Trains in Belgium

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Oct 9th, 2018, 05:06 PM
  #21
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We will need a train to Amsterdam from Bruges, the train from Brussels to Antwerp is a Belgium train ? Doesnt travel out of country ?
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Oct 9th, 2018, 10:49 PM
  #22
 
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No need to validate your ticket on trains in Belgium; just have the ticket with you or on you phone and show it in case asked.
Amsterdam-Brugge can be done on an intercity, with a change of trains in Antwerp. You can book on the Belgian or Dutch rail site. These are regular trains, every hour or so.
Or you can take a faster Thalys from Amsterdam to Antwerp and change there for Brugge; if you take the 'any Belgian station' option you can continue to Brugge on the same ticket.
Thalys trains require reservation in advance, with reserved seats; you cannot take another train, you have to take the one you booked! And tickets become more expensive the longer you wait.
Intercity tickets are valid for any train that day, There is a slight advantage to buying in advance (a few euros cheaper per ticket at least a week in advance).

If you are only in Antwerp for a few nights I would go for a hotel; there are Airbnbs, but these can be a hassle. You have to meet with someone at a certain hour to get keys, settle in, get your groceries.
If you are new to European travel, it is MUCH easier to be in a hotel, where you can ask the concierge or front desk about anything you need to know. You can drop you luggage if your room is not ready. It's easier to meet other people.
There are no issues with Airbnb in Antwerp. I live in Antwerp, so don't stay in hotels, but I do know a lot of them. What's your budget?

This is opening early next year near central Station - about 89 euro per double room;
HOME
This is a modern youth hostel, great location, that has twin rooms from about 66 euro
https://www.jeugdherbergen.be/en/antwerp
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Oct 10th, 2018, 11:18 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Tulips View Post
No need to validate your ticket on trains in Belgium; just have the ticket with you or on you phone and show it in case asked.
Amsterdam-Brugge can be done on an intercity, with a change of trains in Antwerp. You can book on the Belgian or Dutch rail site. These are regular trains, every hour or so.
Or you can take a faster Thalys from Amsterdam to Antwerp and change there for Brugge; if you take the 'any Belgian station' option you can continue to Brugge on the same ticket.
Thalys trains require reservation in advance, with reserved seats; you cannot take another train, you have to take the one you booked! And tickets become more expensive the longer you wait.
Intercity tickets are valid for any train that day, There is a slight advantage to buying in advance (a few euros cheaper per ticket at least a week in advance).

If you are only in Antwerp for a few nights I would go for a hotel; there are Airbnbs, but these can be a hassle. You have to meet with someone at a certain hour to get keys, settle in, get your groceries.
If you are new to European travel, it is MUCH easier to be in a hotel, where you can ask the concierge or front desk about anything you need to know. You can drop you luggage if your room is not ready. It's easier to meet other people.
There are no issues with Airbnb in Antwerp. I live in Antwerp, so don't stay in hotels, but I do know a lot of them. What's your budget?

This is opening early next year near central Station - about 89 euro per double room;
HOME
This is a modern youth hostel, great location, that has twin rooms from about 66 euro
https://www.jeugdherbergen.be/en/antwerp
Thank you for all ur info, can you recommend a current hotel, kind of centrally located.

while in Antwerp what means do you all use to get around if Uber isnt available

my wife and i reviewed some Hostals and thats not for us

Last edited by kgveteran; Oct 10th, 2018 at 11:20 AM.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 12:38 PM
  #24
 
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Everything of interest in central Antwerp is easily walkable - tulips in an Antwerpian or whatever they call locals and will confirm or not but after umpteen visits to Antwerp everything I wanted to see was walkable - very pleasant pedestrian area.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 12:50 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Everything of interest in central Antwerp is easily walkable - tulips in an Antwerpian or whatever they call locals and will confirm or not but after umpteen visits to Antwerp everything I wanted to see was walkable - very pleasant pedestrian area.
thank you
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Oct 10th, 2018, 01:33 PM
  #26
 
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tulips doesn't mention 1st v 2nd class but I think any train in a dense country where many trains are commuter trains can get crowded at certain times of day. With luggage in tow I'd consider first class is not too much more - more room for luggage and bigger seats and fewer seats per carriage.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 09:17 PM
  #27
 
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For tickets just within brussels, I'd just buy them on the day. The price doesn't change unlike in Italy. You don't get a reserved seat, it's first come first serve. Or if you're keen to pre-buy the tickets to save time etc. Then use loco2, they are great. They have first and second class like the trains in italy, but you don't get a welcome drink or snack. It's just more roomy. https://loco2.com/. In Belgium we used the ticket machines, which have an English function, very simple. Also did a day trip on the weekend and it was 50% return legs. (so yea within belgium, buy at the machine).

