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Travel to Belgium from the UK and Ireland

Traveling from the UK to Belgium is fast and easy. There are several means of transport offering quick and affordable connections between the UK and Belgium. In this guide I will try to give you an overview of all different travel methods and help you find out which one fits with your travel style and budget.

Index:

Entry Requirements (passport / visa)

Belgium is part of the Schengen-area, so you must follow the Schengen-area passport requirements.

Your passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

Visa Requirements:

You can travel the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training. To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Belgian government’s entry requirements. Check with the Belgian Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, you may need.

Passport Stamping:

Make sure to get your passport stamped on entry and departure of the Schengen-zone. Border guards will use these stamps to check if you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

Travel from England to Belgium

When traveling from England to Belgium you have several options to cross the channel. The Eurostar High speed train line is a huge competitor for cheap airline companies such as Ryanair. Make sure to check both options to find the best deal.

Direct flights between England and Belgium

Booking a direct flight from England to Belgium is possible from London Heathrow, Liverpool or Manchester. From my experience, the best way to compare rates and find the lowest fare is by using www.skyscanner.net

Brussels AirlinesLondon HeathrowBrussels-Zaventem1h10
British AirwaysLondon HeathrowBrussels-Zaventem1h10
Suisse AirLondon HeathrowBrussels-Zaventem1h10
LufthansaLondon HeathrowBrussels-Zaventem1h15
RyanairLiverpoolBrussels-Charleroi1h20
RyanairManchesterBrussels-Charleroi1h15
Brussels AirlinesManchesterBrussels-Zaventem1h25
Last update: September 2022

The Eurostar High Speed Train

The Eurostar train connects London and Brussels in 2 hours, with maximum speeds up to 300 km’s/hour.

Standard tickets for a single journey can cost as low as £36 when you book several weeks in advance, but can cost up to £184 for last-minute bookings. Since tickets tend to be in high demand, you need to book at least 2 months in advance to get the cheapest fare. To get a fare under £100 pounds you might need to book a week or two in advance.

For tickets & more info visit www.eurostar.com

The Eurotunnel / LeShuttle

When traveling with your own motorized vehicle, you can choose to take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. The shuttle will bring you there in 35min.

Ticket fares for a single journey range from £104 when you book in advance, up to £160 for last-minute bookings during rush-hour. However there are special deals on return tickets for day-trips and short stays, with prices as low as £54 for a single journey.

For tickets & more info visit https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets-and-fares/

Ferries from England to Belgium

Another option for travelers with their own motorized vehicle is booking a ferry crossing from either Dover, Hull or Newcastle. Currently there is no direct ferry line between England and Belgium. However you can book a ferry crossing from England to France or The Netherlands and continue your journey from there.

DFDS SeawaysDoverDunkirk
DFDS SeawaysDoverCalais
P&O Ferry LinesDoverCalais2h30
Irish FerriesDoverCalais2h30
P&O Ferry LinesHullRotterdam
DFDS SeawaysNewcastleAmsterdam (Ijmuiden)
  • From Duinkerkque or Calais, you can reach Flanders Fields, Bruges or the Belgian Coast in less then 1h30.
  • The car travel from ferry port Rotterdam to Antwerp generally takes about 1h30 depending on traffic.
  • The car travel from ferry port Ijmuiden to Antwerp generally takes about 2h10 depending on traffic.

Travel from Scotland to Belgium

When you’re traveling from Scotland to Belgium, you can take a direct flight to Belgium from Edinbugh and Glasgow. Ryanair offers cheap flights between Ireland and Belgium, starting from 13£.

Flights from Scotland to Belgium

RyanairEdinburghBrussels-Charleroi1h35
RyanairGlasgowBrussels-Charleroi1h35

Ferry Crossings from Scotland to Belgium

Currently there are no ferry crossings between Scotland and Belgium, nor to any of our neighboring nations like France or The Netherlands. When traveling from Scotland to Belgium with your own car, motorcycle or motorhome you can either take an overnight ferry from Newcastle or Hull to The Netherlands, or drive all the way up to Dover and take the channel tunnel to France.

Travel from Ireland to Belgium

Flights From Ireland to Belgium

Flights from Ireland to Belgium are quite affordable. If you plan your visit a few months ahead you can get cheap tickets starting from 12£ at Ryanair. You can find the best deals on skyscanner.net.

Flights from Dublin Airport to Belgium:

  • Ryanair offers direct flights to Brussels Zaventem Airport and Brussels Charleroi Airport
  • Aer Lingus offers direct flights to Brussels Zaventem Airport

Ferry Crossings from Ireland to Belgium

When traveling with your own motorized vehicle from Ireland to Belgium, you can go 2 ways around.

Driving Through England:

  • P&O runs a ferry line between Dublin and Liverpool
  • Irish Ferries runs a ferry line between Rosslare and Pembroke

In Folkestone (UK) you can take the channel tunnel crossing to Calais (FR). Ticket prices for the channel tunnel crossing start at 30£ per car.

Take a ferry from Ireland to France:

If you don’t want to drive through England, you can also take a ferry from Ireland to France and continue your journey from there.

  • Irish Ferries operates a ferry line between Dublin and Cherbourg.
  • StenaLine runs a ferry line between Rosslare and Cherbourg.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the cheapest way to travel from London to Belgium?

In general it will be cheaper to book a flight using skyscanner.net to find the best deal. However if you book your ticket a few weeks upfront and watch out for special weekend deals, the Eurostar might be cheaper.

What is the fastest and easiest way to travel from London to Belgium?

Flying from London to Brussels takes about 1 hour, whilst the Eurostar train takes 2 hours to reach it’s destination. However, because of the boarding times you will need at least 30 minutes at each airport if everything runs perfectly as planned. So in general it will be faster and easier to take the Eurostar if you need to travel fast between the London and Brussels.

What’s the best way to travel from the UK to Belgium by car?

When traveling from the South of England it’s cheaper and faster to use the Channel Tunnel for a crossing and drive from Calais to Belgium. When traveling from up north it’s generally better to take the ferry from Hull.