Eurostar Review: Standard vs. Premium Class

A Eurostar train can be an easy and comfortable way to travel among the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

Just as airlines offer different fare classes, so too does Eurostar. Currently, Eurostar offers five travel classes.

When traveling to or from London, Eurostar offers the Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier travel classes. For travel among Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany, the travel classes offered are Standard, Comfort and Premium.

Recently, I took Eurostar round-trip between Amsterdam and Brussels and had the opportunity to experience both the Standard class and Premium class.

In a nutshell, both travel classes were comfortable for the two-hour journey, but the Premium class took it up a notch due to a larger seat, meal service and lounge access.

Eurostar Standard class

Standard cabin on the train from Amsterdam to Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

The Standard cabin has seats in a 2-2 seat configuration. If you’re traveling among Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, your train car, row and seat number is assigned when you book a ticket, and is unfortunately unchangeable.

Because the windows are so wide and have a large space between them, there’s a chance you end up in a seat that doesn’t offer much of a view.

Standard seats on the train from Amsterdam to Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Unluckily, I was assigned an aisle seat in the last row of a train car, and because a window didn’t line up to that row, it was hard to see outside. With a passenger next to me, I felt a bit cramped.

When the conductor came over to check tickets, I asked him if I could move to a vacant seat. He gave me the green light, so I found myself a nice window seat.

View from the seat in the Standard cabin on the train from Amsterdam to Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Each seat offers an EU plug socket, a USB port, a tray table and a movable armrest. There’s enough space for a laptop and food or drinks. However, if you plan to get any work done, beware because the Wi-Fi speed was atrocious, offering upload and download speeds of less than 1 Mbps.

Food and drinks aren’t included when traveling in Standard, but you can head over to the Eurostar Cafe located in one of the train cars.

In addition to the vending machines, which offered drinks and snacks, there was an area to purchase sandwiches and alcoholic beverages.

Honestly, the options didn’t look too appealing so I ended up getting a cappuccino from the vending machine and headed back to my seat.

Although I wasn’t traveling with luggage, it’s notable that your fare includes the option to bring two pieces of luggage and a carry-on when traveling in Standard, Comfort or Premium class.

Luggage space in the Standard cabin on the train from Amsterdam to Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

There was a large area in the back of each train car with ample space for suitcases. I found this convenient, especially if you’re traveling with large suitcases. You can simply grab your bags when getting off the train.

Eurostar Premium class

Premium class seats on the train from Brussels to Amsterdam. (Photo by Elina Geller)

On the return leg from Belgium to the Netherlands, I traveled in the Premium cabin, which was laid out with seats in a 1-2 configuration.

Premium cabin seat on the train from Brussels to Amsterdam. (Photo by Elina Geller)

I lucked out on this train ride and was assigned a solo seat by a window. Though similar in appearance to the seat in Standard class, this seat was larger and also offered a bigger headrest. The Premium seat also had an EU plug socket, a USB port and a tray table.

Despite advertising premium Wi-Fi in Premium class, the Wi-Fi was still lagging and felt just as slow as my experience in Standard class.

Meal and drink offered in Premium class on the train from Brussels to Amsterdam. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Shortly after I boarded, an attendant came over and asked me what my meal preference was. I was offered a choice of a meat or vegetarian dish, and I chose the vegetarian option. The meal was served cold (as is the case on all routes that don’t include London) but was tasty nonetheless.

A small salad and pastry were included. Other than the poor Wi-Fi, I enjoyed the Premium class experience, specifically the meal service and my solo seat.

Eurostar Comfort class

If you don’t care about meal service or lounge access, you can buy a ticket in Comfort class, which offers the exact same seat as in the Premium cabin.

Eurostar Business Premier lounge

Eurostar lounge in Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Since I was traveling in Premium class, access to the Eurostar lounge in Brussels was included in my fare. The lounge is located outside the Brussels train station, about a three-minute walk away. I hung out in the lounge for an hour before my train and enjoyed my time there.

Food and drinks counter at the Eurostar lounge in Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

The lounge was smartly designed, with plenty of outlets and built-in trash bins. It looked fresh and modern.

There were areas for lounging and working, as well as a counter with various snacks and drinks, such as teas, juice, cookies and nuts.

Seating area in the Eurostar lounge in Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

Even the couch area had plenty of outlets to charge your devices.

Beverage station at the Eurostar lounge in Brussels. (Photo by Elina Geller)

There was also a large coffee machine offering a variety of specialty drinks. Overall, the lounge was a nice place to eat, drink, relax and get some work done before my train ride.

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Is it worth upgrading to Eurostar Premium?

If you’re planning on traveling with Eurostar among Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany, you can choose from Standard, Comfort or Premium seats.

Overall, for a two-hour train ride, I had a nice experience traveling in Standard and in Premium class. However, my trip in Premium class was much more enjoyable, mainly because I had a large solo seat and I liked the meal.

However, sticking to the Standard class is a good option if you don’t care about meal service and don’t need an extra large seat or lounge access.

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