Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam

By Marilyn Hill
This item appears on page 29 of the December 2015 issue.

The Gare du Nord in Paris is a beautiful rail station. Having arrived there early by taxi from our hotel on May 8, 2015, my daughter Linda and I enjoyed watching the proceedings from the long balcony on the second floor, including the departure of the Eurostar.

Our boarding process was a breeze. Finding the numbered car indicated on our tickets, it was with excitement that we embarked the 12:19 p.m. high-speed Thalys ( train to Amsterdam.

The cost for Comfort 1 (the first-class section) was 79 (near $89) each, not much more than Comfort 2 (second class). Linda and I had decided on side-by-side window and aisle seats. The other choice would have been two window seats, with us facing each other and having a worktable in between.

In Comfort 1 class, we each were allowed to take two suitcases (32kg each, with size limits) and one carry-on on board. Our 22-inch-long bags fit easily into the overhead bins, and there were also luggage racks.

Unlike in a Comfort 2 car, with two seats on each side of the center aisle (2-2 seating), the Comfort 1 car had rows of two seats on one side of the aisle but only single seats on the left side of the aisle (1-2 seating), providing more space and extra legroom for everyone. The red plush seats were very comfy. 

An interesting 3-course lunch with wine or beer was included in our fare. (In Comfort 2, passengers purchased food and beverages in the snack bar in another car or brought their own.)

The trip took three hours and 20 minutes. The scenery during the first part was rather bland, but it became much more interesting the farther we traveled. The primary stops were Brussels, Antwerp and Rotterdam, but there were also stops in certain suburbs and at Schiphol Airport.

We arrived at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station on time and walked the few blocks to our hotel. Compared to the complicated process we would have endured had we traveled by air, this was a piece of cake.


Portland, OR