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 key European cities, and 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 from Brussels as shown below and 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 by train from Brussels to...

          

       Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & 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 £39, 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 Paris from €35, www.b-europe.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...
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...

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 €39, 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...
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 high-speed trainMore 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...


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

Option 1, by 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 EuroNight sleeper train.

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

More pictures & information about these EuroNight trains

Option 2, by daytime trains...


Brussels to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €39...
Sleeping-car room - Paris-Munich night train   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

City Night Line sleeper train  from Cologne to Switzerland...

More pictures & information about this train...


Brussels to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy from €64...

Option 1, by daytime trains via Paris.  This is an inexpensive and good-quality option, with some great scenery... 

Option 2, by sleeper train via Cologne & Swiss Alps: 

Option 3, by sleeper train via Paris.  This is a very inexpensive and time-effective option, although Thello trains are not the highest quality... 


Brussels to Barcelona & Spain from €94...

Option 1:  Brussels to Spain in one day, by high-speed trains.  Breakfast in Brussels, lunch in Paris, dinner in Spain!

Option 2:  Brussels to Spain by high-speed trains with overnight stop in Paris...

A TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon   Upper deck landing on a TGV Duplex.

A double-deck TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You can travel from Paris to Barcelona in 6h25 by TGV, a relaxing journey catching up on your reading with a glass of wine.  Watch the video guide

 

The upstairs landing on a TGV Duplex showing the stairs down to the entrance door...

1st class seats on a TGV Duplex   An impressive TGV Duplex from Barcelona to Paris.

1st class seats on TGV Duplex upper deck.  That's a club duo on the left & a club quatre on the right.

 

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

Mt Canigou is visible from the Paris-Barcelona train for many miles

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  The 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou is visible on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 3:  Using the direct Luxembourg to Spain overnight train...


Brussels to Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve & Portugal from €122...

Brussels to Prague from €62...

Option 1, by sleeper train.  This is the time-effective option!

High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt   ICE3 second class ICE3 first class
Step 1:  Brussels to Cologne by high-speed ICE.  More ICE info.  

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Seats in both classes have power sockets.

A 1 2 or 3 bed sleeper on the Cologne-Prague overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

    4-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

    6-berth couchettes on the sleeper train to Prague

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

  The Kopernikus sleeper train to Prague...

Step 2, take the City Night Line sleeper train Phoenix from Cologne to Prague...  Above, the sleeping-car of the Phoenix seen at Prague Hlavni.

More pictures & information about the Cologne to Prague sleeper train.

Option 2, by daytime trains in around 11h59.  This is the leisurely option with a chance to stop over in Berlin if you like...


Brussels to Bratislava & Slovakia from €78...

Brussels to Budapest & Hungary...

Option 1, via the Cologne-Munich sleeper train...

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

The overnight sleeper from Munich to Budapest... This is the modern air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car of the Kalman Imre boarding in Munich.  The sleeping-car has 1, 2 or 3 berth compartments with washbasin, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  The fare includes a light breakfast of coffee, juice & croissant. Exterior photo courtesy of Istvαn Halαsz.  Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video.

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...

Option 2, via the Cologne-Vienna sleeper train. 

Option 3, via the Cologne-Munich sleeper train...


Brussels to Bucharest, Brasov & Romania...

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

Option 1, by sleeper train.  This is the time-effective option!

High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt   ICE3 second class ICE3 first class
Step 1:  Brussels to Cologne by high-speed ICE.  More ICE info.  

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Seats in both classes have power sockets.

The Jan Kiepura EuroNight train from Amsterdam to Warsaw   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Step 2, take the Jan Kiepura sleeper train from Cologne to Warsaw. This is one of the modern Polish sleeping-cars.  More information.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...

Option 2, by daytime trains in around 12h40.  This is the leisurely option with a chance to stop over in Berlin if you like...


Brussels to Moscow & Russia...

Brussels to Kiev & Ukraine...

Brussels to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm & Scandinavia from €78...

Option 1, using the Cologne-Copenhagen sleeper train (runs until 1 November 2014, after that use one of the other options shown below)...

High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Cologne & Frankfurt   ICE3 second class ICE3 first class
Step 1, Brussels to Cologne by high-speed ICE.  More ICE info.  

ICE3 2nd class.  ICEs are perhaps the most comfortable trains in Europe...

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Seats in both classes have power sockets.

Sleeping-car room - Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   4-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train  

A sleeping-car as used on the Cologne-Copenhagen overnight train

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most civilised option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

Step 2, take the excellent City Night Line sleeper train from Cologne to Copenhagen...

More pictures & information about this train...

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...

Step 3, take 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

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg, from from €78...


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

Option 1, by City Night Line 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...


Brussels to Belgrade & Sofia...

Brussels to Istanbul & Turkey...

Brussels to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Railbookers tailor-made train travel & hotels

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.com.

Call toll-free 1-800-408-3280 or www.us.railbookers.com.

Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 002 034 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 hotel...

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...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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