Belgium By Train
Although geographically small, Belgium is bursting with sites and activities. Visit the cosmopolitan capital of Brussels and take the train to popular cities like Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. Visit the lush green hills of the Ardennes region and be sure to try some Belgian beers and delicious chocolate along the way.
Domestic connections in Belgium
View approximate train travel times between popular Belgian cities using InterCity trains:
|From / to||InterCity trains|
Brussels - Antwerp
Brussels - Bruges
Brussels - Gent
Brussels - Liège
|Gent - Antwerp||55 min|
International connections to and from Belgium
We suggest the following routes to travel between Belgium and other European countries:
France – Belgium
Arrive in Brussels on the high-speed Thalys train from Paris (1hr 36min).
Great Britain – Belgium
Travel from London to Brussels with the Eurostar in less than 3 hours.
Luxembourg – Belgium
Take an InterCity or EuroCity train from Luxembourg city to Brussels (3hr).
The Netherlands – Belgium
Take an InterCity train from The Hague or Rotterdam to Brussels. (1hr 45min).
Reservations for trains in Belgium
NMBS/SNCB trains do not require a reservation. You can just hop on and off. A supplement of €5.30 called the Diabolo fee is required for the Brussels Airport Express.
Reservations are optional for ICE and EuroCity trains. For Eurostar, TGV and Thalys trains reservations are compulsory.
Please note that the number of seats available for Eurail pass holders is limited on TGV and Thalys trains. We recommend you make reservations for these trains as soon as possible.
How to make reservations for trains in Belgium
You can make reservations for international high-speed trains:
Through our Reservation Service
At a ticket desk at local train stations.
By phone through one of the railway call centers.
Train types in Belgium
There are a number of train types in Belgium ready to transport you. The Belgium network is operated by NMBS/SNCB. Use the Eurail train timetable to check times for trains in Belgium.
Regional and intercity trains in Belgium
The main rail network in Belgium is made up of the following regional trains and intercity trains:
InterCity trains link larger cities like Brussels, Antwerp and Liège. You can also travel to The Hague and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Luxembourg city and Lille Flandres (France).
CityRail trains operate in the area surrounding Brussels.
Brussels Airport Express trains run between cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels and Brussels Airport.
High-speed trains in Belgium
International high-speed trains in Belgium
These high-speed trains operate to and from Belgium:
EuroCity trains link Brussels with Luxembourg, Strassbourg (France) and Basel (Switzerland).
Eurostar trains operate between Brussels and London (Great Britain).
ICE trains connect Brussels with German cities Cologne and Frankfurt.
Thalys trains connect Brussels with Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Paris (France).
TGV trains link Brussels with Paris and Marseille (France).
Rail pass options for Belgium
Discover Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail.
Standard prices from € 105
Have the freedom to explore Belgium and up to 30 other Eurail countries.
Standard prices from € 185
Pass benefits in Belgium
Transport and accommodation deals
With a Eurail Pass valid in Belgium, you can travel by bus to neighboring countries, and get a 10% discount at the Brussels Meininger Hotel.
More about Belgium
Population: 11 million
Language: Dutch (Flemish), French, German
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Dialing code: +32
Train stations in Belgium
The main hub stations in Belgium are Bruxelles Midi/Brussel Zuid, Brussel Centraal, Brussel Noord, Antwerpen Centraal, Gent Sint-Pieters and Luik Guillemins. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to Belgium’s main cities and many international destinations.
Stations in Belgium usually have excellent facilities, often including:
Foreign exchange desks
Restaurants and cafés
Tourist information offices
ATM cash machines
Elevators and escalators
Access for disabled passengers
Spelling of city names
On the Eurail train timetable and at stations you'll usually find the local spelling of Belgian cities and train stations.
Here is the local spelling of some popular Belgian cities:
Antwerp = Antwerpen
Bruges = Brugge
Brussels = Brussel/Bruxelles
Ghent = Gent
Ostend = Oostende
Places to visit in Belgium
Hip and happening Antwerp
Belgium’s second-largest city, Antwerp (Antwerpen), is a busy, buzzing metropolis with plenty to see and do. From unsurpassed cuisine to cutting-edge fashion to architecture and history, Antwerp is a traveler’s playground. The Cogels-Osylei, one of the most fascinating streets in Belgium (and some believe, in all of Europe), is teeming with magnificent 19th century architecture.
Outdoor fun throughout Belgium
Mild temperatures and varied landscapes make Belgium a great outdoor destination. The Ardennes are a nature-lover’s paradise: lush hills, flowing rivers, cycling, kayaking, skiing – the works. In Rochefort, rent bikes and cycle along unused train tracks to Houyet. And the Waterloo Battlefield, looking as it did during the famous battle back in 1815, is near Brussels. In June, there are costumed battle re-enactments.
Beauty and bonbons in Brussels
One of the most vibrant squares in Europe, the Grand-Place is a 13th century market in the city center of Brussels. It blends age-old architecture with modern shops, markets and cafes. Home to the famous Atomium and Manneken Pis, the Grand-Place is steeped in history. The Chocolate Museum (Musée du Cacao et du Chocolat) must be seen to be believed. The country produces well over 150,000 tons of the sweet stuff each year.
Get social in Ghent
Although it lies quietly in the shadow of Antwerp, Ghent (Gent) is a perfect stop between modern Antwerp and ancient Bruges – and a place where food, beer and fun have risen to an art form. Wander the 13th century streets and it won’t be long before you find the perfect environment for your taste, and friendly people with whom to share it.
Oozing artistic charm
Art and history reign supreme in Liège (Luik). No visit would be complete without a trip to the Musée d’Art Réligieux et d’Art Mosan. For a peek inside the lives of Wallonia’s most famous artists (including René Magritte and Paul Delvaux), try the Musée de l’Art Wallon.
Events in Belgium
This celebration before the Lent is all about colorful costumes, rich folklore, food, music, parades and performances. The most popular and famous event is held in Binch. You haven’t seen anything until you set eyes on the wax-masked Gilles clowns throwing oranges at passersby.