Travel by train in Belgium
Expore Belgium by train and travel from capital city Brussels to cities soaked in culture and history like Antwerp and Ghent. Visit the lush green hills of the Ardennes region and be sure to try some Belgian beers and delicious chocolate along the way.
Visit Belgium’s most famed cities Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges by regional or high-speed train and discover all impressive sites this country has to offer.
Find out more: What is Eurail?
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:
- InterRegio trains connect regional destinations with cities like Antwerp and Brussels. You can also travel to Maastricht/Rosendaal (the Netherlands) or Luxembourg city.
- 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 surrouding Brussels.
- Brussels Airport Express trains run between cities like Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels and Brussels Airport.
On the Eurail timetable InterCity trains appear as "IC". InterRegio and CityRail trains appear in the timetable without an abbreviation. Reservations are not required for InterCity, InterRegio and CityRail trains. A supplement is required for the Brussels Airport Express.
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).
- Eurostartrains 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).
- TGVtrains link Brussels with Paris and Marseille (France).
EuroCity trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "EC" , Eurostar trains are listed as "ES", ICE as "ICE", Thalys as "THA" and TGV as "TGV". For EuroCity and ICE trains an advanced reservation is not necessary but we recommend you make them to ensure yourself a seat. Reservations are compulsory for Eurostar, Thalys and TGV trains.
Reservations for trains in Belgium
NMBS/SNCB trains do not require a reservation. You can just hop on and off. A supplement of €4.50 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:
- At a ticket desk at local train stations.
- By phone through one of the railway call centers
For more information about reservations in Belgium:
Rail connections in Belgium
Popular domestic connections in the Netherland
View approximate train travel times between popular Belgian cities using InterCity trains:
International train 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).
Belgium rail passes
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) are considered as one country within the Eurail passes. Eurail Benelux passes let you see all of the Benelux's top cities like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Luxembourg city. We offer Benelux rail passes and passes that combine the Benelux with other European countries.
Rail pass options for Belgium
- Eurail Global Pass starting from US$523 – have the freedom to explore Belgium and up to 23 other Eurail countries.
- Eurail Select Pass starting from US$332 – choose from a 3, 4 or 5 country pass that combines Benelux with bordering countries.
- Regional Pass – focus on visiting Benelux plus 1 other country. Here are your options:
Eurail Benelux – France Pass starting from US$271 – Travel around famed French cities like Paris, Lyon and Nice.
Eurail Benelux – Germany Pass starting from US$291 – explore popular German cities like Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt
- Eurail Benelux Pass starting from US$137 – spend your whole vacation to discover Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail.
Example train route in the Benelux
Experience the best of the Benelux on a single trip with a Eurail pass. You can follow the suggested route below using a Eurail Benelux Pass – 3 days within 1 month, starting from US$137.
Wander through Amsterdam’s beautiful historical city center and breathe in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
Antwerp is well known for its trendy fashion boutiques and beautiful architecture.
Brussels is bustling with culture – be sure to take a stroll at the Grand Place square.
Luxembourg city is soaked in luxury and history. Enjoy amazing scenery at Chemin de la Corniche – ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony’.
For more route ideas for your Eurail trip, check out our European highlights itinerary.
Train stations in Belgium
Belgian hub stations
The main hub stations in Belgium are Bruxelles Midi/Brussel Zuid, Brussel Centraal, Brussel Noord, Antwerpen Centraal, Gent SintPieters 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:
- Luggage lockers
- Foreign exchange desks
- Restaurants and cafés
- Tourist information offices
- ATM cash machines
- Elevators and escalators
- Access for disabled passengers
Extra benefits in Belgium
Discounted travel to Great Britain
With a Eurail pass valid in Belgium, you're entitled to a discount when you travel from Brussels to London with Eurostar trains as an extra benefit.
Spelling of city names
Belgian cities on timetables
On the Eurail train timetable and at stations you'll usually find the local spelling of Belgian cities and stations.
Here is the local spelling of some popular Belgian cities:
- Antwerpen = Antwerp
- Brugge = Bruges
- Brussel/Bruxelles = Brussels
- Gent = Ghent