Trains to Antwerp

The Belgian city of Antwerp has nudged its way up the popularity stakes and now rivals Bruges as the country’s leading destination for city breaks. Antwerp is the English rendering of the city known in Dutch as Antwerpen and in French as Anvers. The one-time industrial city has recast itself as a trendy and fashionable place to live or to visit. Antwerp’s wow factor starts as you arrive at the city’s beautiful central station. It sets the scene for a city that boasts many superb buildings. Among the most photographed is the striking Stadhuis on the oddly shaped central square (called Grote Markt).

Take time to explore Antwerp’s diamond district, the Zurenborg quarter with its eclectic architecture, and the wonderful mix of galleries and museums. After dark, Antwerp comes alive with a busy club scene rated by many as being the edgiest in Belgium. One Antwerp museum not to be missed is the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS for short) which tells the compelling story of Antwerp and its port. With its oddball design (a pile of red lego bricks!), MAS links the dockland area with the city.

A highlight for late 2019 is the long-awaited reopening of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) after several years of renovation work. Its collection of Flemish art is second to none.

The main railway station is a 20-minute walk east of the Grote Markt and the River Schelde. Trains leave every few minutes for Brussels, most taking about 45 minutes for the run south to the Belgian capital. There are regular Intercity services - generally hourly - to Bruges, Ostend, Charleroi, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Amsterdam and Lille Flandres.

Thalys’ sleek red high-speed trains run several times each day from Antwerp to both Paris and Amsterdam. The operator also offers seasonal ski trains (branded Thalys Neige) to the French Alps. From spring 2019, there will be direct services from Antwerp to Paris CDG Airport and to Marne-la-Vallée (which is the station serving Disneyland Paris).

Eurostar launched a direct service from London to Amsterdam in spring 2018 and the Antwerp authorities lobbied hard for those Eurostar trains to stop in their city. Without any luck, as it happens, so for the foreseeable future travellers from London to Antwerp will have to take Eurostar to Brussels, from where it just a short hop on frequent local trains to Antwerp.

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Train tickets in Belgium

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.