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trains in Belgium

Westfield, New...
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trains in Belgium

My husband and I will be visiting Belgium in August. We plan to take the train from Brussels to Antwerp one day, Brussels to Ghent one day, and also Brussels to Brugges. I wanted to look ahead at train schedules; I understand that trains in Belgium are frequent and dependable. I checked out www.belgianrail.be and the fares are much higher than I anticipated. Am I looking at the correct website? I thought the fares are the same, no matter what time of day, and do not need to be pre-booked. Am I mistaken? I already did use that website to book a trip from Bruges to Amsterdam - hope i was correct in using this website.

Thank you in advance for your help. I am looking forward to visiting Belgium!

Mentioned in this post
Belgium
Belgium
Europe
Brussels
Brussels
Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
Antwerp Province, Belgium
Bruges
Bruges
West Flanders Province, Belgium
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
6 replies to this topic
Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: trains in Belgium

"I thought the fares are the same, no matter what time of day, and do not need to be pre-booked."

Domestic train fares are indeed the same (for the same category of traveller, i.e. child, youth, adult, senior) for travel between the same 2 places on the same date(s), no matter what time of day - you can't "book" for a specific time of day anyway - and whether you buy (up to 31 days) in advance - you cannot buy now for August - or on the date of travel.

"I checked out www.belgianrail.be and the fares are much higher than I anticipated."

Then your expectations were unrealistic! If you consider €7.70 for the trip from Brussels to Antwerp to be expensive, I can only assume that train travel in America is dirt cheap. Anyway, the price is what it is. Assuming weekday travel for the return trips to Antwerp and Ghent (it doesn't matter for Brugge which is a single trip only) and adding the return journeys to Brussels, standard fares are:

1. Brussels-Antwerp-Brussels: €15.40 x 2 persons = €30.80

2. Brussels-Ghent-Brussels: €18.60 x 2 persons = €37.20

3. Brussels-Brugge: €14.80 x 2 persons = €29.60.

Total €97.60 buying individual tickets, so it would be worth buying a 10-trip Rail Pass for €77, which can be used between you, for what happens to be exactly 10 single trips (4+4+2), see https:/…rail-pass.aspx

"I already did use that website to book a trip from Bruges to Amsterdam - hope i was correct in using this website."

If you started from the belgianrail site (e.g. clicking on "international" in the top right-hand corner) you will have been switched to https://www.b-europe.com/EN as Brugge to Amsterdam is an international trip and Belgian Railways (SNCB/NMBS) has separate websites for domestic and international journeys respectively. So you could not have booked to Amsterdam on the belgianrail site, but that is indeed the correct website to use for train journeys within Belgium. Although for times only (without prices) it is easier to use https:/…en because this is limited to trains and therefore stations, and doesn't cover Belgian buses, trams etc. as the belgianrail site does (requiring you to be able to distinguish train stations - with a B in an oval next to their name - from bus stops and metro stations with the same or similar names).

Mentioned in this post
Brussels
Brussels
Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
Antwerp Province, Belgium
Ghent
Ghent
East Flanders Province, Belgium
Bruges
Bruges
West Flanders Province, Belgium
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands
Belgium
Belgium
Europe
r c
Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: trains in Belgium

welcome,

its funny where people get their perceptions from. It really doesn't matter to me, since ive been traveling for 5 years now. The first time was a real eye opener, but i love it anyway and pony up when i need to.

you may want to get a reality check on things and prices and just realize somethings maybe less expensive there or maybe more expensive there. Gas/Diesel is one of them that is more expensive.

While you are paying for things, you can also do comparisons to back home costs if you want. Sometimes is funny to see what is more expensive and what is not too.

I really like to buy fresh squeezed orange juice and they have machines there to do it for you. So i will pay about 3~8? USD/liter for it. Its something i cant get at home so i give myself a treat.

with regards to the train ticket. I think its a deal. Locals my feel like they got robbed, but I dont have to drive and i can get about. have you calculated how much it cost you to own/drive your cars or rent a car?

also, consider the cost of the train ticket compared to the total cost of your trip. Its a small drop in the bucket. Choose your battles wisely and put some perspective on things.

good luck.

Westfield, New...
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3. Re: trains in Belgium

Thank you so much for your help, we will definitely purchase a 10 trip “package “.Looks perfect for our needs. I assume we can purchase in the central station prior to our first trip.

I read (in a book that was printed in 2017) that there is also the ability to purchase a 10 trip pass (in the book it was 14 euros but I imagine a bit higher price now) for public transport within the cities as well. Can be used in Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges etc. Is this still available? Could be useful getting from central stations to central areas in each city.

Again, thank you for your advice.

Mentioned in this post
Ghent
Ghent
East Flanders Province, Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
Antwerp Province, Belgium
Bruges
Bruges
West Flanders Province, Belgium
Champlon, Belgium
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7,928 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: trains in Belgium

Public transport is provided on a regional basis. Bruxelles is its own region, Gent, Antwerpen and Brugge are all in Flanders, so you can purchase a 10-trip ticket for STIB Metro, Bus and Tram services in Bruxelles, but you need to purchase a separate 10-trip ticket for DeLijn Bus and Tram services in Flanders (Gent, Antwerpen and Brugge).

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Ghent
Ghent
East Flanders Province, Belgium
Flanders
Flanders
Belgium
Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: trains in Belgium

"We will definitely purchase a 10 trip “package “ (..). I assume we can purchase in the central station prior to our first trip".

It isn't called a "package" but "Rail Pass" and you can buy it at any Belgian train station, from ticket machines or the ticket desks.

"I read (in a book that was printed in 2017) that there is also the ability to purchase a 10 trip pass (in the book it was 14 euros but I imagine a bit higher price now) for public transport within the cities as well. Can be used in Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges etc. Is this still available? Could be useful getting from central stations to central areas in each city."

Of the 3 cities mentioned, only Antwerp has a "central station": the problem with the main station in Ghent (Gent St. Pieters) is precisely that it is NOT central, and that's why you need to take a tram to reach the centre. In Brugge, on the other hand, the main station (called "Brugge"!) is only about 15 mins walk from the city centre but indeed De Lijn also operates buses in that city so you can use DL's 10-trip "Lijnkaart" in all 3 cities and anywhere else in Flanders. The current price is €16: https:/…lijnkaart.html

Mentioned in this post
Ghent
Ghent
East Flanders Province, Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
Antwerp Province, Belgium
Bruges
Bruges
West Flanders Province, Belgium
Westfield, New...
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6. Re: trains in Belgium

Thanks to everyone for your input, this information is greatly appreciated!

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