Fastest journey1hr 8m
It is easy to travel by train from Brussels to Rotterdam. The two cities are just 150 kilometres apart and the fastest trains take little more than an hour for the cross-border journey. Belgium and the Netherlands are both members of Schengen so, while there may be some light-touch security checks on the train, there are no frontier formalities as such.
Bookings for the high-speed trains on this route open four months in advance of travel. Both cities are key business centres, so it’s a route where trains can be busy. You are more likely to find a bargain fare if you can travel at off-peak times. Note that, in addition to the fast Thalys trains on the Brussels-Rotterdam route, there are also slowly intercity trains, which generally run hourly. For these slower trains we can only sell postal tickets, which must be mailed to a UK address.
Brussels to Rotterdam
There are generally two trains each hour from Brussels to Rotterdam. All trains leave from Brussels Midi. One train each hour is an Intercity service which is comfortable but slow. It makes eight stops along the way including a very useful alternative Brussels pickup point at Brussels Central very close to the Grand Place in the heart of the city. This train also stops at Brussels National Airport.
The other hourly train on this route is a high-speed service operated by Thalys. It makes just one stop; that’s at Antwerp. The Thalys train takes 70 minutes for the run from Brussels Midi to Rotterdam Centraal. That’s an hour faster than the Intercity.