Bruges/Brussels to Paris

I am trying to book a train from Bruges to Paris in January, but I don't want to take the one direct route of the day. I know that I might still be able to get a cheap fare from Brussels to Paris on thalys, and make my own way to Brussels from Bruges, but when trying to book on the thalys website, I'm running into a problem. I've heard that if you book "Any other Belgian Station ABS" it will include the Bruges-Brussels leg of my trip without having to reserve that time. Unfortunately, when I attempt to do just that, the website keeps insisting that I enter a departure station. What is the correct station to enter to take advantage of the cheaper fare?

Posted by Janna
Palm Harbor, FL
6 posts

I don't see that choice. I choose "All other Belgian Stations (ABS)", but then another field appears where you have to choose a station. I see several choices starting with Bruxelles, such as Bruxelles-central, but none that are "via Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid"

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9091 posts

Do you mean the Brussels-Brugge leg of the trip? Easiest station to enter is probably Brussel Zuid/Bruxelles Midi, although any train going from Brussels to Brugge will stop at all three Brussels stations. And just so you're aware, there are no reservations on domestic Belgian trains. Neither are you limited one train at a specific time, and trains travel between these two cities 2-3 times per hour. Thalys, however, works more like an airline.

Posted by Janna
Palm Harbor, FL
6 posts

No. I'm trying to book the rail from Belgium to Paris. I've read online that there is an option to book the train leaving Brussels to Paris, but includes a departure to Brussels from and Belgian station. I know that there are lots of trains that go from Bruges to Belgium, so I would have no problem getting to Brussels in time for the train for Paris. I plan on booking a later afternoon or evening train to Paris.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

On the Thalys site click on the drop-down menu arrow for the "Departure station" field. Scroll down to the "All other Belgian Stations (ABS)" heading and click on "via Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid".

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8637 posts

I was using the English version of the French Thalys site when I got the listing I gave you. I just went to the English version of the Belgian Thalys site and discovered that things were laid out a little differently there. I found "All other Belgian stations" under the "Belgium" heading with no "via" choice. However, after I clicked on "All other Belgian stations", a blank field appeared below that heading. After I started to type "Brugge" I was able to choose from a list of stations, including Brugge-St-Pieters.

Posted by Janna
Palm Harbor, FL
6 posts

Thank you for your help. I was actually trying to just book the rail from Brussels to Paris, because everything I've read says that you shouldn't book directly from Bruges to Paris, but it's not working out. I might try my travel agent. I've always had such an easy time booking on the German and Italian rail sites, but the French and Belgian ones are eluding me.