Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Paris - Brussels - Cologne (Thalys Train)

Rail

The Journey

This direct service between Paris, Brussels and Cologne is particularly useful if you are travelling to/from other parts of Europe. Cologne links many European rail destinations, whilst Brussels and Paris have direct links with the United Kingdom via Eurostar.

This journey, made on board a high-speed Thalys service is the most convenient way to travel between the two cities, with regular services throughout the day. There is an alternative InterCity Express service that runs between Brussells and Cologne a few times each day, details of which can be found on its dedicated route page.


Thalys

Thalys services are international high-speed rail links, operated by a joint venture between SNCF, SNCB and Deutsche Bahn. The service's original route ran between Paris and Brussels. It has since been extended considerably to reach main destinations that include Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Bruges and Cologne. 

Interestingly, instead of flying between Paris and Brussels, Air France and jet Airways now book their passengers onto Thalys services between the two destinations rather than operate flights. A similar agreement is in place for services between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Antwerp and Brussels.

The service's passenger base is split fairly equally between the leisure and business sectors, with the largest proportion of journeys being those between Paris and Brussels. 

Thalys services offer passengers a choice of First or Standard Class, although they are referred to as Comfort 1 and Comfort 2.

Comfort 1

Comfort 1 gives passengers extra space in which to sit and relax. Complimentary newspapers are on offer, and all seats have individual power sockets. Free WiFi is available to all Comfort 1 passengers. If you are on a longer journey (over 50mins), you will receive a free meal to suit the time of day.

Travellers also have access to the First Class Lounges at Amsterdam, Amsterdam Schiphol, Rotterdam and Cologne stations. TheCard members benefit from access to the Grands voyageurs area at Paris, and the Thalys Lounge at Brussels.

Comfort 2

Comfort 2 passengers have standard seats, each with individual electrical sockets. Passengers travelling on certain tickets (see below) receive complimentary internet access, while others can purchase access credits from the ThalysBar.

Passengers may travel with up to two suitcases and one item of hand luggage. Suitacases must be less than 85cm long on their largest dimension. Luggage should be stored on the racks above the seats, in the spaces at the end of the carriages or on the floor between the backs of some seats. All luggage must be labelled, and if you travel with too many items, or your suitcases are too large, you may be asked to pay a supplement of €30 per item.

Food & Drink

Comfort 1 passengers receive a complimentary meal on-board, provided their journey is over 50mins in length. The meal served depends on the time of day:

  • Early Morning - savoury breakfast (fruit, juice, yoghurt, bread, sweet or savoury plate);
  • Mid Morning - light meal (pastries, yoghurts etc);
  • Lunch - starter, main course, desert;
  • Afternoon - light meal (sandwiches, cakes, pastries etc); and
  • Dinner - main course, cheese, dessert.

The food offered is based on Mediterranean cuisine, and the menus available to Comfort 1 passengers can be found here.

Comfort 2 passengers have access to the ThalysBar, which offers a selection of hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, snacks, hot and cold and alcoholic drinks. In addition to food products, the ThalysBar also sells internet access credits and ticket for onward travel on public transport. The ThalysBar menu can be found here.

Bicycles

Bicycles are not permitted on Thalys trains, unless they are disassembled and packed in suitable carrying cases. Folding bicycles are permitted as normal items of luggge.

Disabled Passengers

Thalys services are fully wheelchair-accessible. Disabled passengers are automatically upgraded to Comfort 1 Class, for the same price as Comfort 2 tickets. The same upgrade is available for a passenger accompanying a disabled person. Comfort 1 offers disabled passengers more space, and even a freee meal. The areas on-board suitable for disabled passengers are located near to accessible toilets.

WiFi / Internet

An internet connection is available on every Thalys service. This secure access is subject to availability on the day, and may be affected by the surrounding landscape. When you first connect to the network, you will have access to a free portal displaying your current location.

Comfort 1 passengers receive internet access free of charge. Comfort 2 passengers travelling on Semi-Flex, B2B and Thalys ThePass tickets also receive free access. If you are travelling in Comfort 2 on any other ticket type, you may purchase internet access from the online portal, at the Thalys Bar or online in advance of your journey.

The price for access is €6.50 per hour. If you purchase 3 hours of credit, you will receive 4 hours worth of access, and 7 hours of credit gives you 10 hours of access.

Le Salon

The Salon is a semi-private area, available to Comfort 1 passengers, that seats four, found at the front of each train. The area's seats are arranged around a meeting table, and are designed as a conference space for business customers. The room has WiFi access, and customers can receive their free meals at their seats. 

In order to book Le Salon, all four seats must be paid for. This can only be done on a one-way fare, up to two days before departure. This is a premium area, and is therefore more expensive than a standard Comfort 1 fare.

Travelling with Pets

Small dogs and domestic animals travel for free on Thalys services, provided they remain in a pet carrier no larger than 55x30x30cm. Dogs not in carriers may travel, provided they are kept on their owners' knees, or on a lead on the floor. If any other passenger is disturbed by your animal, you may be relocated to elsewhere on the train, or your animal may be kept in the baggage car. 

