Eurostar Train from Amsterdam to Paris (in 2024): 12 Things No One Tells You

The high-speed train from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Paris (France) was called the Thalys train, but since the 2nd half of 2023, Thalys joined forces with Eurostar. The high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris is now called: Eurostar.

At first, the line only ran from Paris to Brussels (Belgium) but was extended to include the Netherlands too. Traveling by train around Europe is super easy, affordable, and has many benefits.

As a huge train travel enthusiast, I was super excited to travel by Eurostar train to Paris (formally known as Thalys to Paris). But I discovered some things that no one tells you about (good and bad). Except me!

Will you travel to Paris by high-speed train? Or with the Paris to Amsterdam train? Here I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey in 2024!

I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.

Probe around the Globe does use affiliate links. If you decide to follow one of my links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.

Travel to Paris by high speed train. I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey!
The Thalys train (now Eurostar) waiting for the departure

1. Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris is now the Eurostar Amsterdam to Paris train

In the past, the high-speed Amsterdam-Paris train was called Thalys. As of October 1st, 2023, Thalys is now a proud member of the Eurostar Group.

Thalys and Eurostar have joined forces and are now both members of the Eurostar group. Don’t be surprised to see the name Eurostar on the trains from Amsterdam to Paris.

In this post, I’m focusing on the train journey from Amsterdam to Paris (or vice versa) by Eurostar train. If you’re looking for information on the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to London, (or vice versa) check my post here.

2. Find Cheap Eurostar Train Tickets 3 months in advance

The Eurostar train (formally Thalys) is the Amsterdam to Paris train and it is advertised as a cheap way to travel to Paris. I’m subscribed to the newsletter and they spam my inbox with teasers like “travel to Paris by train for only €35”.

When you hop over to this website to book your Eurostar train tickets from the Netherlands, you need some patience and stamina to find those cheap tickets.

Sometimes, the site doesn’t always load quickly, or tickets are more likely to be €135.

If you want to go on the weekend, it seems nearly impossible to find those cheap Eurostar train tickets. Bummer.

This spring, I decided to give things one last try to find a cheap train ticket for the Eurostar to Paris from the Netherlands.

I went over to the website and chose a date as far in advance as possible. That turned out to be a little over 3 months.

I booked on May 1st to travel in mid-August. If you wonder how many days in advance you can book the Eurostar trains, the answer is 108 days.

And bam: score! I found tickets for €35!

So they do exist.

I immediately locked down 2 return tickets by Eurostar to Paris for me and my boyfriend.

Travel to Paris by high speed train. I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey!
Work all day, leave after work and arrive in Paris in the evening.

3. There are more stops than just Amsterdam and Paris on the Eurostar train

The Eurostar train is advertised as the Amsterdam – Paris train connection (previously the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris).

And it does.

But you don’t have to board at Amsterdam Central Station to go to Paris. There are more stops along the route:

  • Amsterdam Central Station (Netherlands)
  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Netherlands)
  • Rotterdam Central Station (NL)
  • Antwerp Central Station (Belgium)
  • Brussel Midi Station (Belgium)
  • Paris Nord (France)

Particularly useful is the Amsterdam Airport stop.

This allows you to fly to the Netherlands, look around for a day or 2, and then board a train to Paris. It might be an option when intercontinental flights to Paris are more expensive.

Although the only high-speed direct connection between Brussels (BE) and Paris (FR) is the Eurostar train, the other stations are also served by regional and international IC trains.

You can travel from Amsterdam to Antwerp and Brussels via local trains, look around for 1 or 2 days, and then continue your train travel to Paris by Eurostar train. Or continue by train in France, and head to Nice or Strasbourg, Bordeaux, or even San Sebastian in Spain!

The different stops on the Eurostar Amsterdam to Paris train showing a map with the stops at Amsterdam, Schiphol, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Paris Nord on the Eurostar train to Paris
Map from the Thalys/Eurostar website, showing the stops and connection from Amsterdam to Paris

4. Paris Nord is actually in Paris ‘center’

The final train station to arrive in Paris is called Paris Gare du Nord.

Or Paris North station.

Although it sounds like it is located outside of Paris, it is located within the main ring of the Paris Center.

This allows you to change to a Paris train or metro line, and be in the heart of Paris within a couple of minutes.

For example, Paris trains D (green) and B (blue) and E (pink) will bring you to ‘Les Halles’, close to the Louvre and Seine.

Metro lines 5 and 4 will bring you all over Paris and are easily connected to other metro lines.

