Getting Around in Belgium, Visiting Belgium - Allo' Expat Belgium
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Getting Around in Belgium
 
 
 
 
 

By Rail

Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (SNCB) (Belgian National Railways) (Tel: (02) 528-2828; www.b-rail.be) operates a comprehensive railway network with regular trains on most lines. On the main lines there are more frequent trains. Brussels is one of the major high speed train hubs for northern Europe, and with five stations tucked in the city limits, options abound when it comes to getting in and out of town by rail.

Eurostar ( Tel: (02) 400-6731; www.eurostar.com ) has regular daily service between Brussels Midi Station and London via the Chunnel. Thalys high speed trains connect Brussels Midi station with Amsterdam, Netherlands and Cologne, Germany, as well as a wealth of destinations in France. France is also linked to Brussels with TVG trains, which (via transfer) will put you in just about any town in the country. InterCity, InterRegional and EuroCity trains link Brussels to Europe's most important cities with daily and in cases like the ICB Benelux train to Amsterdam, hourly service. Nighttrains offer long haul alternatives on most of these routes.

First- and second-class, single and return tickets are available. However, a return ticket is double the single fare and is only valid on the day of issue. Children under 12 travel free in second class (restrictions apply).

Weekend return fares are available from Friday (after 7 pm) to Sunday for the outward journey and on Saturday and Sunday for the return journey (on long holiday weekends, these periods are extended). A 50% reduction card is also for sale. It entitles the holder to buy an unlimited number of half-price single tickets. Go Pass offers preferential tariffs for 10 second-class trips within one year to people aged under 26. The Rail Pass offers preferential tariffs for 10 second-class trips within one year to people over 26. People aged 65 and over benefit from special tariffs.

Rail Passes

InterRail’s One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month within Belgium. Travel is not allowed in the passenger’s country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children’s tickets are reduced by about 50%. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes.

By Road

Traffic drives on the right. Main towns are connected by toll-free motorways. Motorways are designated by a white ‘E’ on green signs, other trunk roads by the prefix ‘N’, and minor roads by a ‘P’. The national speed limit is 120 kph (75 mph) on motorways, 90 kph (56 mph) on single lane roads and 50 kph (31 mph) in town. It is compulsory for seat belts to be worn in the front and back of vehicles. Children under 12 are not permitted to travel in the front seat of a car. A warning triangle must be displayed at the scene of a breakdown or accident. It is compulsory to carry a fire extinguisher or first aid kit in all vehicles. Trams always have priority on roads.

Bus

Extensive regional bus services are operated by the bus companies which publish regional timetables. The main operators are De Lijn (Tel: 070-220-200; www.delijn.be) in Flanders, and TEC (Tel: 010-235-353; www.tec-wl.be) in French-speaking Wallonia. There are long-distance stopping services between towns.

Eurolines (Tel: (02) 203-0707; www.eurolines.be) stationed out of CCN Gare du Nord, has frequent routes to and from most European cities.

Taxis

There are a lot of taxis in all towns. The tip is included in the final meter price. If there are no taxi stands, taxi companies may be telephoned for an small extra charge. Taxis are not hailed in the city, but are positioned on most major streets.

You can call a service and have a taxi dispatched from one of the following companies: Autolux ( Tel: (02) 411-1221), Taxis Verts (Tel: (02) 349-4646), Taxis Orange (Tel: (02) 349-4949 ) and Taxis Bleus (Tel: (02) 264-9801).

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