I recently returned from a whirlwind trip through 4 countries and 5 cities in Europe traveling via RailEurope on the Thalys trains. This was a new kind of trip for me as I had never done Europe by rail. I am happy to say that I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat!
So what is Thalys?
Easy answer: a high speed train in Europe.
The more complex answer: it’s an experience through Europe on a high speed train with amenities like free wifi, comfortable reclining seats, plugs at your seat to keep you charged and able to work if you so choose to do so, and delicious food on board.
Thalys offers two classes of service: 1st class and 2nd class. While your trip is sure to be memorable on either class of seating, I would recommend 1st class because it comes with more options like meals, beverages, international newspapers and magazines, access to VIP lounges in certain stations, Le Salon – a private space for a work meeting, and taxi reservation services.
Each time I boarded the train I was greeted with extremely friendly staff, shown where to place my luggage, offered beverages and snacks or meals, and the staff graciously answered any questions I had about the locations I was heading to. I enjoyed that I was able to work OR relax on my train rides. I mostly did work so that I would have more free time in the cities I was venturing out to.
The consistency in quality service is reason enough to keep going back.
Thalys has 4 major hubs: Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and Cologne – and makes stops in other cities along the line. My favorite stops were Paris, Amsterdam, Liege, Dortmund, and Dusseldorf. Each city has so much to offer – so whether you are staying there for a day or a week, you will find plenty to do in each place.
In the map above, you can see the stops Thalys makes and the short times to each destination. If I lived in Europe, I would probably take day trips all the time to explore the surrounding countries. Since each city is bursting with culture and things to do, I find I would never be bored.
- To get tickets: go here
- Try and book 4 months out to get great rates on your seats
- If you forget your morning coffee, no worries – Thalys has you covered
This trip was sponsored by RailEurope, but as always opinions are my own.