Travel to Belgium
Flying to Belgium
Flying from the USA to Belgium: American Airlines (www.aa.com), Delta (www.delta.com) and United (www.united.com) fly direct to Belgium. Flights to Belgium don’t vary considerably in price throughout the year; the cheapest tickets are those bought in advance.
Brussels Airport is located 17.5km (11 miles) northeast of central Brussels.Telephone
+32 2 753 7753Address
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Brussels South Charleroi AirportCode
The airport is 5km (3 miles) from Charleroi and 46km (29 miles) from Brussels.TelephoneAddress
To Brussels: from London - 1 hour 10 minutes; New York - 7 hours 25 minutes.
Travelling to Belgium by Rail
Eurostar (tel: 03432 186 186, in the UK only or +44 1233 617 575; www.eurostar.com) operates direct high-speed trains from London St Pancras (via Lille) to Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid (journey time - 2 hours).
Eurotunnel (tel: +44 8443 353 535; www.eurotunnel.com) runs shuttle trains for cars, bicycles, motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans and campervans between Folkestone in Kent, UK, and Calais, France. It runs 24 hours a day, with up to four departures an hour and the journey takes 35 minutes. Fares are charged according to length of stay and time of year and whether or not you have a reservation. Overnight journeys are cheapest.
Thalys (tel: +49 18 070 707; www.thalys.com) has numerous daily departures from Paris to Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid as well as from Cologne and Amsterdam.
NMBS/SNCB (tel: +32 2 528 2828; www.belgianrail.be), Belgium’s national rail service, operates frequent trains to destinations all over Europe, with hourly departures to Luxembourg and Lille.
EU residents can purchase an InterRail (www.interrail.eu) Pass. There are two types to choose from: the One Country Pass has a Benelux option allowing unlimited travel within and between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands for a period of three to eight days in a month; while the Global Pass is valid for train travel in up to 29 European countries for five days within 10 days, 10 days within 22 days, or 15 days continuous, 22 days continuous and one month continuous.
Non-European residents need to buy a Eurail (www.eurail.com) Pass instead. It offers broadly the same freedoms as the InterRail passes, and tickets are valid for five to 10 days of travel within two months.
Driving to Belgium
If driving to Belgium from the UK, you need to catch a ferry landing at either Calais or Dunkerque, and then follow the E40 east. The drive takes about two hours.
Travellers driving from France should follow either the E19 or E42, while visitors coming from Germany should follow the E40 west.
Eurolines (tel: +44 8717 818 178, in the UK; www.eurolines.co.uk) offers daily bus departures from London Victoria station to Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp. The journey takes 6 to 7 hours via the Channel Tunnel.
Getting to Belgium by boat
A handful of cruise operators dock on the Belgian coast at Zeebrugge and run inland trips to Bruges and Brussels.
P&O Ferries (tel: +44 800 130 0030; www.poferries.com) runs numerous daily departures from Dover to Calais (journey time - 90 minutes), as well as an overnight sailing from Hull to Zeebrugge (journey time - 13 hours).
DFDS (0871 574 7235 UK only; +44 208 127 8303 internationally; www.dfdsseaways.co.uk) sails from Dover to Dunkerque (journey time - 2 hours) and Calais (journey time - 90 minutes).
Belgium built its fortune on the back of its canals and trading still takes place along its 1,600km (994-mile) network of watery highways. Exploring them with your own boat is easy and popular routes are along the Scheldt, Leie, Sambre and Meuse rivers. Try Euro Canals (www.eurocanals.com) and European Waterways (www.european-waterways.eu) for more information.