How long is the rail trip between Amsterdam & Paris and approximate cost? Is it reasonable to try to connect with Brittany by train? If so, about how long is that connection? We are dinosaurs who have traveled often via Rick Steves advice but no longer rent autos in Europe. Thank you. George, Pittsburgh
The Thalys high-speed train connects Amsterdam and Paris with direct trains, journey time 3 hours 15 minutes. If you book well in advance (90 days allowed) you can fares for as little 30 euros. Check schedules and purchase your tickets at: http://www.thalys.com
The best one stop shop for finding train times just about anywhere in Europe is the German rail company Deutsche Bahn and you can reach their website at http://www.bahn.com which will take you to an English language page where you can get all sorts of information. Click on the little triangles in the results for example and you can see all the stopping places, and in many cases you can even see the platform numbers. If you click on the train number in the result you can see where that train starts and finishes as well as all stops. Give it a try. Note that you will need to transit Paris as the stations to Brittany and Amsterdam are on different sides of the city.
As Michael said, booking well in advance on thalys.com can get you a cheap discount fare for Amsterdam-Paris. The standard 2nd class fare is €129.00. Depending upon the departure time, the standard 2nd class fare for a direct TGV from Paris to Rennes ranges from €63.00 to €80.00. However, if you book well in advance (up to three months allowed) on tgv-europe.com, you can get a Prem's fare as low as €20.00. Thalys trains arrive at Gare du Nord. TGVs to Rennes depart from Gare Montparnasse. You can take Metro line 4 directly from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse-Bienvenue. One other route would be a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Bruxelles-Midi, a TGV to CDG airport, and a TGV to Rennes. See the timetables on the German Rail site as referenced by Nigel.