Travel tips to visit Belgium on a budget
It is very easy and also very cheap to travel through Belgium, it is actually one of its greatest advantages. In deed, the train is really not expensive ( 76 for 10 trips throughout Belgium, and even 50 for young people under 26 years). So, we advise you to see the most beautiful cities in Belgium by train!
How to GO TO BELGIUM ?
Belgium has five airports. The main airport is Brussels Zaventem. The main company is Belgian Brussels Airlines, other companies also take off from Brussels such as Easyjet (with 8 destinations), Jetairfly (not too expensive company that offers more distant destinations at four airports in Belgium), Lufthansa, United Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, U.S. Airways, Air Canada and American Airlines.
From the airport you can reach the center of Brussels by taxi (max 25), bus ( 3.50) or train ( 3). There is a train every 15 minutes to Brussels Airport and from there to many Belgian cities.
Other airports in Belgium are Brussels South Charleroi, Liege, Antwerp and Ostend.
All airports serve international flights. For intercontinental flights you have to go to Brussels.
Low-cost airlines Ryanair & Wizz Air depart from Brussels South Charleroi.
From Charleroi-Brussels, Brussels City Shuttle are scheduled every half hour to take you to the main railway station (Brussels Midi). The bus stop is located at the intersection of rue de France and rue de l’Instruction at the exit of the station. A single ticket costs 13, round trip 22. The trip takes one hour.
With shuttle bus Flibco, you can go to Bastogne, Luxembourg or Arlon for very cheap. The ticket price depends on when you book. The earlier, the more you’ll get a good price.
Charleroi Airport is also possible to reach Charleroi station, it takes about 20 minutes by bus. From the train station Charleroi-Sud many main lines are available. View schedules on the site of the SNCB, the Belgian railway company.
The Eurolines offers international travels and are also very cheap.
Buses depart from Brussels North, Brussels Fonsny, Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Liège, Leuven, Mons, Koksijde.
Reduced price for young people under 25 years. Very easy, do not forget to register at the counter before departure.
(Example: buses to Paris from Brussels North take around 4 hours and cost 25 )
Belgium is the passage of many international routes to neighboring countries
- Thalys/TGV : from Paris to Brussels Midi, Liège-Cologne and Antwerp-Amsterdam, sometimes to Ghent, Bruges and Ostend, and Brussels-Midi to the south of France. There is a daily connection from Liege to Paris via Namur, Charleroi and Mons. Brussels Midi is the most important station.
- ICE from Frankfurt to Brussels South via Cologne and Liège.
- Eurostar : direction London via Lille.
Book and find the prices & schedules on the Belgian site of Europe by train.
There are also cross-border trains from France, the Netherlands, Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
There is a night train from Brussels to Berlin and Hamburg in Germany and several international routes between Brussels and Switzerland (via Namur and Arlon) with the terminal Basel or Zurich via Chur.
The Belgian road network is free.
How to MOVe INside BELGIUM ?
Use TRAIN : it’s very cheap !
The website of the Belgian railway company (SNCB)
There are 3 types of train: IC (inter-city), IR (inter-regional) and L (local). The IC is the fastest track, then comes the IR. Do not take local trains as they are very slow because they stop at all stations.
There is a special ticket, GO PASS, valid for 10 train trips in Belgium and which only costs 50 for young people under 26 years and 76 RAIL PASS if older ! So a trip anywhere in Belgium costs maximum 7.6. For travel to/from Brussels National Airport with the Go Pass, you must pay a Diabolo fee of 2.10 per trip.
Tip: If you’re traveling alone and you’re not gonna use 10 trips, you can order in advance a “Go One-pass“, it is a ticket that can be purchased only on the website (not in the stations) . It only costs 6.50 for journeys between two Belgian stations.
Weekend tickets are valid from Friday evening (after 19h) to Sunday evening, it can benefit from 50% discount on Return tickets only.
B-excursions offer a discount by combining the train ride and admission ticket to a museum, tourist attraction, … in most tourist cities of Belgium.
During the holidays, there are special tickets: one day at sea or a day in the Ardennes. The Return must be done the same day.
The bus company in Wallonia is the TEC.
SOME INTERESTING WEBSITES TO PREPARE YOUR trip in Belgium
- Download brochures about the cities of Flanders: Plan, guide and route for the cities of Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, Mechelen and the Belgian coast
- Tourism Promotion Office Wallonia-Brussels
- Tourist information for Youth
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