Train travel in Belgium is one of the best options to see the country. Especially if you are based in Brussels, you can easily do daytrips to all cities for cheap!
Belgium has a very well developed train network. First of all, there are the so-called Thalys trains. I won’t focus on these now as the Thalys is mainly connecting international destinations with Brussels.
While the train also stops in cities like Antwerp, it is way more expensive than normal trains and thus no real alternative. Yet, it is worth noting that the Thalys is extremly comfortable and really feels like a luxurious train, especially in First Class!
Something I really adored about train travel in Belgium is the fact that the trains operate extremely frequent. Most major cities are conneceted with each other pretty much every thirty minutes. Be aware that there are faster and less fast trains between the metropolises in Belgium.
While most trains go through Brussels, there are also several other direct connections with good frequencies. A good example are the direct InterCity trains between Brugges and Antwerp. While it is worth checking the schedule on the website of Belgian Railways prior to your journey, it usually isn’t a problem just going to the station and waiting for the next train either!
While I really like the frequency of the trains in Belgium, something I don’t really like about train travel in the country is the lack of consistency. Some of the trains are rather modern and quite comfortable to take. Others are extremly old and run down and even come without air-conditioning.
This is especially problematic as it is hard to predict whether you get a new or a run down train. However, I never had problems getting a seat, which I found quite comfortable. While there is also a First Class in nearly all trains, the seats don’t really differ that much from Second Class.
Last but not least, it is worth talking about prices for train travel in Belgium. If you are under 26 or elderly, you can take any train to any destination for only 6 Euro when buying your ticket upfront at a counter or a machine. Also, tickets are quite cheap on weekends.
During the week tickets can be a little more expensive, yet they are still relatively reasonably priced compared to other countries. There is a price difference depending on the distance you want to cover by train, but prices are never really high. Compared to other means of transport, train travel in Belgium is by far the most cost-efficient way to get around the country!