For only €1,90 you can travel everywhere in Paris main ring or if you buy a 10-pack, you pay only €1,49 per ticket.

When I planned my trip to Paris, I wondered how it would work to get from Paris Nord to our hotel.

Turns out, metro and train lines in Paris are super easy and well connected and signage is excellent.

Just follow the colored lines on the metro map, follow the right direction, and hop aboard.

The exterior of the Gare du Nord in Paris where the Eurostar trains from Amsterdam to Paris and from London to Paris arrive.
The exterior of the Gare du Nord in Paris.

5. You can use your Eurail or Interrail Pass but a reservation is mandatory

If you plan to travel to Europe and want to visit a bunch of countries, the Eurail pass (for non-European citizens or residents) or the Interrail pass (for EU residents) have several options.

You can purchase a pass for several countries or a global pass that allows you to travel by train across Europe.

The Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris is included in this pass.

However, reservation costs are high and mandatory. I was a bit surprised at how high the costs for a reservation were (€56 for 2 persons).

If you’re able to snag those cheaper, super saver early bird, tickets, it might be better to just book that and save your pass for other train journeys.

6. Show up on time to board the Eurostar train

Luckily, you do not need to check in to board the Eurostar train to Paris like you do to board a plane. It is recommended to arrive a little bit earlier at the train station.

All Eurostar train tickets have reserved seating and you can find the right carriage by numbers on the doors of the train and the platform.

I found the Eurostar trains to be super long, at least longer than a normal train. As Amsterdam and Paris Nord are big stations, you have to walk the length of the train to reach the last carriage.

Just my luck that we’d be seated in the very last carriage of the train when you’re already running late.

Make sure to have a stress-free journey by high-speed train and arrive a little earlier.

Numbers on the platform correspond with where the carriage will be.

For example, we boarded in Antwerp. On the platform, when the train wasn’t there yet, we found the sign for carriage 18 and waited there. The Eurostar train with carriage 18 arrived in front of us and we could board easily.

You don’t want to run around a platform with your luggage where people are getting on and off a train and still have to find your carriage.

Travel to Paris by high speed train. I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey!
Most of the time, 2 or even 3 Thalys/Eurostar trains are connected as 1 train.

7. The Eurostar: Amsterdam to Paris train is faster than flying

I did some math and came to the following conclusion: The Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris is faster than flying! Say what?

I can’t make it more clear than with the below breakdown.

Depending on the time of your flight, you have to allocate 2,5 to 3 hours for security checks and customs at Schiphol airport.

With the Eurostar high-speed train to Paris, I’d say 10 minutes is enough. It takes 3.18 hours on the Amsterdam to Paris train (3.08 hours if you depart from Schiphol Airport).

The flight does have less transport time, only 1 hour and 15 minutes. But add up the time to taxi to the correct gate, de-board the plane, customs, and claim your luggage can take well up to 1 hour if not more.

With almost 1.5 hours, the Eurostar train to Paris is faster than flying.

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8. Co2 Emissions were reduced by more than 90%

Who cares?

Well, I do. And I hope you do too!

I know flying is not good for the environment and travel, in general, puts a strain on our globe.

However, I do feel the need to travel and I’m happy to do so in a less polluting way (if possible).

Just look at the numbers and tell me that’s not a huge plus for train travel on the Eurostar train to Paris.

CO2 emission per person for this flight is 119kg. This is for a Boeing 737-800 from Amsterdam to Paris, including taxiing, take-off, and landing.**

The Eurostar train needs 9,7 kg per passenger. Still a lot for a pleasure ride, but more than 90% less than flying.

** source is IFEU. Eurostar has reached its goals to reduce its Co2 emissions by 40% in 10 years (2008-2018). These goals were partly met because the Dutch trains run on wind power which decreases CO2 emissions.

Night view of the Eiffeltower in Paris with dark streets and cars passing by in Paris, France
You can travel but search for alternatives beyond flying.

9. Enough room to store your luggage on the Eurostar train to Paris

With flying, especially on Europe’s low-budget airlines, you have to be cautious about how much luggage you take.

It will cost extra to bring one big suitcase and even your carry-on luggage has to be a certain (small!) size.

On the Eurostar train to Paris, you do not need to worry about that so much.

There is no maximum luggage allowance but be aware: you have to carry it on the train and off again all by yourself!

Luggage compartments are situated at each carriage, as well as overhead baggage racks.

There is even enough room on the floor or on the tray table in front of you. Another thing you don’t have to worry about!

