Let’s start with some good news: traveling from Paris to Brussels (or from Brussels to Paris) couldn’t be easier! No matter which city you start your trip in, you can easily travel from one to the other without actually breaking the bank! Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip from Paris to Brussels on a budget.
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Can you do a day trip from Paris to Brussels?
The short answer is “YES”! The long answer is still “yes”, as long as you leave in the early morning and get back as late as possible. In this case, I would recommend traveling with Thalys, which offers the fastest journey between Paris and Brussels.
How long does it take to travel between Paris and Brussels?
Anywhere between 1 and a half hour and 5 hours depending on the means of transport listed below.
How much does it cost?
You can expect to pay between 7 and 29 euros for a one-way ticket if you book it early enough. Travel duration, comfort level and date of purchase are definitely factors that influence the final price of the ticket.
At the end of the day, it’s all about priorities: price, comfort, speed? You get to choose what’s most important to you. Keep scrolling to find out what’s the best option!
How to find cheap bus or train tickets?
Visit Omio’s website, type in the city of departure/city of arrival/date and you will be shown the available bus and train journeys for the selected date. This is a great way to find cheap tickets as you will be able to compare the different fares directly without switching from website to website. A real time and money saver!
Option #1: Take the Thalys train
Your priority? Speed!
This is probably the most popular option amongst travelers… and for good reasons! The Thalys train is definitely the fastest, most comfortable option out there. It is also pretty affordable as long as you plan your trip in advance.
You will be able to reach Brussels from Paris in just 1 and a half hour for as low as 58 euros (return ticket) as long as you book your train ticket at least 2 months prior to departure (of course, there are always exceptions).
Option #2: Travel with Flixbus
Your priority? Price!
Flixbus is my number 1 recommendation for travelers on a budget. I’ve traveled with this bus company many times and have never been let down so far! It’s cheap, easy to book, reasonably comfortable, and pretty flexible.
In comparison with the train, it is possible to book affordable tickets closer to the date of departure, which leaves a bit more room for spontaneity. In my experience, you can find one-way tickets for as low as 7 euros!
The main con is that the journey from Paris to Brussels takes between 4 and 5 hours on average. If that doesn’t scare you, Flixbus might be the best option for you.
Good to know: Flixbus offers many night rides, which are a great way to save time!
Option #3: Take the train with Izy
Your priority? A good balance between price and speed!
Izy is a low cost train company owned by Thalys. It allows you to travel between Paris and Brussels in about 2 and a half hours with fares starting at only 10 euros!
The concept is actually pretty simple. You get to choose between different seat types depending on your preferred level of comfort and budget:
- Folding seats starting from 10 euros
- Standard seats starting from 19 euros
- Standard XL seats starting from 29 euros
In terms of frequency, Izy has a pretty limited offer. It is therefore super important to plan your trip ahead of time. It’s also worth mentioning that this is probably not the best option if you’re thinking about planning a day trip from Paris to Brussels.
In my opinion, this is the main con as you’ll need to be way more flexible. However, if you can make it work, Izy offers a great compromise between speed and price!
Option #4: Share a care with BlaBlaCar
Your priority? Being able to book a last minute ride!
While this might not be the best option for introverts, BlaBlaCar is great for travelers on a budget. I was surprised to find how many rides were actually available between Paris and Brussels in the next few days or even weeks.
I would also say that BlaBlaCar is perfect for last minute travelers that would like to squeeze in a spontaneous day trip from Paris to Brussels (or the other way around)!
Option #5: Hop on the bus with BlaBlaCar Bus
BlaBlaCar Bus’ offer is pretty similar to that of Flixbus in terms of prices. At first glance, the main pro is that the journey seems slightly shorter on average (around 4 hours), while the main con is that the timetable seems more limited compared to Flixbus’.
So, what’s really the best way to travel between Paris and Brussels?
|Last minute bookings*||X||X|
*Keep in mind that the earlier you book the better, but my point is that you will probably have greater chances of finding affordable tickets at the last minute with either Flixbus or BlablaCar.
How to visit Brussels in one day?
If you’re looking for some inspiration to make the most of your day in Brussels, make sure to have a look at these posts:
- Brussels in One Day: The Only Walking Itinerary You’ll Need
- The Best Instagram Spots in Brussels for First-Time Visitors
- 5 Best Foods You Have to Try When Visiting Brussels
What are the current Covid-19 rules in Brussels?
Last update: September 2021
As the numbers are constantly changing, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest Covid-19 rules.
Here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:
- If you plan to travel to/or return to Belgium after a stay abroad, you are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form in the 48 hours prior to your arrival in Belgium
- Wearing a face mask is only compulsory indoors and while using public transport
- Bars and restaurants close at 1 AM (with a maximum of 8 people per table)
- Hotels are open
- Museums tickets must be purchased in advance on their website
- Curfew does not apply anymore
- Guided tours are allowed (with a maximum of 8 people per group)
It looks like you’ve reached the end of this post! I hope you found it useful. If you have any questions, you can always DM on Instagram @rosesandpostcards.