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Last updated : Nov 2009
Belgium Getting There - International Travel
Belgium International Travel - TravelPuppy.com
Air

Following the bankruptcy of Belgium’s international carrier, Sabena, in 2001, Belgium’s regional airline, DAT (Delta Air Transport), has launched its new European airline SN Brussels Airlines (SN). 53 European destinations are served as well as others worldwide. For further information, check online (website: www.flysn.com).

Approximate flight times:

From Brussels to London is 50 minutes
from Antwerp to London is 50 minutes.
From Brussels to Los Angeles is 16 hours and to New York is 7 hours.

International airports

Brussels Zaventem (BRU)

Located 12km (8 miles) northeast of the city with a travel time of 35 minutes. The Airport City Express train connects all 3 main railway stations (Brussels North, Central and South) with the airport, running every 15 minutes, 0600-0000 hrs, travel time is 15 to 20 minutes. The airport station is located on level 1 below the terminal. Other trains also depart frequently for the city and for destinations all over the country.

Coaches leave from the airport bus station on ground level for major cities in Belgium, France and The Netherlands.

Buses
run regularly to and from the city and the bus station is located below the Arrivals Hall.

Taxis to the city cost approximately €30, and are only available from outside the Arrivals Hall. All licensed taxis are recognisable by their yellow and blue licence emblems.

Hotel courtesy coaches go to Holiday Inn, Novotel and Sofitel.

There are helicopter services to and from Antwerp, Ghent and Kortrijk.

Airport facilities include car parking, car hire (Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt), post office, banks, bureaux de change, bars, restaurants, incoming and outgoing duty-free shops, medical facilities, computer and fax facilities and conference and business facilities.

(website: www.brusselsairport.be)

Antwerp (ANR) (Deurne)

Located 2km (1.2 miles) east of the city. There is a regular bus service (number 16) to the Central Station.

Taxis are available.

Airport facilities include an outgoing duty-free shop, car hire, Budget and Hertz, bank and bar/restaurant.

(website: www.antwerpairport.be)

Ostend (OST)

Located 5km (3 miles) from the city and has car parking facilities, car hire, bureau de change, restaurant, bar and duty-free shop.

(website: www.ost.aero)

Charleroi (CRL) (Brussels South Charleroi)

Located 5km (3 miles) from Charleroi and 46km (29 miles) from Brussels. Airlines serving the airports include Ryanair, which operates cheap flights to several European destinations from Charleroi.

Buses depart every 30 minutes to Charleroi with a travel time of 10 minutes. There are regular coaches to Brussels with a travel time 45 minutes.

Airport facilities include automatic money changer, car hire (Avis, Europcar, Hertz and TC Location), cafe, business lounge and duty-free shop.

(website: www.charleroi-airport.com)

Liège (LGG).

There are taxis and a regular bus service to the centre, 5km (3 miles) away.

Departure tax: None.

Sea/River

Antwerp is one of Europe’s busiest commercial ports, but passenger services generally operate out of Ostend or Zeebrugge.

P&O Ferries (tel: (08705) 202 020) operates between Hull and Zeebrugge with a journey time of approximately 14 hours.

Rail

The Belgium national railway, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (SNCB), operates frequent day and night trains to destinations in Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland and the UK.

High-speed trains – Trains à Grande Vitesse or TGV – operate between Belgium and France, connecting Brussels with destinations in Brittany, on the French Atlantic coast, the Côte d’Azur and the French Alps.

Cities that can be reached from Brussels by TGV include Bordeaux, Cannes, Chambéry, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Perpignan, Rennes and Valence. TGV trains departing from Brussels and need to be booked in advance. Further high-speed trains are operated by Thalys, a service jointly run by the the Belgium, French, German and Dutch national railways. The main international Thalys trains link Brussels to Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Cologne (Germany) and Paris (France).

Rail passes

International rail passes include the Eurail and Euro passes, available to non-European residents and permitting unlimited travel in most European countries for a period of 1 or 2 months, and the Interrail pass, permitting unlimited travel in Europe to European residents. The Benelux 5 day Tourrail ticket offers 5 days of unlimited travel within a period of 30 days by rail in Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands.

The Rail Plus Senior card is available to people aged over 60 and entitles the buyer to reductions of up to 25 per cent on international tickets in 19 European countries and for further information, contact Rail Europe (telephone number: (08705) 848 848, e-mail: reservations@raileurope.co.uk) or Belgian National Railways (telephone numer: (020) 7593 2332, fax number: (020) 7593 2333, e-mail: belrail@aol.com; website: www.raileurope.be or www.b-rail.be).

Channel tunnel

Eurostar
, a service provided by the railways of Belgium, France and the UK, operates direct high-speed trains from London (Waterloo International) via the Channel Tunnel to Brussels (Midi/Zuid). The travel time from London to Brussels is 2 hours 40 minutes.

For further information and reservations, contact Eurostar (telephone number: (0870) 160 0052 (travel agents) or (08705) 186 186 (public, within the UK) or (+44 1233) 617 575 (public, outside the UK), e-mail: sales.enquiries@eurostar.co.uk), or Rail Europe (telephone number: (08705) 848 848). Travel agents can obtain refunds for unused tickets from Eurostar Internet Contact Center, 2nd Floor, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PP. Any complaints and comments may be sent to Eurostar Customer Relations Travel Centre, 1-1-G Eurostar House, Waterloo Station, London SE1 8SE, UK. General enquiries and information requests should be made by telephone.

Road

There are good road links from most of the European countries. Eurolines, departing from Victoria Coach Station in London, serves destinations in Belgium. For further information, contact Eurolines (52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1, telephone number: (08705) 143 219 or www.nationalexpress.com).

Channel Tunnel

From the UK, all road vehicles are carried through the tunnel in shuttle trains running between the 2 terminals, 1 near Folkestone in Kent, with direct road access from the M20, and one just outside Calais with links to the A16/A26 motorway (Exit 13). Each shuttle is made up of 12 single and 12 double-deck carriages, and vehicles are directed to single-deck or double-deck carriages depending on their height. Facilities for cars and motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft) and Bicycles are provided for. Passengers generally travel with their vehicles.

Heavy goods vehicles are carried on the special shuttles with a separate passenger coach for the drivers. Disabled Passengers are well catered for. Passenger Terminal buildings contain a variety of shops, restaurants, bureaux de change and other amenities.

The journey takes about 35 minutes from platform to platform and around 1 hour from motorway to motorway. Eurotunnel runs up to 4 passenger shuttles per hour at peak times, 24 hours per day and services run every day of the year.

For further information about departure times of shuttles at the French terminal, contact Eurotunnel Customer Information in Coquelle (telephone number: (3) 2100 6100). Motorists pass through customs and immigration before they board the train, with no further checks on arrival. Fares are charged according to length of stay and time of year and whether or not you have a reserved. Promotional deals are frequently available, especially outside the peak holiday times. Tickets may be purchased in advance from travel agents, or from Eurotunnel Customer Services in France or the UK with a credit card. For further information, brochures and reservations, contact Eurotunnel Customer Services UK, PO Box 2000, Folkestone, Kent CJ18 8XY (telephone number: (0800) 096 9992, e-mail: callcentre@eurotunnel.com; website: www.eurotunnel.co.uk).
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Belgium.