From Amsterdam to Paris
Amsterdam and Paris are two of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Every year, these cities attract millions of visitors. Thanks to the excellent rail connections between the Netherlands, and France it’s only fitting to visit these cities and other notable ones between, by train.
On this interrail itinerary, you will also have the opportunity to discover Antwerp and Lille, two real gems. Read on and find out what awaits you on your journey from Amsterdam to Paris.
Price Range: $$$$
Recommended Days: 7 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 5 hr
Distance: 474 km
Amsterdam: Between Tulips and the Red-Light District
Amsterdam is famous for its flair. The mixture of historic buildings, hip trendy neighborhoods, and cozy alleys lends the city its well-known atmosphere. With the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam is an intriguing destination for art lovers.
Amsterdam is easy to explore on a canal trip. The popular floating flower market is also a landmark of the city, as is the world-famous red-light district.
For a tour through the red light district, the Prostitution Information Center offers fantastic tours led by a former sex worker. Not many questions are off-limits and you get to know the history and the laws behind the windows. Inquire here for a tour.
Amsterdam Centraal → Antwerp Centraal | Duration: 1:15 | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train
The journey begins at Amsterdam Centraal station. From there, several Thalys trains depart daily directly from Amsterdam to Antwerp.
If you want to travel with Thalys you have to reserve a seat in advance; however, a slower route is available without additional reservation costs.
Antwerp: World Capital of the Diamond Trade
For 500 years, the Belgian port city has been regarded as the most important trading center for diamonds in the world. The famous diamond district is the perfect place to buy one of the precious stones – or maybe just dream of it at the shop front window.
With the Rubens House and the Church of Our Lady, Antwerp also has attractions for the thinner wallet. The Grote Markt is an impressive plaza lined with magnificent guild houses from the 16th and 17th centuries. Here you can also find ample amounts of cafes and restaurants as well as a Christmas market in the winter.
Antwerp Centraal → Lille-Flandres | Duration: 2:13 h | Transfers: 1 | Transport: Train
The next stage of your journey begins at Antwerp Central Station. There are two options to travel from Antwerp to Lille by train. You can take the IC to Kortrijk and change to a Regional Train to Lille-Flandres. It takes around 2 hours. Or you take the Thalys to Brussels and change to the TGV to Gare de Lille Europe. That option takes around 1.5 hours.
Lille: France’s Best Kept Secret City
France’s northernmost metropolis was voted European Capital of Culture of the Year in 2004. Lille, often flies under the radar, mainly because of its big neighbor Paris, yet has much to offer!
The citadel of Lille was built in the 17th century and was formerly considered a small city due to its size, now it boasts home to the country’s second-largest art museum, the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
On the first weekend of every September, the biggest flea market in Europe takes place in Lille, but have no fear, if you aren’t around in September there are still weekly markets to get your fill of local cheeses, wine, and meat.
A food item to keep your eye open for is the gaufre fourée, a paper-thin waffle filled with vanilla cream. These have been around for over 250 years so you know they must be good, right?
Gare de Lille Flandres → Paris Gare du Nord | Duration: 1 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train
The railway line between Lille and Paris is one of the most important connections in France. At Lille Flandres station, take the TGV and you’ll be in France’s capital in around 1 hour.
The railway line crosses a number of impressive bridges such as the viaducts of Commelles and the bridge over the Canal Saint-Denis.
Paris: The City Of Love
Paris is one of the most popular destinations in the world and certainly cannot be missed on this Interrail itinerary. The city of love has such a large number of sights that you could spend weeks there without having seen everything.
The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral are the city’s most famous landmarks. The Louvre houses the largest art collection in the world, including Picasso’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.
The Champs Elysees invites you to stroll and window shop or commence an extensive shopping tour depending on your budget. Other attractions include the Catacombs, Sacre Coeur, and a day trip to Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles, as well as every other attraction in the city, is easily accessible by train or by the underground metro. There is no better end to a round trip through Europe than in Paris.