Belgium is a small but prosperous nation located in the far north-west corner of continental Europe and its capital Brussels is home to the European Union. Book a train ticket to Belgium and snack on the delicious moules-frites or enjoy the seemingly endless selection of beers which you can sample in the majestic squares of Antwerp or along the quaint canals of Ghent.
Belgium is located on the northwestern coast of mainland Europe and is extremely well-connected to the United Kingdom by train. Travellers can reach the capital, Brussels, in under 2 hours from London St Pancras where you can connect to local services if the city is not your final destination. Brussels-Midi is the terminating station for Eurostar services for trains to Belgium and the busiest in the country. As well Eurostar, Brussels-Midi also serves as the connection for high-speed services north to Amsterdam and south to the French capital, Paris. Highlights of a visit to Brussels include the charming Manneken Pis and the majestic Grand Square in central Brussels.
While Brussels is a magnificent city and a must-visit on any European adventure, the rest of the country has plenty to offer. Antwerp is famed for having the most impressive station in the country (Antwerpen-Centraal) and plenty to do and see including its famed Diamond District. For something a little more low-key, head to either Ghent or Bruges. Both are magnificent medieval cities with Bruges being the more laid-back, and quaint of the two. Travel by train from Antwerp to Brussels in 35 minutes, or to Ghent in just 30 minutes.
Brussels: The capital of Belgium is packed full of exciting things to see and do. Highlights include the humourous Manneken Pis statue, the imposing King's House in the Grand Square and the Gothic Town Hall. Hergé, the creator of Tintin, is one of Belgium's most famous sons, and fans of comic books shouldn't miss the Belgian Comic Strip Centre.
Ghent: Much of Ghent's charm comes from strolling around its medieval streets and admiring the architecture and canals. Don't miss the historic belfry or the Cathedral of St. Bavo - two of Ghent's undisputed highlights.
Antwerp: Located on the River Scheldt, Antwerp is situated at a confluence of history and modernity with the charming old town surrounded by outstanding contemporary museums such as the Museum Ann De Stroom, the largest in the city.
Bruges: Cobbled streets and canals await those who visit this beautiful city. Excellent bars serving Belgian beer and fabulous restaurants are tucked away in narrow streets amid the churches and belfries of Bruges. This is a city of hidden treasures waiting to be explored.
Dinant: Situated on the banks of the Meuse River, Dinant is a geologically impressive town with cliffs soaring over the town's gothic skyline. Known for Dinant Notre Dame Cathedral and the Castle of Vêves, this idyllic town exudes historic charm.
The Eurostar, which opened back in 1994, has been connecting the United Kingdom with mainland Europe for over two decades. Trains depart from London's St Pancras International Station, with the quickest journey time to reach Brussels in just 1 hour and 48 minutes. Some trains are fractionally slower, especially if they make a stop at Lille in northern France. Eurostar services terminate at Brussels Midi from where travellers can connect to services which run to every corner of the country. Belgium's small size means that travel times to onward destinations is minimal and most popular destinations are little more than 30 minutes away from the capital.
It's worth pointing out that apart from Brussels, it's possible in theory, to get the Eurostar to the city of Bruges. It will involve taking a Eurostar service from London to Brussels then changing to an SNCB train to Bruges. For those living in the south-east of England, connecting with the Eurostar at stations other than London St Pancras may also be possible. Some Eurostar services call at Ebbsfleet International Station and Ashford International Station in Kent but not all services departing from St Pancras call at these additional stations, so be sure to check schedules before purchasing your tickets. When travelling on international trains, be sure to arrive at the station well in advance to complete the necessary customs and boarding procedures.
Brussels South: The largest station in the country and one of three main stations in the capital. Located in the Saint Gilles area of the city, Brussels-South is also known as Brussels Midi and Brussels Zuid.
Brussels Central: First built in 1952, the second largest station in Brussels has services to all major domestic stations in Belgium. No international services operate from Brussels Central.
Brussels North: Domestic and international services call Brussels North if passing through. However, no trains begin or terminate at this station. Thalys trains don't stop here but international city services operated by Belgian and Dutch national rail do.
Ghent-St-Pieters: Ghent's main station is the third busiest in the country with over 17 million passengers using the station each year. First constructed in 1881, Ghent St Pieters has 12 platforms.
Antwerp-Central: The architecture of Antwerp is known as some of the most beautiful in the world and even passing through Antwerp Central station is a delight. Take some time to admire the building upon arrival or departure.
To get a lowdown on the Belgian rail network and the type of trains that operate in within the country, have a look at our trains in Belgium page to get you on track.