Have you never been to Paris before and is it something that you want to change? Or have you been before, but would you like to go back to the city of love? Today I am sharing some tips to travel as fast as possible to the French capital. (From the Netherlands)
During the past two years I’ve traveled to Paris about 20 times and I basically used all kinds of transport. I am sharing my personal experiences and some useful advices. Today I am sharing my tips for the Thalys and the car.
My ultimate favorite is the Thalys, because it goes super fast. You can get on in Amsterdam, at Schiphol or Rotterdam. Sit down on one of the soft red chairs and three hours later you are downtown Paris. On the way to the city, the train has two quick stops at Antwerp and Brussels. In general the Thalys is super calm and you can catch up on some work or watch a Netflix serie (if you downloaded it on your device before the trip started, because you only have 100mb of internet). No need to worry about an empty battery, because you have plugs in the train.
I always travel second class because it is the cheapest option, first class is a bit more luxurious. You even have the option to choose the ultimate luxury package that includes drinks and food. It is included in the price of your ticket, but the ticket is obviously a bit more expensive.
Whats the best time to book?
The best period to travel with the Thalys is between February and May and between September and November. During the summer and December/January the ticket prices increase. The best thing is too book about 6 week before your trip. I usually pay €35 for a one way ticket. Be aware, sometimes first class tickets are a bit cheaper than second class. Keep an eye on the website and maybe you’ll get lucky and find a cheaper ticket for the first class.
*Travelling through Lille
When a direct ticket from the Netherlands to Paris is too expensive, you can always check the option Netherlands -Lille and from Lille with the TGV to Paris. I did this once because the direct Thalys costs €135, while travelling through Lille qas €45. It took me two hours extra, but I did get to take the train and didn’t have to sit in a bus for 8 hours.
If you go to Paris on a frequent base, you can apply for the (free) Thalys card. Through a point system you can save for discounts on your next trip.
The Thalys is the fastest way to get to Paris, mainly because you arrive in the middle of the city and you don’t have to spent 30 minutes to an hour getting to the city from the airport.
*Since March 2019, it is not possible to take the Thalys to Lille. It is possible to take the train from Amsterdam to Charles de Gaulle (the airport) or Disneyland.
Taking the car to Paris takes more time than the Thalys and it can be way more tiring, especially if you have to drive alone. When you are with several people, it is a bit cheaper. Besides paying for your gas, you have to remember that you have to pay for the highways in France. One way from the Netherlands to Paris, will cost you about €15 in tools.
The benefit of taking the car is that you can leave from wherever you live and you don’t have to travel to Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Besides that you can really get to your final destination. Make sure that you check if your apartment/hotel has some parking spaces, because parking in Paris can be really expensive.
I traveled to Paris by car about four times. I drove with my boyfriend after he had been in the Netherlands or when I went to Paris with my Paris. I don’t dare driving the whole road on my own. Besides that, I do not own a car, so that makes it a bit complicated.
Would you like to go to Paris by car, but you don’t have one yourself? You can choose to use bla bla car. Through this service you can ride with someone who is already driving to Paris and you can spilt the costs. Personally I haven’t tried this option yet.
In my next blog I will give you some more advice on travelling to Paris. I will tell you how I got a roundtrip for less than €25 to Paris. Until then, I am really curious if you prefer traveling to Paris by train or car.