Glass domed train station of Antwerp, Belgium where the Amsterdam to Paris Eurostar train stops on its way to Paris
Antwerp (BE) train station might be the most beautiful train station in Europe.
Naomi taking a picture of the glass domed train station of Antwerp, Belgium where the Amsterdam to Paris Eurostar train stops on its way to Paris
We boarded in Antwerp as it was easier. And gave us room to snag a few pics.

10. The high-speed Eurostar train doesn’t always run at its full potential

Maybe very logical but the Eurostar connection is advertised to be the high-speed Amsterdam to Paris train.

And it is of course.

The train can run at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (168 mp/h).

But it doesn’t reach this speed all the time during the journeys.

As a matter of fact, only the stretch from Brussels (Belgium) to Paris the Eurostar train speeds up and runs at high speed.

It only takes 1 hour to cover the distance of 315km from Brussels to Paris.

The stretch from Amsterdam to Brussels is only 218km and takes almost 2 hours to complete.

However, when the train does run at full speed, I find it quite exciting.

If you log on to the free Wi-Fi network of the Eurostar train, the welcome window shows you the position of the train and the current speed it runs.

We refreshed every minute to see if the train would reach 300 km/h. Unfortunately, the fastest we saw was 299 km/h. Still pretty fast!

Travel to Paris by high speed train. I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey!
Printscreen of the Thalysnet with the highest speed.

11. The view isn’t always that great due to tunnels and walls

Why would I want to check my phone, when we’re whooshing through the French countryside by train?

Well…

The problem with the high-speed Eurostar train is that the train goes so fast, that it is hard to enjoy the view.

Add up to the fact the high-speed train track is a lowered track, surrounded by concrete walls, natural sound barriers, and a lot of tunnels.

This makes the view a bit boring, as you can only see the walls and not much of the surrounding countryside.

On some occasions, you do get to see something of the countries though!

The long traffic jams around Paris made me extra happy with our train ride to Paris!

Naomi looking out of the window of the moving Eurostar train to Paris
Not much of a view but still looking out the window.

12. The Eurostar train is the perfect place to take a nap

So what do you do on the Eurostar train when you’re traveling from Amsterdam to Paris?

Besides checking the speed on your phone, trying to catch a glimpse of the outside world, and enjoying a glass of wine in the restaurant wagon??

For me, the answer is: napping!

Travel is exhausting and if you put me in a moving vehicle, odds are, I’m rocketed to sleep within minutes.

But I can’t sleep on planes. Too cramped and too uncomfortable.

But not on the Eurostar trains to Paris! Each seat has these lovely ear cushions, where you can rest your head.

Enough space, plush seating, and the gentle rocking of the train make me drift off to dreamland in no time!

Bonus: 1st class might be cheaper than 2nd class

Wow, I discovered another little added bonus item that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris.

And I took full advantage of last week!

It turns out, that in July and August, 1st class train tickets for the Eurostar train to Paris might be cheaper than the normal (2nd) class.

That is right. Wider seats, someone greeting you at the train, more legroom, and that for less money than a normal ticket.

Say what??

I think this is the Eurostar promotion to get 1st class seats filled, which is normally done by business travelers between Amsterdam and Paris.

But now you can take advantage of some pretty comfortable perks in the high summer months, as it was actually cheaper to travel in first class! Check for prices here.

Travel to Paris by high speed train. I list 12 things that surprised me about the Eurostar train from Amsterdam to Paris to help you prepare for the journey!
Lovely view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The train to Paris is so easy and comfortable, that you might want to come back

When I booked my train trip to Paris, I thought, we’d just go, tick some things off the bucket list, and be done with it.

Turned out, that we both loved our time and Paris and absolutely loved how easy and comfortable the weekend trip was.

In the past, we’d taken short weekend trips across Europe and they were exhausting, hectic, and exhausting. Yes, I mentioned that twice as it was that exhausting.

However, our trip by Eurostar train to Paris was so relaxed and easy, that halfway through we were already plotting whether we should do this again sometime.

Practical links and tips

Although some things were a bit unexpected, now that I know, I see nothing but the benefits of traveling to Paris by Eurostar train.

If you’re convinced too, here are some practical links to help get you started:

Have you ever been to Paris? Did you travel by train to Paris? What did you think?

Any unexpected surprises or situations? Please share them in the comment section below.

Image of the Thalys Train from Amsterdam to Paris at the Gare du Nord in Paris railway station. Text overlay saying: 12 things no one tells you about Thalys Train from Amsterdam to Paris, Probe around the Globe
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43 Comments

  1. Barney Feinberg

    What is the difference between booking Amsterdam to Paris round trip on Thalys and NS International? The latter seems to get seats earlier by a day or two booking as soon as tickets are available months in advance.

