Flixbus (Megabus), Eurolines, and Ouibus offer cheap intercity bus travel and the best deals for coach transportation between Paris and Brussels (Bruxelles).
Buses may not be the fastest or most comfortable way to travel between Paris and Brussels but they are often by far the cheapest transportation between the capitals of France and Belgium. Flixbus (Megabus), Ouibus (Idbus) and Eurolines have frequent services with special deals often lowering the Brussels to Paris fare to €10 for advance reservations. A few direct long-distance bus services also connects Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) with Brussels without requiring transfers in Paris. TGV Thalys trains are far faster but generally much more expensive than bus travel between Brussels and Paris. Trainline offers easy bookings for both bus and train services between Paris and Brussels.
“Car” is French for intercity buses – so follow the CAR signs when looking for coach stops.
Train Transportation between Paris and Brussels
Traveling between Paris and Brussels on public transportation is possible either by train or by bus. The capitals of France and Belgium are only 300 km apart.
High-speed TGV Thalys trains provide the fastest transportation between Paris-Gare du Nord and Brussels-South (Bruxelles-Midi / Brussel Zuid). These trains, which generally run twice per hour, take only 1h22.
Prices for Thalys TGV trains between Paris and Brussels range widely and depend on both the day of travel and the specific time of travel. For travelers with flexibility, it is often worth traveling earlier or later in the day according to the expected load (and related price) factor. TGV Thalys trains can be booked from amongst others Oui.SNCF or RailEurope but Trainline is often easier to use and offers cheaper deals through competing bus companies.
Advance one-way reservations can be as cheap as €40 but more commonly around €70 for one-week advance reservations and €100 for same-day departures. Return fares can often work out cheaper than two singles. Occasionally, special deals offer first class seats for cheaper than second class – Trainline is quite good at highlighting such deals.
How to Buy French Train Tickets Online
French railway tickets are available online from many resellers. SNCF has several official websites: Oui.SNCF is the main site but visitors may be passed on to other SNCF sub-sites with many non-European based users ending up at RailEurope sites that often sell only long-distance train tickets. Two independent resellers, Trainline and Omio, are generally a lot easier to use and may include searches for competing buses, such as Flixbus, that are price and time competitive with trains on some popular routes. Trainline and Omio also sell cross border journeys and tickets for many other European countries. Print at home tickets are generally the best option, collecting tickets at the station is time-consuming. Tickets for short journeys and trains in urban areas (RER & Metro) are usually not sold online.
Intercity Buses between Paris and Brussels
Buses offer a much cheaper alternative to trains for traveling between Paris and Brussels. Journey times are much longer – typically around 4 hours but often longer. However, prices are generally much lower too – same-day travel can be as cheap as €15 (typically €25 to €42). Special offers can drop prices to below €10.
For last-minute departures and full-fare tickets, buses are commonly at least half the price of a TGV train journey. These savings can be especially good value during peak traveling times.
Several intercity bus companies offer daily bus services between Paris and Brussels, including major coach operators such as Flixbus (which also operate Megabus services in Europe), Ouibus (formerly Idbus and linked to French Railways), and Eurolines (a huge pan-European coach company with many holiday passes and special deals). Small discounts are usually offered for return journeys, children, students, pensioners and groups. On Ouibus, the group discount is sometimes applied for four traveling together while Flixbus offer group fares for three traveling together.
There is little to distinguish the different bus companies. All offer free wifi and toilets, some have drinks and magazines on board, while Megabus probably have tighter seats. For many travelers, the price and possible different bus stops used in especially Paris may be of more importance. All buses guarantee a seat but currently only Ouibus allows travelers to book a specific seat.
Flixbus has quickly grown from Germany to Europe’s largest long-distance coach company. Flixbus often have very good bargain deals on offer too. Flixbus coaches connect Brussels and Paris up to eight times per day – avoid long journeys with long transfer times, some nonsensical routes are sometimes offered.
Ouibus (previously iDBUS) is part of the French railway company SNCF. Reservations may be made via SNCF but note train and bus jouneys are searched separately – probably best not to let rail travelers know the bus is a fraction of the price of trains!) and operates seven busses per day between Paris and Brussels. Occasionally, a direct bus is also available from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CGN) to Brussels.
Eurolines, which has buses operating throughout Europe, has many savings deals available especially for travelers on longer journeys with holiday passes. The best prices and deals on Eurolines buses are usually found on the country-specific website of the point of departure – currently, advance reservations for less popular services can be as cheap as €9 from Brussels and €14 from Paris.
All these bus services and trains may be booked through Trainline, a very easy to use transportation website. Click the link below results to include buses if not automatically displayed.
Long-Distance Bus Stops in Paris and Brussels
When comparing prices, bear in mind that these companies use different stops in both Brussels and Paris, which can have a significant impact on travel times and costs to the final destination. All long-distance bus stops in Paris are very well connected to local train and metro networks.
Flixbus Bus Stops in Brussels and Paris
Flixbus uses two stops in Brussels – some but not all buses use both stops. Most Flixbus buses stop at Rue du Progrès 123 at Gard du Nord / Noordstation / Brussels North train station. Some Flixbus buses also stop at Rue de France / Frankrijkstraat, 1060 Saint Gilles at Bruxelles Gare du Midi / Brussels South Station. A few buses continue to Brussels Airport, especially if stopping en route at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
In Paris, Flixbus direct buses to Brussels normally use the Paris Bercy stop (and a few also stop / depart from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 3).
Ouibus Bus Stops in Brussels and Paris
Ouibus coaches depart from the west of Brussels South station – Gare Bruxelles Midi, 85 rue de France (Frankrijkstraat), 1060 St Gilles.
Ouibus stops in Paris (City Centre) at Paris-Gare Bercy, 48 bis Boulevard de Bercy, 75012 Paris. From here use the Metro station Bercy on lines 6 and 14, or a short walk from Gare de Lyon with many further transportation options.
At Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the Ouibus stops at Terminal 3 Roissypôle at stop F3 – follow the Gare Routière signs.
Eurolines Bus Stops in Brussels and Paris
Eurolines coaches use two stops in Brussels (with departures from the North more frequent):
- Brussel Noord (Brussels North) at Rue du Progrès / Vooruitgangstraat 80, 1030 Brussel – directly outside the Gare du Nord; and
- Brussel Zuid (Brussels South / Midi) across the road from the hotel Novotel, Avenue Fonsny, 1000 Brussel, to the northeast of Gare du Midi.
In Paris, Eurolines long-distance buses use the International Bus Station Galliéni, which is to the east of central Paris. This bus stop is directly linked to the Galliéni metro station – line 3.
Cheap Car Sharing between Brussels and Paris
Very cheap deals are often available for sharing a private car for travel between Paris and Brussels. These deals are usually not advertised long in advance and the basic idea is to share the cost rather than for the driver to earn money. BlablaCar is a good source for such private deals.