To check train times & fares within Belgium, use www.b-rail.be.  You can buy tickets easily at the station on the day.  For international trains to neighbouring countries use www.b-europe.com.

This page explains how to travel by train from Brussels to other cities right across Europe.  It explains how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets as shown below & save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.  On the other hand, if you'd rather someone sorted out your whole trip for you, see here.

I want to travel from Brussels to...

      

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

       Train information is current for 2017.

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

Which station in Brussels?

Brussels Midi is the main station in Brussels - it's Brussels Midi in French, Brussels Zuid in Flemish, and Brussels South station in English, it's all the same place.  Unless otherwise stated all trains leave from there, including Eurostar.  Frequent local trains cross the city, linking Brussels Midi, Brussels Central and Brussels Nord.  Brussels Central is 5 min walk from the famous Grande Place, but only frequent local trains stop there, although some international expresses also at Brussels Nord on their way to and from Brussels Midi.



Brussels to Bruges, Ghent & other destinations in Belgium...
A Belgian intercity train at Brussels Midi 2nd class 1st class

Air-conditioned Belgian InterCity train.

2nd class seats...

1st class seats...


Brussels to London from £45, www.eurostar.com...
Brussels to other destinations in the UK...

A Eurostar at St Pancras International...

A Eurostar at St Pancras...

 

Eurostar first class

Eurostar 1st class...

 

Eurostar second class

Eurostar 2nd class...


Brussels to Dublin from £85...

Brussels to Paris by Thalys from €29, www.b-europe.com or from €10 by Izy, www.izy.com...
Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...

Brussels to Nice, Lyon, Bordeaux & other French cities, www.b-europe.com...
Brussels to Lille...

Brussels to Amsterdam, from €27, www.b-europe.com...

Option 1, by high-speed Thalys train in 1h49 from €27 to €87...

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...

Option 2, by hourly classic InterCity train in 3h20 for €45.60, or in advance from €19...

Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train   2nd class seats on an Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train   1st class seats on an Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train

An InterCity train at Brussels.

 

InterCity 2nd class seats...

 

InterCity 1st class seats...


Brussels to Luxembourg for €42, www.b-europe.com...
Brussels-Luxembourg train at Brussels Midi 2nd class 1st class

A modern air-conditioned InterCity train from Brussels to Luxembourg...

2nd class on the InterCity train from Brussels to Luxembourg...

1st class on the InterCity train from Brussels to Luxembourg...


Brussels to Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich & Germany from €19, €29 or €39...

Option 1, by daytime trains...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt

ICE3 2nd class.

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.

ICE at BrusselsSee ICE info.

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

Thalys at Brussels.  See Thalys info.

Option 2 starting from 11 December 2016:  Brussels to Munich using a sleeper train, the time-effective option.


Brussels to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €58...

Option 1, Brussels to Innsbruck, Linz or Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train...

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys at Brussels...

1 & 2 berth standard sleeper on the Austrian EuroNight train.   EuroNight sleeper train to Vienna:  6-berth couchettes   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

1 or 2 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option. Standard sleepers have a washbasin, deluxe sleepers a private shower & toilet.

 

4 & 6-berth couchettes:  The economy option, ideal for families.  Couchettes are basic padded bunks with rug & pillow.  This is a 6-berth couchette.

 

Step 1:  Vienna to Cologne by cosy Nightjet sleeper train.

Sleeper & couchette passengers receive a complimentary light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning.

More pictures & information about this EuroNight train

Option 2, by daytime trains in a single day...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Frankfurt...

High-speed ICE3 train at Frankfurt   ICE2 train, 2nd class

ICE3 at Frankfurt (Main)...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats...

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats & power sockets...

 

ICE3 bar counter & standing area.  See sample menu.


Brussels to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €39...

Option 1, by daytime trains via Cologne - the easiest & often cheapest route

High-speed ICE3 train at Frankfurt   ICE2 train, 2nd class

ICE3 at Frankfurt (Main)...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats...

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats & power sockets...

 

ICE3 bar counter & standing area.  See sample menu.

Option 2, going via Paris - the fastest & sometimes cheapest route, if you don't mind crossing Paris...

Option 4, Brussels-Switzerland by high-speed train with overnight stop in Paris - a time-effective option...

Option 5, direct trains Brussels-Basel


Brussels to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €58...

Option 1, Brussels to Italy in a single day via Paris - an inexpensive high-quality option with some great scenery... 

Option 2, Brussels to Italy with overnight stop in Paris - inexpensive high-quality option with some great scenery... 

TGV bar car   TGV from Milan to Paris

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes....

 

The 14:41 TGV to Milan at the Gare de Lyon.  There's no check-in, just be on board at departure time...

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  Panorama photo.

