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There are several ways of getting from Brussels to Paris. The fastest is probably the train, but it gets more expensive when you buy the ticket on the last minute.

My question can be really split into two:

Is there an alternative way, maybe through a different ticket operator, of buying a cheap train ticket from Brussels to Paris in short notice?

The alternative is going by Bus. What alternatives are there? Are there other operators besides Eurolines? maybe cheaper and/or faster?

Are there other options?

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Cheapest and sometimes fastest is hitchhiking. –  mouviciel Feb 19 '13 at 15:33
    
Thanks for the question. Next time, as you've pointed out - your question is really two parts, and it'd be better to ask it as two separate questions. Thanks! –  Mark Mayo Feb 19 '13 at 16:54
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5 Answers 5

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Thalys is definitely the fastest way of getting from Brussels to Paris. You can buy tickets directly at the Thalys website. You can also buy them at the Belgian (SNCB) or French (SNCF) railway companies. The prices are in principle identical.

The trip by bus takes around 5 hours, to be compared to the 1h20 of the train trip. Apart from Eurolines you can use iDBUS. The prices are more or less the same. I have checked for a departure in 2 days. Eurolines is 25 EUR and iDBUS varies between 15 and 33 EUR depending on the departure time. Thalys starts at 79 EUR on that particular day.

In case you are unable to choose among the two bus companies, note that they are using different terminals in Brussels and Paris. Choose whichever suits you best.

It is possible to travel by "classical" trains from Brussels to Paris. But this is neither a real bargain nor is it really fast, as documented in another post. It takes around 5h30, involves three train changes (Tournai, Lille and Amiens) and costs around 65 EUR (45 EUR if you are less than 26 years old).

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The fastest route is the Thalys train that takes 1:22 hours and is a non stop train. If you compare that to the car, you need more than 3 hours according to Google. Consequently, buses can't be any faster than cars. Another option would be flying, but a flight takes around 1 hours, without including the time for getting to the airport, security check, waiting for departure, etc.

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Other options like walking, taking a boat, use a bicycle, etc. are not really useful options. So to answer the first part of your question: If you want to use the fastest connection, then take the train!

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busses will actually take far longer than cars as they're restricted to slower speeds than cars by law (and stop more often too). –  jwenting Feb 19 '13 at 13:23
    
Even in my wildest dreams I would never have thought about walking from Brussels to Paris. It is slightly off the mark. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 19 '13 at 14:49
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@MarcelC, I guess you've never hiked the GR 12 then! It goes Amsterdam–Bruxelles–Paris. It's probably not the most popular GR. A hiking guide for the Belgian part was published in 2009. They do make significant detours in order to see nice sights, though. Detailed questions can be asked at The Great Outdoors. –  gerrit Feb 19 '13 at 14:58
    
And walking is neither cheap not quick. It takes 1 to 2 weeks and you will have to eat, drink, sleep, ... –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 19 '13 at 17:16
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@user3470 It seems strange to count that as part of the cost of travelling. You would eat anyway. –  Relaxed Sep 27 '13 at 20:47
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In 2010, I hitchhiked from Brussels to Paris, first from a gas station on the periphery of the city to a rest stop on the highway towards Paris, then in a fast Mercedes all the way to Paris, in fact much faster than legal. That day I continued to Bordeaux.

Of course, hitchhiking is not reliably the fastest, but it can certainly be very fast and it is certainly the cheapest.

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+1 because it is really the cheapest. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Feb 19 '13 at 19:21
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Regarding your bus question. Recently a new bus service emerged, called IDbus.

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If you look for cheaper and not quicker, there is also Megabus which offer prices starting for 15€.

You can compare price for that line here: www.comparabus.com/en/bus-Bruxelles-Paris-3-10

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