I just got back from my short Europe escape where I spent three days in Amsterdam and two days in Paris. To begin the travel journal, I’d like to share my experience of taking the high-speed Thalys train. From the moment I booked my roundtrip tickets to my impression of the train trip itself.
If you are looking for a post about taking the train ride with Thalys, you have come to the right blog. Get yourself a note paper and a pen to write down the useful information you’re going to get from this post, or better yet, bookmark this post and share this with fellow traveler you know who will benefit from this post 🙂
Why taking Thalys train trip?
Because I love to see the view from the window. European countries have nice country-side views where you can see green grass and cows, beautiful houses, or windmills. Trains operating in Europe are clean, well-maintained, and most importantly always on time.
How much is it?
One-way trip will cost you EUR 135 if you are booking in less than seven days before the departure day. The tickets will cost less when you book much longer in advance. Sometimes it can go as low as EUR 40 per one way ticket.
My returning ticket from Amsterdam to Paris cost me EUR 121. In total, I spent EUR 256 or around USD 291.
If you know when you will go, I suggest you book the train tickets in advance. It will save you a lot of money and in addition, you can freely choose a window or aisle seat.
How to book for the tickets?
Go directly to its official website www.thalys.com/fr/en for information in English. Decide where you will depart from and where the arrival station will be.
For my train trip, I book return tickets for Paris – Amsterdam – Paris. Thalys train always departs from Gare du Nord Station in Paris and arrives in Amsterdam Centraal Station. There were a couple of departure and arrival times that you can choose accordingly on the website.
As my flight from Riyadh to Paris arrived at 7.00 AM in the morning, I was looking for a train trip that departed at 10.00 AM onwards. I always give myself some spare time, in case the flight was delayed. Anything can happen so always be mindful of the traveling time.
Purchasing the tickets online
The following is the step by step of purchasing Thalys train tickets online.
1. Open Thalys official website on your browser and you will see this on your monitor.
2. Choose your departure and arrival stations, then select the traveling dates, and the number of people traveling. Click the search button.
3. You will be directed to a new page where you can select your outbound trip. Choose the date and time of traveling, then select your seat preference. Click “validate” to proceed to a new page.
4. Choose the date and time of traveling for the return trip, then select your seat preference. Click “validate” to proceed to the next page.
5. The next page is for payment. You will see your trip information on the first tab and you need to complete the passenger information. Fill the columns accordingly with your Surname, First Name, Email, and Mobile Phone Number.
6. On the second tab, you need to once again put your Surname, First Name, Email, and Confirmation of Email. This is needed so Thalys can send you your online ticket through email.
7. The third tab is for you to choose the withdrawal method. There are three options; Ticketless, Self-service kiosk, or Station or shop. My preference is ticketless so on the train, I could just show my ticket sent through email when the officers are checking.
8. Once you fill all the information, tick on the box “I acknowledge having read the SNCF Conditions of Sale…” then click “Confirm and Proceed to Payment”.
9. You will then receive an email with your Thalys train tickets attached within.
My impression of the train trip
Each trip was about 3 hours 30 minutes long and I enjoyed my window seat view. I saw green grass and modern windmills when the train passed through Antwerp. The seat was comfortable and I got enough legroom that I did not feel cramped at all.
There is a luggage storage by the door and on the rack above the seats where you can put your hand carry. The toilet was clean and well-maintained. There’s clear instruction in English with universal symbols so non-European travelers like me could understand. What I also like was the power socket near the footrest to charge my phone or laptop. And the wifi was stable with a good connection even when the train stopped at different cities.
I was happy with my first Thalys train ride and I would like to take another train the next time I travel around Europe. Hopefully, this post helps you if you are planning to travel around Europe taking the Thalys train.
Like this article? Pin it 😉