The journey between Ostend and Eupen is regular and perfectly comfortable. One of the busiest segments of the route is between Bruges and Brussels, a trip that takes just over an hour. The trains are fast, and allow you to see parts of the Belgian countryside that you wouldn't otherwise see if travelling by plane. Most of the trains operating on this route have two tiers, so sit on the top deck for the best views.
Brussels is the capital city of Belgium, and the effective capital of the European Union. The majority of inhabitants natively speak French, although some still speak Dutch. Many multi-national companies have offices in the city, and it is also home to several universities.
Transport inside the city can be made by Metro, which features four lines with 60 stations. There is also an extensive tram system and overground commuter rail system which is well linked with the metro and bus network. Buses within the city are operated by TEC and De Lijn.
There are three principal rail stations in Brussels: Brussels Midi/Zuid, Brussels Central, and Brussels Nord. International, high-speed trains run to/from Brussels Midi/Zuid which is a short bus/tram/train ride to the city centre. International rail services connect the city to Cologne, Paris, London and Amsterdam.
One of the most popular international train service is the high-speed Eurostar service between St Pancras International Station at King's Cross in London, and Brussels-Midi/Zuid, the Eurostar acts as the UK's route into Europe, and from Brussels, passengers can catch a variety of services into the heart of Europe.
Taking just two hours and fifteen minutes from London to Paris, and with some services calling at Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Calais, and Lille en route, it is a fast option that can be taken without your feet leaving the ground. The Eurostar is also one of the cheapest ways to get across the channel, and offers a relatively luxurious alternative to flight. It is also one of the most regular services, operating up to 6 services a day from London to Brussels, as early as twenty-five past five in the morning, and as late as eight o'clock in the evening.
This direct service between Paris, Brussels and Cologne is particularly useful if you are travelling to/from other parts of Europe. Cologne links many European rail destinations, whilst Brussels and Paris have direct links with the United Kingdom via Eurostar.
This journey, made on board a high-speed Thalys service is the most convenient way to travel between the two cities, with regular services throughout the day. There is an alternative InterCity Express service that runs between Brussells and Cologne a few times each day, details of which can be found on its dedicated route page.
The journey between Paris and Amsterdam is very fast onboard this Thalys service. However, if travelling from the United Kingdom towards Amsterdam, you are best off taking the Eurostar to Brussels, and then joining this Thalys service there (rather than going into Paris), as it is much cheaper and quicker.
A new international coach service operating in Western Europe operates a service between Paris and Brussels via Lille. The service, managed by French rail operator SNCF, hopes to become a major player in the European coach market.
The journey between the two cities takes between four and five hours, whilst the journey between Brussels and Lille takes less than two.