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Getting from Paris to Ypres to View WWI Sites

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Getting from Paris to Ypres to View WWI Sites

During the last week in May, we (three adults) had hoped to travel by train from Paris (we will be in Paris 1 week) to Ypres to view the First World War battlefields for three days and then continue on to Amsterdam by train. After looking at various websites, I am still not clear exactly how to do this. Can anyone please help us get from Paris to Ypres and then from Ypres to Amsterdam using public transportation? Must we rent a car? Thanks for helping us out.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Getting from Paris to Ypres to View WWI Sites

You don't need a car to get to Ieper (local spelling), you can easily get there by train, taking:

a) high-speed Thalys from Paris-Nord to Bruxelles-Midi (1h22) then normal InterCity train to Ieper (the cost of which you can include in Thalys ticket by selecting ABS - Any Belgian Station - option), total travel time 3h20-ish; or

b) TGV from Paris-Nord to Lille-Europe, walk to Lille-Flandres station (about 10 mins) then take RE/IC to Ieper, changing in Kortrijk, total travel time 2h35.

You can find all possibilities on http://www.b-europe.com/Travel although for timetables only you might find http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en easier to use.

You could well want a car when you get there, depending on exactly where you want to go after that, and how long you would be staying. Otherwise, there are several companies that operate tours to the battlefields and cemeteries.

To continue to Amsterdam from Ieper, it is fastest to take IC train to Bruxelles-Midi and Thalys from there (4h05) but only by about half an hour compared with taking non-high-speed trains all the way, which in addition you wouldn't have to book in advance. However, with Thalys you would only have to change once, in Brussels, whereas by IC you would have to change in Kortrijk and Mechelen.

2. Re: Getting from Paris to Ypres to View WWI Sites

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