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Traveling Belgium + Germany

London, United...
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Traveling Belgium + Germany

Hi there,

I'm trying to look for the most cost effective method of travel for a party of 3 students all under 25. I have researched quite a few but I think I've reached a point where I looked at too many sites and numbers - its getting a bit confusing. I'd appreciate any and all advice on travelling from UK to Belgium or Germany - cost saving is a priority ( I consider Eurolines and Megabus to be a last resort)

We're looking to depart from UK ( London(Luton/St Pan/Gatwick) or Bham would be the cheapest point for our departure - but so far not having much luck in finding friendly prices for 3 without breaking the bank.

Ideally - looking to go to Brussels/ Bruge/ Antwerp/Ghent ( not in that order) and Berlin/Cologne. Looking to spend 2 and half days in Belgium and then 2 and half days in Germany ( give or take)

The cheapest I've found is through Ryanair. Manchester to Brussels Charlois for 13 quid - I did the math its 93 quid for 3 folks including getting to Manc airport - flying into Brussels Char then to the main city of Brussels with a journey time of 4-5 hours give or take. Stansted is offering 17 pounds pp but getting to Stansted is costly.

Tickets leaving from St.Pancras for 3 are costing 112 pounds (2hr journey) plus an addition of 20 pounds to get to St.Pancras totals it to 132 for all three - so 44 pounds pp for a 2 hour journey?

Basically, hoping another set of eyes could point to reason or help untangle a few cobwebs

London, United...
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1. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

Sorry I should add that I am looking to travel from dec 16-dec 30

London
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2. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

I know one thing. December is only two months away so while you prevaricate, those prices can only go up.

My own preference would be the train, just for the sheer convenience and not having to worry about luggage weight restrictions and extra charges.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

It's entirely up to you, you have all the information necessary to make up your mind(s), the rest depends on your preferences.

Except that you may have seen that if staying no longer than overnight in Brussels on your way in and/or out, you can purchase ABS tickets covering onward transport to another destination in Belgium or starting your return journey from somewhere in Belgium other than Brussels. HOWEVER, if using Go-Pass-10 for your travel in Belgium, this would not be the best deal for you as the ABS supplement costs something like €8: this is a saving on standard fares (e.g. €13.80 to Brugge) but not on Go-Pass cost of €5 per trip! See belgianrail.be/en/…go-pass-10.aspx

So if you do take Eurostar (which you need to book NOW!), buy tickets only to Brussels, not ABS.

London, United...
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4. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

Thank you for your reply.

A question about the go pass - on the website it says it can be shared between passengers.

Does that mean that for a group of three we could use 1 go pass?

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

Yes you can, filling in 3 lines on the pass for each trip the 3 of you take together: so It's really a multi-trip card rather than a pass.

Guildford, United...
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6. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

You could try looking at bahn.de for the return journey and specifying a stopover in Brussels in one direction. It might give you a through special fare for Eurostar and ICE cheaper than the Eurostar price.

Brussels, Belgium
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7. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

Except that you can't book Eurostar on the DB website! See tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188644-i205-k6920…

Guildford, United...
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8. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

You can if you are going from London to Germany - the link you give is for a journey that doesn't touch Germany so DB can't book it.

You certainly could last year and DB had some very reasonable through fares.

bahn.de/i/…london-spezial.shtml

Brussels, Belgium
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9. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

One thing is the fare : and indeed you can always get a German station to London fare from DB, from their ticket offices or by phone (or from a travel agent).

Another, different issue, though, is whether you can buy the ticket ONLINE from the DB website. And for journeys involving Eurostar via Brussels, even if this would be a trip starting in Germany, there is the complication that since June 2013, DB no longer sells Thalys tickets online: and many connections between Cologne and Brussels are by Thalys. So all THA+EST departures that show up in the DB timetable are marked "fares not available", and when you click on that for further information it tells you you can only purchase these tickets by phone etc..

For journeys involving ICE rather than Thalys, on the other hand, it turns out that you CAN buy tickets online from DB website but only if this is "far enough" in advance of the date of travel. I'm not sure how long this has to be, but for example, the DB site won't let you buy a ticket for Cologne-London by ICE+EST for tomorrow (20/10/13) or Monday, but it will let you for 31/10/13 at a price of €115. Which is a good price compared with the best you can get from Belgian Railways (b-europe) for the same trains on the same day, which is€222. On the other hand, from Belgian Railways you can get that same combination on 30/10 for €129 - and THA+EST (which DB doesn't sell online) for €105!

So, ONLINE purchase from DB MAY be an option for some Germany-London trips via Brussels: but not all. And it may well be cheaper than could be obtained for the same trip from other sources: but not always.

10. Re: Traveling Belgium + Germany

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