Guide dogs travel free of charge on all Thalys services.

Timetable

There are several Thalys services between Paris and Cologne each day. Additional InterCity Express services are available between Brussels and Cologne if these timings are not suitable. Additional Thalys services between Paris and Brussels are available, and detailed elsewhere on this website.

Paris to Cologne by Thalys Train:

Station94019413943794459473
     A
Paris Nord06.0108.0112.0116.0117.58
Brussels Midi07.2809.2813.2817.2819.28
Liege Guillemins08.1310.1314.1318.1320.13
Aachen08.3610.3614.3618.3620.36
Cologne Hbf09.1511.1515.1519.1521.15

A: Train continues to Essen via Duisburg and Oberhausen.

Cologne to Paris by Thalys Train:

Station94129424944894729484
 B    
Cologne Hbf06.4408.4512.4416.4318.43
Aachen07.2309.2413.2317.2419.24
Liege Guillemins07.4709.4713.4717.4719.47
Brussels Midi08.3710.3714.3718.3720.37
Paris Nord09.5911.5915.5919.5921.59

B: Train from Essen via Duisburg and Oberhausen.

Price

A full breakdown of fare information for this route can be found on the Thalys website. The fares below are for one-way journeys between Paris and Cologne. The earlier you are able to book your ticket, the lower the fare. Remember though, that like most European train journeys, ticket may only be booked up to three months in advance.

Comfort 1 is First Class accommodation, Comfort 2 is Standard Class.

Fare TypeComfort 1Comfort 2
Flex€169-
Semi-Flexfrom €69-
No-Flex-from €35
Kid & Cofrom €84from €59
Groupfrom €74from €15
Senior€118€83
Le Salon€676-
Railpassesfrom €51from €36
Youthfrom €85from €65
Kidfrom €19from €15
Disabled€35-
Disabled Helpers (Attendant)€35€35
Adult & Co-€39
Das Thalys ABO  

Flex
Available up to the day of departure. Unlimited exchange and 100% refundable before departure and unlimited exchange and 50% refundable 1 hour afterwards at the station of departure. Swap your ticket for the train immediately before or after your booked service. ThalysCard members may use any service on that day.

Semi-Flex
Available up to the day of departure. Exchangeable once up to the day before departure. 50% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour afterterwards at the station of departure. ThalysCard members may swap their ticket for the train immediately before or after their booked service.

No-Flex
Available up to two days before departure. Limited availability. No refunds and no exchanges.

Kid & Co
For one or two adults accompanying children under the age of 12. Available up to the day before departure. Unlimited exchange until the day before departure. 100% refundable before departure, and 50% refundable up to one hour after departure.

Group
For groups of 10 or more, the earlier booked, the lower the fare. Reservations can be made up to 4 months in advance for groups of more than 36. Can be exchanged up to 21 days before departure. Refunds available. More information.

Senior
Exchangeable once before departure and up to 1 hour after at the station of departure. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour after at the station of departure. Passengers must be 60 or over.

Le Salon
Includes four seats. Unlimited exchange before departure and up to 1 hour afterwards at the departure station. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour afterwards at the departure station. 

Railpass
Only available from international ticket offices (SNCB, SNCF, DB, NS) or by telephone, and subject to availability. Exchangeable once before departure and up to 1 hour after departure at the station of departure. Refundable 75% before and up to 2 months after departure.

The railpass fares below are for the full journey, between Paris and Amsterdam.

RailpassComfort 1Comfort 2
InterRail Global Pass
InterRail Benelux Pass
InterRail One Country Pass (for each country)
Eurail Global Pass
Eurail Select Pass (for country travelled)
Eurail Benelux Pass
Eurail National Pass (for each country) 
€51€36
InterRail Benelux Pass
InterRail One Country Pass
Eurail Select Pass (for country travelled)
Eural Benelux Pass
Eural National Pass
France Rail Pass
€85€60

Youth
For passengers aged 12-26. Echangeable once before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour after departure at the departure station.

Kid
For passengers under the age of 12. Children under the age of 4 may travel for free with an adult, but will not have their own seat. Children under the age of 12 may not travel alone, and must be accompanied by someone that is permitted to travel alone. Unlimited exchange before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station. 50% refundable beyond 1 hour after departure.

Disabled
Tickets for disabled passengers are not available online. Exchangeable once before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station.

Disabled Helpers (Attendant)
Helper fares are not available online. Exchangeable once before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station. 100% refundable before departure and up to 1 hour after at the departure station.

Adult & Co
For groups of between 3 and 5 adults travelling together. Available up to the day before departure. No refunds and no exchanges.

DAS Thalys ABO
For frequent travellers, a 12-month discount subscription can be purchased for €350. Gives passengers preferential rates, available until the train is sold out. Ticket can be exchanged once before departure. 50% refund available before departure. €25 fee to swap ticket for train immediately before or after the one booked.

Operated by Thalys

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