    1. There isn’t really a difference except that on NS sight people can book from any train station in the Netherlands and include that journey in their planning.

      And I earn commissions on any tickets sold via the NS site vs Thalys site. So that is my ‘reward’ from providing everyone with this free information.

  2. Bob Ringle

    I have now taken the Thayles train twice from Paris to Amsterdam and return. Though I have legitimate boarding passes (paper & digital), I could not get through the turnstiles to enter at Centraal station or exit the turnstiles at Gare du Nord. The latter was particularly frustrating because I was the lead for 3 others and we were stuck behind the turnstiles. There was no assistance or information booth. We finally had to purchase RER tickets from the vending machines to exit.

    What is the problem?

    1. I’m sorry you had so much trouble getting through the turnstiles at the station Bob. It must have been a real hassle. It is best to file a complaint or ask for assistance with Thalys directly. You can contact their customer service desk. Happy travels.

  3. Sameer

    Hello, Naomi, we are planning a trip to Amsterdam, Paris and Bordeaux. The Amsterdam to Paris train sounds great but Thalys reviews are terrible. Any thoughts? Should we look for an alternative train service? Is there one?

    1. Hi Sameer. It is true that the Thalys trains to Paris are suffering from many strikes and maintenance lately. But there really isn’t an alternative if you’d wish to travel from The Netherlands to Paris and further south. It is THE fastest and most affordable route. Otherwise, you have to reroute via Germany or find your way via local trains which will take 3x as long. You can always spruce for 1st class which is a bit more civil, and allocate enough time for a possible 1-hour delay. Good luck and have fun traveling.

  4. Melanie Clark

    Hi Great train information! I’m confused on one thing. I’m booking a train from Amsterdam to Bruges on May 24th. The Thayles train shows two different trains for the same time (13:11) One is 29 Euros and the other 79 Euros. Why?

    1. It really depends on the route, the number of transfers and how long it takes. It also depends on local trans vs Thalys train. One Thalys goes via Antwerps, the other via Brussels. If one is more in demand than the other, prices are higher. I hope you manage to fine the right ticket for you.

  5. Sue Wingert

    I have tickets on Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris for May 6.what is the best way to know if there will be a “strike” that day? How fat in advance are they usually planned! As we need to meet a group in Paris, what should I consider as a Plan B if there is a strike?
    Thank you for your advice!

    1. You can check the disruption and planned maintaince site to see if anything is scheduled but May might be a bit far out. My train was cancelled only 1 week before departure as I was scheduled to train to Paris this week. Alternatives would be maybe to go via Germany or catch a flight. Maybe the NS customer service can assist better.

  6. Susan

    I cant find a 3 hour train on May 27th…only a 4.5 hour one with a stop in Brussels for 25 minutes. Apparently there are no non stop trains available that weekend although I do not know why and am not able to find out any information.Would you still choose this option over flying from Amsterdam to Paris?

    1. Hi Susan. I think it is still too far out to have the direct trains. If you wait 1 week to 10 days, the direct Thalys train should show up and you’d be able to book it. Check back in a few days. Happy travels!

  7. Jill

    My husband needs assistance getting on the train and with luggage. At the airport we can get someone to bring and push a wheel chair and luggage. Do they have support of this nature at the Amsterdam and Paris train station?

    1. Hi Jill. They have special assistance for on boarding and de-boarding. It must be requested in advance (1 week min) by phone at the service center. It is best to call them and discuss your husband’s needs. Happy travels!

  8. Renee

    I purchased a premium seat from Paris to Amsterdam. I have two suitcases: one large and one small.

    I can lift them both, but what I’m worried about is storing them on board. I know there is a luggage rack where I can put the big suitcase.

    If I want to keep the smaller suitcase close to me (cause of its contents), could I fit it in the overhead compartments?

    That’s the only thing about taking the train that I don’t like vs airplane: is storing your luggage and looking after it at each stop to make sure it doesn’t get stolen!

    Thanks for any tips.

    1. Hi Renee, I understand that you worry but you don’t have to. Each compartment has liggage racks at 2 sides and each seat has extra space for luggage above your head. In between seats, you can also store luggage. As you get on board at the start of the journey, you’ll be one of the first to board the train. When you arrive on time, there is plenty of time to arranfe your stuff. I’m sure you’ll have a great trip!

