European high-speed trains are more comfortable for travelling long distance compared to planes. When travelling between Paris to Amsterdam, the City center to City center travelling takes approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes by high speed train. The high-speed train connection between Paris and Amsterdam is operated by rail company Thalys.
Thalys is a French-Belgian high-speed train operator originally built around the LGV Nord high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. Later on, Thalys become a joint venture company between the national rail companies of France, Belgium and Germany (now exit from Thalys). Traveling at speeds of 300 km per hour, the Thalys high-speed train connects 17 cities across Western Europe.
How to book Thalys ticket
The Thalys ticket is best booked in advance to get the cheapest price. Booking opens 120 days in advance and fares start rising like air fares. Tickets booked in advance costs always less than the one purchased on the last day. Cheapest Standard Mini fares available online are non-refundable. Reservation is compulsory on Thalys trains.
- You can buy the ticket online at the official website. Seat selection is possible. You can print your own ticket or show the ticket at station or onboard in the Thalys mobile app.
- If there is a connection involved you can book your ticket at https://www.b-europe.com. You can select your seat print your own ticket.
If you are having a Eurail pass you have to book yours tickets in advance. There are limited seats for Eurail pass holders on Thalys train and in addition to that there is a reservation fee.
First or second class?
Thalys offers 3 classes of travel Premium, Comfort and Standard, but the trains will physically have two types of seating 1st class (Premium & Comfort) and 2nd class (Standard).
- Premium: 1st class seating (wider seats 2×1 across the width of coach) with meal & drink included in the fare & served at the seat. Includes access to Thalys lounges in Paris & Brussels. Changes to your booking can be made with no fee and ticket is 100% refundable.
- Comfort: 1st class seating (wider seats 2×1 across the width of coach), access to cafe-bar car without food service at seat. Changes to your booking can be made for a fee, 50% refundable.
- Standard. 2nd class seating (2×2 seats across the width of the coach), access to pantry car. changes to your booking can be made for a fee, 50% refundable.
Second class standard seating is comfortable and this is the class we travelled or most people travel in Europe. Online booking gives you a choice of seating option. In every car there are 16 seats (some coach have 8 seats) with unidirectional face-to-face seats around a table for 4. Choose these seats if you are travelling with family or in group.
- Standard Premier and Standard seating has access to cafe. Snacks, drinks, & microwaved hot dishes are served in the cafe.
- All the Thalys trains are fitted with power sockets (European 2-pin, 230 volt) at all seats in both classes.
- There is free WiFi available on board all Thalys trains.
- There is a baggage limit of two large suitcases up to 32Kg and one hand bag on these trains. The baggage rule is not strictly enforced. All luggage must be labelled with your name.
- Luggage can be store in luggage racks near the doors, between the seats or overhead luggage racks near your seat.
In most of the European trains there is no check-in system and security checks but Thalys has implemented a security checking system at railway stations in France like Paris and Lille. At Paris Gare du Nord station Thalys platform is separated by glass barricading. At the entrance of this platform you have to pass through id check where they will check your passport or other identity and after that there is baggage check area where they will scan your baggage by x-ray.
We reached Paris Gare du Nord station to catch our Thalys train for Amsterdam. The whole Check-in process take less than 10 minutes, still I advise you to come at least 30 minutes before train departure. You can check your coach position from the information board or if the train is waiting you can check your coach number which is displayed on each coach.
In most other places if you arrive at station within a minute of departure still you can catch the train but if you are travelling by Thalys from Paris come at least 15 to 30 minutes before the train departure for identity and security check.