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Frankfurt airport to Leuven, Belgium by train

Frankfurt airport to Leuven, Belgium by train

Oct 17th, 2014, 06:04 PM
  #1  
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Frankfurt airport to Leuven, Belgium by train

Hello fodorites,

I need help with my travel. I will be arriving at Frankfurt international airport on Sunday, Oct 19 at 10 am. I need to go to Leuven, Belgium. What are the train options? Also, is there a train station in Frankfurt international airport (FRA) for long distance trains?

Also, any recommendations for things to do in Leuven?

Thanks in advance!
fka2 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2014, 02:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,854
Here's the German rail website. You want Frankfurt flughafen (airport) for your departure station.

http://www.bahn.de/p_en/view/index.shtml
kybourbon is online now  
Oct 18th, 2014, 05:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Well the best connection is a 10;30 train with one connection that takes 3 hours - but I very much doubt you would be able to make that unless your plane arrives substantially early. Other trains have 2 or 3 change and take 4 hours or more.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 18th, 2014, 05:54 AM
  #4  
 
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Just a tip: if you need to take 3 or 4 trains to get there, click on the advanced tab at bahn.de and select a minimum connecting time (e.g., 25 minutes, or even 45 minutes if you really want to stretch it) - - that way, you are in better shape if a train is running late, and you also have time to relax and get a bite to eat between trains. Bahn.de will default to connecting times that can be just a few minutes.
dfourh is offline  
Oct 18th, 2014, 07:16 AM
  #5  
 
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Re things to do in Leuven, see my TR for a description of a day trip we took there on a trip to Belgium a few years ago. It is a very pleasant university city.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...etherlands.cfm

Brussels is a short train trip away, and many other interesting cities are close by. My TR describes other places we visited.

I am wondering why you are going to Leuven--what your interests are?
Vttraveler is offline  
Oct 19th, 2014, 05:34 AM
  #6  
J62
 
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I've been to Leuven numerous times on business and have found it to be a great town to explore the old architecture, and to enjoy good food and drink - beer of course (home of Stella). A walking tour around the university area, and the historic areas such as the old convent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_B...uinage,_Leuven

It is a very busy student town, both downtown and at the Katholic University on the outskirts. There is also the high tech research campus of IMEC. If I recall correctly next week is their semi-annual partner technology week (ptw), so there will be a lot of business visitors in town for that as well.

Best chocolate in town. Raets-Putseys is my favorite, but I hear the new best place is Tartufo.

From Leuven you can quickly get to Brussels by train, and to points west of Brussels such as Brugges for a nice day trip.

Restaurants I recommend: Kokoon, La Vita e Bella, Beluga, Turquoise
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Oct 21st, 2014, 12:36 PM
  #7  
J62
 
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Additional restaurant reco's

Koutoubiya - moroccan
Faculty Club (on KU campus)
J62 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 12:51 PM
  #8  
 
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Yes the odd connection with just one change runs only about every 4 hours - this goes first to Lieges then change to a regional train to Leuven, a Brussels suburbs a bit west of town - known for its august Leuven Catholic University - a university town but I thought it were neat.

Other train links take 4.5 hour (as nytraveler) says but you can leave anytime - most if not all go thru Cologne and yes involve 3-4 changes of train.

Advance fare can be as low as 39 euros either route - full fare about 102 euros so booking (in stone almost) weeks in advance can save a ton but since they are non-changeable and refundable minus a 15 euro penalty (I think) be sure you leave enough time for plane problems, airport congestions, etc.

Frankfurt Airport has two train stations - the older one nearer to the arrivals is the Lokalbahnhof (name?) or Regionalbahnhof for local trains and S-Bahns into Frankfurt Hbf (Hauptbahnhof or main in-town station.

The long-distance airport train station if called the Fernbahnhof and, duh, has mainly long-distance trains - it is a bit farter from the terminals by foot than the old regional train station so allow about 15 minutes walking time IME.

For lots or great info on German and Belgian trains I always spotlight these IMO superb sources: www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets, which sold in limited numbers must be booked weeks in advance for a specific train on a specific time on a specific date; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (on its home page link to the English language version of bahn.de - the German Railways pricing and scheduling and online booking engine - if discounted tickets remain it will be noted there under the 'Savings Fare' - if nothing remains it will only give full fare prices - easy to book your own ticket on this site - I give this home page's link to bahn.de because they also give you several tips to fully using the bahn.de site that may not be apparent to novice encounterers; and www.ricksteves.com.

You can always buy full-fare tickets upon arrival and get on any train (reservations on most not compulsory) if you are paying full fare - discounted tickets again can sell out way before the actual train date.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 01:40 PM
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a quick check of bahn.de shows all of the several trains I looked at leaving from the airport's long-distance train station or Fernbahnhof so leave a bit more time to get to that station.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 21st, 2014, 03:23 PM
  #10  
J62
 
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The OP arrived FRA Sunday am. I hope they are not still looking for a train to Leuven.
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Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:59 AM
  #11  
 
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Maybe they can report back about what happened - how long it took to clear customs, etc. and the train they took - etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #12  
 
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. I hope they are not still looking for a train to Leuven>

If they are they will never find one - that is from the airport to Leuven direct - hopefully they are out of the airport by now!
PalenQ is offline  
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