 

1st class with a mix of unidirectional seats, solo seats, tables for 2 & for 4.  Seats 2+1 across car width.  Panorama photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

The TGV from Paris to Italy calls at Lyon St Exupery then slows right down through the Alpine foothills.  These are mountains in France, in autumn...

Scenery from the train between Oulx and Turin

...And these are mountains in Italy in summer.  Scenery between Oulx and Turin, courtesy of www.discoverbyrail.com.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Basel or Zurich.

Option 4, by Thello sleeper train from Paris to Italy - A convenient, inexpensive, time-effective option, but Thello is not the highest quality train... 


Brussels to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain from €88...

Option 1, Brussels to Spain in a single day via Lyon - time for lunch in Lyon, and avoids crossing Paris.

Option 2, Brussels to Spain with overnight stop in Nξmes or Avignon - time-effective, avoids crossing Paris, and how about an evening in Avignon?

TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix   Boarding a TGV

Step 1.  Take a TGV from Brussels direct to Lyon, Avignon or Nimes.  These TGVs use the Paris by-pass line.  Above left, 1st class seats, with power-recline and power sockets.  2nd class ones are also very comfortable, often but not always with power sockets, and there's a cafe-bar on board - or bring your own picnic and wine.

AVE from Barcelona to Lyon   2nd class seats on the Barcelona to Lyon AVE train

Step 2, take a direct Spanish AVE from Lyon, Avignon or Nimes to Girona, Figueres & Barcelona  Above right, a Spanish S100 AVE at Barcelona, it's cool, smooth and quiet on board.  Above right, 2nd class seats on the S100 AVE - all seats have power sockets. Panorama photo of 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar...

 

View from the train, passing Bιziers...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Option 3:  Brussels to Spain by high-speed train via Paris in one day:  Breakfast in Brussels, lunch in Paris, dinner in Spain!

Option 4:  Brussels to Spain by high-speed trains with an overnight stop in Paris...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon. These 200 mph double-deckers link Paris with Barcelona.  Watch TGV Duplex video.

 

2nd class table for 4 on TGV Duplex upper deck...

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.

 

A TGV Duplex at Barcelona Sants.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.


Brussels to Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve & Portugal from €116...

On board the Sud Express from Irun to Lisbon...

To Morocco by train...   En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet

The Sud Express, about to leave Irun on the Franco-Spanish frontier, bound for Lisbon...  Courtesy of Ron Baker See panorama photo...

 

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

....return from the bar to find the attendant has made up the beds...

 

Gran Clase private toilet & shower...

Sud Express trainhotel cafe-bar...    

The trainhotel's cafι-bar serves drinks & food.  Grab a barstool early, it gets crowded later on!

 

4-berth tourist class sleepers (Turista Cama) are cosy & inexpensive...  They convert from beds to seats as shown.  See panorama photo of 4-berth tourist class sleeper.


Brussels to Andorra...
 

The intercitι de nuit overnight train from Paris to Latour de Carol has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...


Brussels to Prague from €58...

Option 1, by daytime trains a single day - the leisurely daytime option...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Berlin - this breaks up the trip nicely, and is quite time-effective...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See more photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.


Brussels to Bratislava & Slovakia from €78...

Option 1, via Berlin...

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  Photo courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, via Vienna...


Brussels to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, via the Munich-Budapest EuroNight sleeper train - a comfortable & time-effective option...

The sleeper train to Budapest   Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest

The Kalman Imre, about to leave Munich...  Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video

 

2-berth sleeper...

6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

Hungarian couchette car at Munich

Option 2, via the Cologne-Vienna sleeper train - an easy & comfortable journey, time-effective and may save a hotel bill, too. 

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich...

Option 4, via the Cologne-Munich sleeper train...

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

RailJet trains...  Railjets are ΦBB's premier trains, running on the Vienna-Salzburg-Innsbruck and Vienna-Graz axes.  More railjet info.

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats are around tables, some unidirectional.


Brussels to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

Brussels to Warsaw, Krakow & Poland from €62...

Option 1, by daytime trains a single day - the leisurely daytime option...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Berlin - this breaks up the trip nicely, and is quite time-effective...

The Berlin-Warsaw Express train   2nd class seating compartment on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

The Berlin-Warszawa Express has modern air-conditioned 1st & 2nd class coaches, most with compartments and side corridor like this, others with open-plan seating.

Bistro car on the Berlin-Warszawa Express train   Sausage soup on the Berlin-Warszawa Express   A main course schnitzel in the bistro-restaurant on the Berlin to Warsaw Express train

Brussels to Kiev & Ukraine...

The Kiev Express has modernised Ukrainian sleeping-cars with 2-berth & 3-berth compartments.  All bedding is supplied, and washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use.  A smartly-uniformed Ukrainian railways sleeper attendant travels with each car.  Photos courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.

The Kiev Express   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Boarding in Warsaw...

 

A sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.


Brussels to Moscow & Russia...