  9. Jan

    I am planning to travel with 06h15 Thalys on 27 Dec from Amsterdam to Paris, arriving 09h:35. Then connect with the high speed TGV from Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, departing at 12h47. That leaves me with 3 hours to take a walk through Paris to Gare Montparnasse. Would that be a viable option? I know I could take the metro but it would be so great to have a stroll through Paris.

    1. Hi Jan. Do you have luggage? If so, I’d just take the subway and walk around from another position of Paris. Google maps says it is a 1 hour walk so in theory it would be duable but the areas around the stations are not so interesting. I’d suggest you take the subway to the center, walk around there and then continue to the other train station. Good luck!

  10. William Hanley

    on 6 Sept i purchased four tickets from Amsterdam to Paris. I was assured
    the purchase would be confirmed via email. The purchase was confirmed
    for three people but the fourth was left out. How do I go about getting the
    missing confirmation?

  11. Lauren

    I’m going to Amsterdam in November from a Thursday to a Tuesday. I’m thinking about taking the earliest train to Paris on Sunday and catching the last train back Sunday night. I really want to hit the Louvre and see the Eiffel Tower. I should have about 8 hours. Do you think I should book my train ticket now? Or would I be able to book closer to my trip in case I change my mind?

    1. You can book now or wait Lauren, the only difference will probably be the price. Ticket prices can be 10 fold when the dates are closer. Also, those early morning tickets to Paris and late returns are sold out quicker than those tickets in the middle of the day. For the Louvre you can buy a time-slotted ticket and those also sell out quickly. I’m a huge fan of buying and booking in advance. It will save you money in the end, although it is not as flexible.

  12. Kevin Moore

    First, thank you for all the time and effort to share all this wonderful information. I am planning a 2nd honeymoon April of 2020 exploring some of the countries in Europe for 10 days. Landing in Amsterdam, staying one night then off to Paris via Thalys. If I wanted to stop off in Brussels on the way just for lunch, a couple hours or so, then on to Paris, do I need to buy 2 separate tickets? And are there lockers in the train stations so we don’t have to lug them around with us? Thanks in advance!

    1. Thank you Kevin. What a wonderful idea for a 2nd honeymoon! My advice for you would be to go on the website for Dutch trains (the link is in the post) and then purchase a standard Amsterdam -Brussel ticket via local trains. Then you can buy a Thalys ticket from Brussel to Paris. Be aware of the different stations, there are nord, central and south/midi. The Thalys leaves from Midi. It will be a wonderful way to break up the journey and experience Belgium cuisine. You can buy the tickets usually 3 months in advance so I’d mark the calendar in January if I was you. Have a great time!

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  15. Hello, we are travelling from Amsterdam Central to Paris. I assumed when I booked the ticket we were booked to Paris – Nord but now I see it is to CDG. Our hotel is by Paris nord Do you know if this same train continues into Paris Nord or do we now need to get off at the airport and find another way to Paris Nord?

    1. I don’t think so Wendy. If your ticket is booked to CDG you need to get a different ticket to Paris Nord. The normal train Amsterdam-Paris Nord doesn’t stop at the airport so you’ve booked a different train/route. I’d go back to where you’ve booked it and see if you can change your ticket or they can provide you with more information. Either way, have a lovely trip!

  16. NRH

    Hi! Thank you for this helpful post! Can you help me clarify what I’ve read online? We are flying into the Netherlands and then taking the train from the airport to Paris, will spend 4 days there, and then take the return leg to Amsterdam Central. If I buy the tickets from Amsterdam Central-Paris Nord, will they allow us to board at Schiphol even though the ticket is technically from the Central station? This will help us save about 100 euros if so.

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. I want to say yes, but I don’t know the specifics of your tickets and options? Was the train ticket included in your flight? Then no. If you want to buy online, do a search and see what the price difference really is, because when I do it, there is no price difference.

  17. Emmy

    Outstanding blog and so helpful. We love to travel, but are a bit older so metros and trains in a foreign country seem a little daunting. Your blog has so many really useful tips! Thank you.

  18. Tammy

    You mention many “tunnels” Do you mean full on underground tunnels or are they just high walled cement sections that block your side view? I’m claustrophobic-not a fan of tunnels…

  19. laurens

    Hi,
    Your quote “Although the only connection between Brussels (BE) and Paris (FR) is the Thalys train” isn’t quite right. Regular TGV trains go between paris and bussels as well.

    Laurens

  20. Zoe

    Security at Amsterdam sure can take different times. Do people still go 2 and a half hours early for these short flights? hehe I usually get to Schiphol only 1 hour in advance with hand luggage and very often through within 30 mins 🙂

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