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Facts about Belgium

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Timezone: 1+ UTC
  • Language: French, Dutch, German

Belgium has reinvented itself over the last 20 years, doing much to refute earlier claims that the country is boring. Its radical edge, its affection for comic art and the surreal, and its cosmopolitan character all make Belgium a great place to visit. From the wistfully beautiful flatlands of Belgian Flanders to the hill country of the Ardennes, Belgium offers some gorgeous rural landscapes. In its cities – the capital Brussels and provincial cities such as Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp – Belgium has some of Europe’s finest townscapes.

Three Belgian cities are on Europe’s high-speed rail network. They are Brussels, Antwerp and Liège. Thalys operates fast trains to Paris from all three cities. Eurostar services from London and Lille run into Brussels. There are direct high-speed trains (either Thalys or Deutsche Bahn ICEs) from both Brussels and Liège to seven major German cities, among them Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt-am-Main. From Brussels and Antwerp there are over two dozen direct trains each day to both Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

The Belgian national rail operator SNCB offers a high-frequency Intercity and local train network which extends to all parts of the country and across Belgium’s borders to Aachen (Germany), Lille (France) and Maastricht (Netherlands). There are no seat reservations or advance booking discounts on Intercity or local trains in Belgium. It’s an easy to use hop-on-and-ride service. While there are no rail routes to rival the Alps in terms of scenery, there are some very pretty rides. A favourite is the line which runs south from Liège through the Ardennes region to Luxembourg.

Image credits: Bruges, Belgium © Martin Molcan

Passenger age requirements

Different countries have different classifications for "Child" and "Youth". That's why we ask you to enter the age of young passengers when you search.

Countries Children Youths
Belgium and Luxembourg 6 - 11 12 - 25
Eurostar 4 - 11 12 - 25
France* 4 - 11 12 - 25
Germany* 6 - 14 15 - 25
Italy 4 - 11 12 - 25
Netherlands (including Thalys) 4 - 11 12 - 25
Spain* 4 - 13 14 - 25
Switzerland 6 - 16 17 - 25
United Kingdom* 5 - 15 16 - 25
others 4 - 11 12 - 25

* There are some exceptions to these definitions. Please see child and youth passenger age requirements for more information.

You can also read about Youth and Senior discounts and railcards.

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