When to buy rail tickets

We will be traveling from Brussels to Amsterdam and then, four days later, Amsterdam to Berlin in early October and will not be using a railpass. I know it is less expensive to book tickets in advance. First, what is the best way to do that? (ie what website?) Second, is it possible to just buy tickets in advance at the train station? For example, could I buy the Amsterdam to Berlin tickets when we arrive in Amsterdam from Brussels? Thank you

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

Cathy, That's what we do. If you buy the tickets seventy-two hours before you use them you get a good discount, sometimes up to one-third. As we get off a train we go to the ticket counter and buy a ticket for the next leg of the journey. Oftentimes, the clerk can give you help you never suspected you needed.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

I think you could buy the Amsterdam-Berlin tickets at the Brussels train station, but there would be little reason to do so. You would not be able to get the discount tickets; the price would be the same as in Amsterdam. You can only get those tickets directly from the Bahn (and only with at least three days advance purchase). However, you can purchase the discount (Savings Fare) tickets online from the Bahn website. The sooner you buy them, the lower the price.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

Brussels-Amsterdam: If you book ASAP (up to 90 days allowed) on thalys.com, you can get a discount fare as low as €29.00 on a high-speed Thalys train. If you wait and buy tickets at the station in Brussels, you will pay €109.00 for a 2nd class seat. Amsterdam-Berlin: If you book ASAP (up to 92 days allowed) on bahn.de, you can get a discount fare as low as €39.00 on an Intercity train. If you wait and buy tickets at the station in Amsterdam, you will pay €115.20 for a 2nd class seat. Discount fare tickets are for a specific departure date and time and are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. Be sure you can commit before booking.