Fastest journey3hr 14m
It is easy to take the train from London to Antwerp. The journey requires just one change of train at Brussels Midi. There are between six and ten departures from London each day, the exact number varying by day of the week. The journey starts with a high-speed run on Eurostar from London to Brussels. In Brussels, you change onto an Intercity train for the short onward journey to Antwerp.
Tickets for your journey from London to Antwerp via Brussels normally go on sale three months prior to travel. This route carries a lot of business traffic, so it pays to book well in advance if you are keen to get a bargain fare. But even closer to your travel date, it’s often still possible to get a reasonably priced ticket if you are prepared to travel on one of the more lightly loaded off-peak services.
London to Brussels
Board a Eurostar service from London St Pancras to Brussels. Little more than an hour after leaving London you’ll already be in northern France, speeding through Flanders fields towards Lille Europe, where almost all Brussels-bound Eurostar trains make an intermediate stop. Some trains make up to three additional stops – at Ebbsfleet, Ashford and Calais.
From Lille, it is just 35 minutes to Brussels, where Eurostar trains terminate at Brussels Midi station. Trains run every five minutes from Brussels Midi to Brussels Central (for the city centre). Your Eurostar ticket is valid for this short onward hop within Brussels.
Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar’s airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. This is a light-touch security scan, and there are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.
Brussels to Antwerp
Intercity trains leave Brussels directly for Antwerp three or four times per hour. These services all serve three stations in the Belgian capital: Midi, Central and Nord. The journey from Brussels to Antwerp runs through the densely populated Flemish region of Belgium. The travel time is between 45 and 60 minutes, with most trains making four or five stops along the way. Upon arrival in Antwerp, trains stop first at Antwerp Berchem. For the city centre, it is better to stay on board and alight at Antwerp Central.
There are also occasional Thalys trains which run non-stop from Brussels Midi to Antwerp Central. They take just 35 minutes, but are usually very expensive. Advance reservation is compulsory for Thalys. So we advise sticking to the Intercity trains, where your ticket can be used on any train.
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Image credits: Amberes-Central