of picking up at the station. Does anyone know of a good way to get tickets at a fare price through any of these or other sites?

Posted by Linda
Boulder, CO, USA
48 posts

Hi Tom. When I try to go to these websites, they redirect me to another one. Then when I try to purchase, it won't let us enter the USA as an address. I've found several sites with a fare of 36.30 Euros, so it's the same price leaving from Gent or Brussels. We wanted to be able to pick up tickets at the train station in Gent. Only Raileurope let Americans book, but then they charge more for the tickets. I'm trying to find another way of getting our tickets so that we don't have to use Raileurope.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9134 posts

The fastest way to get from Gent to Paris is to take an intercity (IC) train to Brussels and then take the highspeed Thalys service from there. If you book the Brussels to Paris portion in advanced on the Thalys website (http://www.thalys.com/be/nl/), you can save a significant amount of money. The Gent to Brussels portion of the trip is a short ride operated by Belgium's domestic rail service (NMBS). There is no advantage booking in advanced, and there' usually 2-3 trains per hour between the two cities. Simply buy this ticket at the station on your day of travel.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1970 posts

Linda,
Try deleting your cookies and history, or use a different computer. We had no problem booking on the Thalys site last year, but we may have been using French language, which may have kept us off the more expensive site. Yes, the Ghent to Brussels ticket is included automatically.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6841 posts

If you choose "print at home" the site shouldn't ask for your address. If it rejects your credit card you can also use PayPal for payment.

Posted by Linda
Boulder, CO, USA
48 posts

Thanks to all for your help. I went to the b-Europe site (SNCF) again, and found that I could get the best fare there, of any of the other sites. That site said that we can pick up the tickets at the train station, which we like. Before, it wouldn't accept our credit card (even though our bank didn't reject it). But now, we said that we would pay through PayPal, and then used our credit card, and they accepted that form of payment. Wow, it gets tricky! Hope this will help others.