When planning a trip to Belgium, it’s worth considering taking a high-speed train. It’s a fast and affordable alternative that benefits from the excellent European high-speed rail network. As a result, Belgium is well-connected to all major neighboring countries and European capitals. It may surprise you to learn that you can travel from London, Amsterdam, or Paris to Brussels by train in less than 2.5 hours.
Fly to Europe, take the high speed train to Belgium
Looking to travel to Belgium from outside of Europe but finding it difficult to find an affordable flight with limited layovers? Have you considered booking a cheaper flight to one of Europe’s international airports and then taking the high-speed train to Belgium? The European high-speed rail network can transport you from London, Amsterdam or Paris to Brussels in just 2 hours, which is often faster and cheaper than any layover.
European Rail Passes
Are you planning a backpacking trip through Europe? Not only should you include Belgium into your backpacking trip, but you should look to get a European Rail Pass. It allows you to travel cheaply between countless European cities. Many European high speed trains are included into this railpass, however reservations for these trains are still mandatory.
High speed Trainstations in Belgium
Belgium’s high-speed train stations are well-connected to major European cities and popular tourist destinations within the country. Here’s a list of all the high-speed train stations in Belgium:
- Brussels-South: The largest high-speed train station in Belgium, Brussels-South is the main international gateway to the country. It serves as a hub for domestic and international high-speed trains, including the Thalys, Eurostar, and ICE trains. The station is located in the heart of Brussels and provides easy access to the city center.
- Antwerp-Central: One of the most beautiful train stations in the world, Antwerp-Central serves as a major transportation hub in Belgium. It provides connections to major cities in Belgium and the Netherlands, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The station is located in the heart of Antwerp and is a major tourist attraction in its own right.
- Liège-Guillemins: This modern and futuristic train station is located in the heart of Liège, Belgium’s third-largest city. It serves as a major transportation hub for the region, providing connections to major cities in Belgium and beyond. The station’s unique design has made it a popular tourist attraction in its own right.
Eurostar London – Brussels – London
If you’re traveling from the London area or the south of England, consider taking the Eurostar train instead of a plane to Belgium. Traveling by train is more eco-friendly, cheaper, and just as fast, if not faster, in some cases.
Travel from London to Brussels by train in 2 hours with the Eurostar high speed trains. The train uses the Channel Tunnel and reaches speeds up to 300km’s / hour.
Click here for tickets and availability.
High Speed Trains to Belgium from France
There are 2 companies running high speed trains connecting France with Belgium: Thalys and TGV (by SNCF).
- Eurostar (formerly Thalys) operates a seasonal high-speed train line from Marseille to Brussels and from the French Alps to Brussels.
- The TGV Train line starts in the South of France and runs all the way to Brussels. They connect major cities like Nice, Marseille, Avignon, Perpignan, Lyon, Paris, and Lille with Belgium. There is also a TGV line connecting Strasbourg with Paris and up to Brussels.
Travel From Paris to Brussels
Thalys runs 2 trains every hour connecting Paris with Brussels. Since June 2022, the trains run faster now connecting both capitals in only 1h22 mins, shortening the length of the trip with an hour. Tickets prices start at 29€ if you book more then a month in advance, up to 103€ for last minute bookings.
TGV runs only a couple of trains a day on this traject. Ticket prices start as low as 25€ if you book in advance, up to 115€.
Trains to Belgium from The Netherlands
High Speed Trains
The Eurostar high-speed train (formerly Thalys) connects Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, and Rotterdam with Brussels and Antwerp, all in less than 2 hours. Prices start around 29€ for a single ticket.
Intercity (IC) Trains
Intercity (IC) trains are also available, running 16 times a day from the Dutch intercity trainline to Brussels and serving several Belgian train stations, including Brussels, Antwerp, and Mechelen. Although intercity trains are generally slower, they offer a more affordable alternative.
Tip: When you book your tickets 7 day’s in advance, you’ll be able to get an early bird ticket, reducing the price to significantly. For example: an early bird week ticket from Amsterdam to Antwerp will cost you only 20€ whilst normally it would cost you 38.60€.
Trains from Germany, Suisse or Austria to Belgium
ICE Trains arrive and depart from Brussels South Station and Liège Guillemins Station. They connect with many large German cities such as Aachen, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hannover, Köln, Munich etc. It’s possible to travel all the way to Zurich(Suisse) or Vienna (Austria) with the ICE train.
There is a Thalys high speed train line departing in Dortmund to Essen, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Köln, Aachen, Liège and Brussels.
For more information and tickets visit https://www.thalys.com/de/en