Thalys, the high-speed red trains, which travel at speeds of up to 186mph (300kph) link brussels to Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne and Rotterdam, and this summer there are some great events happening in these destinations with Rail Europe.
Beginning in Brussels, the Brussels Summer Festival (August 10-19) sees visitors enjoy glorious days of music, film, art and activities. There are four main outdoor stages, which play host to bands of different styles, including world famous classical musicians, and while the beat goes on, visitors can take in exhibits from five of the leading museums. This year MIM, Coudenberg, BELvue, Royal Museums of Fine Arts and Bozar all offer visitors a glimpse of their riches. Visitors to the festival spend time enjoying the buzz as different acts take to the stage, and there’s plenty of food and Belgian beer to enjoy too.
Summer is also the time to be in Amsterdam, and what better way to enjoy the city than to step off the Thalys train into one of the many festivals lighting up the city.
The atmosphere in Amsterdam during these events is electric – there’s the Amsterdam Roots festival, which celebrates music from around the world in June and July at some of the best music venues in the city; there’s the Canal Festival, Grachtenfestival (August 14- 22) with musical performances played on canal boats and in the trendy Amsterdam Nord neighborhood on the River IJ. Gay Pride (July 28-August 5), attracts an incredible 350,000 people celebrating in the sunshine and Uitmarkt (August 24-26) offers lucky visitors the chance to see new exhibitions, performances and works of art before the cultural season begins in September. Head to the Museum district to absorb it all.
Also at the end of August is Cologne’s popular Beer Festival (August 24-26). The city serves some 700 different types of beers from 70 different countries. For something less chaotic check out the Cologne Summer Festival (July 9-August 5). The festival has been going since 1988 and is a popular way to enjoy musical performances and ballet in the summer months.
For those who want to truly experience Europe’s summer festivities the Thalys can transport passengers quickly and easily in spacious, air-conditioned carriages with comfortable seats, and hot and cold refreshments – as well as free wifi access. To see Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, and more this summer, take the Thalys.
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