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I am buying a train ticket from Paris to Amsterdam (Thalys), can I hop off in Antwerp to spend sometime with a friend and then hop on again in the same day (within an hour or two)? or do I have to buy a separate tickets?

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Here is an analysis on doing the Paris–Bruxelles part by non-reserved trains. It isn't necessarily cheaper, and as user3470 notes it's slow. –  Gilles Nov 8 '13 at 19:08
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Thalys is an all reserved train service, and your ticket is only valid for the train booked.

If you want to spend some time in Antwerpen just buy a Thalys ticket from Paris to Antwerpen, and buy another ticket for Antwerpen to Amsterdam.

Between Antwerpen and Amsterdam you have the choice between two services.

  • Thalys (which again you need to reserve, and commit to a train).

  • Intercity. This is a non reserved, turn up and go service. Buy tickets at the station for this.

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Do you know if the Thalys is faster and/or more expensive between Antwerpen and Amsterdam? –  Vince Nov 8 '13 at 14:43
Thalys is faster between Antwerpen and Amsterdam, but also more expensive, unless booked in advance. For the Intercity train the price is the same on the spot as in advance. –  Krist van Besien Nov 26 '13 at 8:39
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If it's open seating, yes; if you're assigned a specific car/seat, no.

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do I have the choice to take an open seating ticket? –  user1712 Nov 8 '13 at 12:44
Unsure if that option is available on Thalys trains - my first instinct is to say "no" as the high-speed trains (TGV, Eurostar, Thalys, etc.) have assigned seating. Slower trains have open seating. Are you purchasing your ticket online or in-person at the train station? –  Kathryn Hill Nov 8 '13 at 12:53
Tell the ticket agent of your plans and see what the options are. I've a strong feeling you'll either have to take a non-Thalys train, or buy two Thalys tickets. –  Kathryn Hill Nov 8 '13 at 13:09
Thanks a lot, this makes sense. I think you should include it in your answer as well –  user1712 Nov 8 '13 at 13:14
@HaLaBi No, Thalys trains require a reservation, and have market-based pricing so are only valid for a particular journey in a particular train (like all high-speed trains in France). –  Gilles Nov 8 '13 at 19:10
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