Although geographically small, Belgium is bursting with sites and activities. Visit the cosmopolitan capital of Brussels. Ride the rails to other popular cities like Bruges and Antwerp. Enjoy the natural splendor of the Ardennes region.
Traveling by train in Belgium
Belgium quick facts
Population: 11 million
Language: Flemish, French, German
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Dialing code: +32
Trains in Belgium
Belgium has one of the most extensive and reliable train networks in all of Europe.
The country is also an important hub for international rail travel, and an exciting detour in your exploration of western Europe.
Places to visit
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.
The Cogels-Osylei is just outside the Antwerpen-Berchem train station.
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.
To get to the site of the Waterloo Battlefield, it's possible to take a bus (W or 365) from Brussels or Waterloo. Take a bus from Jemelle train station to get to Rochefort, as Rochefort is not connected to the railway system.
An enchanting experience
One of Flanders’ more historic cities, Bruges’ (Brugge) presence was felt in medieval times, and it was western Europe’s most important trade city by the 15th century. A walk through Bruges today is like walking back into times long passed, since even modern renovations are done to preserve the medieval look and feel.
Intercity trains will get you from Ghent to Bruges in about 25 minutes.
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.
Grand-Place is less than a 5-minute walk from Brussels Central Station (Bruxelles-Central).
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.
Intercity trains will get you from Antwerp to Ghent (station Gent-Sint Pieters) in about 45 minutes.
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.
From station Liège Palais, you are within walking distance of the Musée de l'Art Wallon.
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.
Binch can be reached by train.
Brussels beer weekend
Not to be outdone by its eastern neighbor, Brussels also hosts a weekend for celebrating the frothy brews that make Belgium famous. The Grote Markt bubbles over with more than 400 types, tastes and sorts of beer, and a lively crowd to go with it.
The Grote Markt is within walking distance of Brussels central station.
Eurail passes for Belgium
Most popular passes with Belgium
Eurail Global Pass from USD$343
The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and value-for-money train pass that lets you explore up to 27 countries by rail. Hop on board comfortable trains that take you right to the center of Europe's cities. One day you're relaxing on a gondola ride in Venice and the next you're discovering Prague's fairy-tale castle.View Eurail Global Pass
Eurail Benelux Pass from USD$169
The Eurail Benelux Pass is your key to exploring Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail. Visit the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, sample some of Belgium's best beer in Brussels and do a spot of shopping in Luxembourg City.View Eurail Benelux Pass
Eurail Select Pass 4 countries from USD$265
Discover 4 bordering countries with the Eurail Select Pass – 4 countries. Plan the route of your choice between and within each country, and spend as much time as you like at each stop.View Eurail Select Pass 4 countries
All Eurail passes with Belgium
Here's a list of all Eurail passes for your travels through this country:
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