Option 1, using the Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train Polonez - with daily departures...

The Polonez train from Warsaw to Moscow uses Russian air-conditioned sleeping-cars, pictured below, with compartments which can be used as 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth (shown below right), with a shower & toilets at the end of the corridor.  See panorama photo inside one of the new Russian sleepers.

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Option 2, using the new Berlin-Moscow Strizh (Swift) Talgo sleeper train, twice a week...

  • Day 1, take the 08:24 ICE train from Brussels Midi to Berlin with 1 easy change at Cologne, arriving Berlin Hbf 15:06.  Fares start at €39, you can buy tickets at www.bahn.de.  You print your own ticket.  Transfer by frequent S-Bahn train from Berlin Hbf to Berlin Ostbahnhof.

  • Step 2, travel from Berlin to Moscow by new direct Russian sleeper train, leaving Berlin Ostbahnhof at 18:50 on Sundays & Mondays, arriving at Moscow's Kurskiy station at 17:25 next day (day 3 from London).  It starts running from 18 December 2016.  Map of Moscow showing Kurskiy station.

    This train is an articulated Spanish-built Talgo train branded Strizh (swift).  It has ordinary seats and sleeping-cars with 2nd class 4-berth compartments, 1st class 1 or 2 berth compartments with washbasin and deluxe 1 or 2 berth compartments with en suite shower & toilet.  There's also a restaurant & bistro car.  See photo of 2-berth sleeper on this train.

    Russian track gauge is 5', but most of Europe (including the UK) is 4' 8½", so at Brest on the Belarus frontier the train runs through a gauge-changing shed and the axles automatically adjust to the new gauge.  Once in Russia, the scenery is rolling hills, birch tree forests, and villages of small wooden houses.  Approaching Moscow, you may glimpse the plaques on the station building marked '1812' and '1942' as the train passes through the small station of historic Borodino...

    You can book the Berlin-Moscow train at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru and print your own ticket, it's a little fiddly but works, see my advice for using rzd.ru here, or you can easily buy it online with English language after-sales service if you need it, using the Real Russia online system here.

Option 3:  Brussels to Moscow via Kiev - avoids need for Belarus visa...

  • It's not difficult to get a Belarus transit visa.  But some people want to avoid the bureaucracy of yet another visa, and you can easily travel via Kiev.

  • Travel from Brussels to Kiev as shown in the Brussels to Kiev section below.

  • Travel from Kiev to Moscow by overnight train. There are several night trains and times vary by date, but for example there's usually one leaving Kiev around 19:30 and arriving in Moscow Kievskaya station next morning at around 09:50, with 2-berth and 4-berth sleepers available.  Check times for your date using www.bahn.de/en.  Note that there's also a direct train from Kiev to St Petersburg, but this passes through a small corner of Belarus, requiring a Belarus visa.

  • Use reliable Polish ticketing agency www.polrail.com to book both your Warsaw-Kiev and Kiev-Moscow trains.  Tickets are collected in Warsaw.


Brussels to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Stockholm & Scandinavia from €78...
ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt

ICE 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

The Hamburg-Copenhagen ICE on board the Puttgarden-Rψdby ferry.  More info on ICE.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph SJ2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

 

2nd class seating on the SJ 2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the SJ 2000 to Stockholm.

More information about SJ 2000 trains


Brussels to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, Brussels to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Option 2, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...


Brussels to Helsinki & Finland...

Brussels to Ljubljana & Slovenia or Zagreb & Croatia from €72...

Option 1, by Nightjet sleeper train to Munich then scenic EuroCity train to Ljubljana & Zagreb...

Option 2, by daytime ICE train to Munich, overnight stop, then scenic EuroCity train to Ljubljana & Zagreb...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

A smart Austrian railjet train.  More photos & information about Railjet trains

 

Economy class seats on RailJet.

Austrian railjet seats   Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

1st class seats on the Austrian Railjet from Munich through great scenery to Villach on the Slovenian border.  More railjet information...

 

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.


Brussels to Belgrade, Sofia & Montenegro...

Brussels to Istanbul & Turkey...

This is an overland adventure, taking 3 nights...

Option 1, via Munich, Budapest & Bucharest...

Option 2, via Belgrade & Sofia...


Brussels to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, by cruise ferry from Italy... 

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, by train all the way through the Balkans... 


Railbookers custom-made train travel & hotels

Custom-made tours using trains...

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.


Find hotels in Brussels & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Recommended hotels in Brussels...

In Brussels, if you need a decent hotel between trains close to Brussels Midi station where Eurostar arrives, go for the dependable Ibis Brussels Midi just across the road.  For somewhere near the city centre and all the sights, treat yourself to the celebrated Hotel Metropole, a glamorous five-star art deco hotel just 10 minutes walk from the famous Grande Place and Brussels Central station.  It's one of Brussels' most famous hotels.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


 


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