PS. I used https://loco2.com/ to buy all my tickets. They were often cheaper than buying direct with the rail. I bought tickets from Barcelona to Paris, Paris to Belgium and all around Italy (fast trains).

Last edited by MaryAlex; Oct 10th, 2018 at 09:22 PM.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 10:07 PM
  #28
 
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I tried loco2, but on a stretch I'm looking at, Rotterdam - London, it lists a one way journey for about €250, while NSInternational prices at about €80. That may be a fluke though. I think trainline.eu might be the better site for booking European train tickets
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Oct 10th, 2018, 10:49 PM
  #29
 
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Antwerp is easily walkable. There's also a metro, and taxis. Taxis are expensive though.
What's your budget for a hotel per night in Euros?
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Oct 10th, 2018, 10:59 PM
  #30
 
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I usually get 2nd class tickets unless the price difference is small. For example, tomorrow the Intercity to Amsterdam from Antwerp is 32 euro one way - 53 first class.
For tickets later this month there are rates of 21 euro 2nd class and 29 euro 1st class.

That's a larger difference than I thought - it is definitely worth booking these trains in advance.
I usually travel off-peak and have no problem finding a seat. This is different when you travel in rush hour, when you may not find a seat.
Buying first class does not guarantee a seat; there are no seat reservations on Intercity trains.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 03:22 AM
  #31
 
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Why do you think trainline.eu is better? I found loco2 to be excellent. You literally get emailed a code. No ticket or printing needed. I used loco2 to book tickets all across europe without any issues. Also loco2 has no booking fees or hidden charges.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 05:12 AM
  #32
 
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Trainline doesn't have booking fees or hidden charges, either. I just find Trainline to be simpler to use, and we use a heckuva lot of trains in Europe. I like that they store all my discount/frequent passenger information so I don't have to keep entering it, but maybe loco2 does as well.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 10:33 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Tulips View Post
Antwerp is easily walkable. There's also a metro, and taxis. Taxis are expensive though.
What's your budget for a hotel per night in Euros?
100euro’s ($115usd) for our two nite stay in Antwerp

Last edited by kgveteran; Oct 11th, 2018 at 10:36 AM.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 11:03 AM
  #34
 
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Per night or for two nights total - if latter look for hostels. Even 100 euro for a good hotel could be iffy if want central location.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 11:09 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Per night or for two nights total - if latter look for hostels. Even 100 euro for a good hotel could be iffy if want central location.
100euro per nite :0)

we are walkers, so central location is best, and the 100 euro per nite is a ballpark number

Last edited by kgveteran; Oct 11th, 2018 at 11:13 AM.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 11:10 AM
  #36
 
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Well if anyone would know Tulips will.
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Oct 11th, 2018, 11:13 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Well if anyone would know Tulips will.
you folks are the best !
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Oct 11th, 2018, 03:35 PM
  #38
 
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You may want to make a new post with Antwerp Hotel something in title to attract comment on that. Old threads in any case get read less and less.
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Oct 12th, 2018, 12:13 AM
  #39
 
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100/night is a low budget. May be a challenge to find something in the old town center. Try
  • www.trypantwerp.com
  • Holiday Inn Express on 'Eilandje'
  • HOME - this hasn't opened yet, is due to open spring 2019. Very good deal in Pelikaanstraat, next to Central Station
Or Pulcinella - it's a youth hostel, but very modern with twin rooms.

Or search on booking.com.
I don't stay in hotels in Antwerp but can give you feedback on location.
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Oct 12th, 2018, 12:25 AM
  #40
 
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Generally the "metro" of European cities is clean and efficient, so not at all like New York. When things break down (as does happen) it is useful to have a local travel app and to listen out to the tannoy, in Belgium the important ones will be in excellent English as well as some of the local languages, You will also find that Train and Metro staff speak English often to a very high level.

Generally everyone in a uniform can be asked to travel advice though the young people in military with sub machines on are to be left to get on with their job.
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