Getting the Eurostar from London to Brussels

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of all kinds of planes, trains and automobiles. I love the speed, the excitement of going somewhere new and the chance to sit back, relax and stare idly out the window and watch the world pass me by.

I was more than a little excited to catch the Eurostar to Brussels a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that it was surprisingly smooth and easy. It was so easy that it actually made me feel guilty; It took two hours to get to Brussels, that’s less time than it takes to get to my parent’s house in North Wales, so why have I never been before?

It’s crazy how close we are yet the thought of going to a whole new country seems like such a faff that I never bothered but it was actually easy as pie.

Quick Facts

  • It costs from £69 return and the ticket will take you to any station in Belgium
  • The train takes 2 hours
  • You need to arrive at least 15 minutes before the train leaves
  • If you’re late, they do have a special queue for people taking the next train to leave
  • It will cost more if you travel at the weekend
  • The coffee and food on board is fine but expensive so you’re better off stocking up at the nicer cafes once you get through security. This applies for both London and Belgium stations

Here’s how it went…

I left my house at 7am on a miserable Saturday morning to catch the 8am Eurostar. Just as I was locking the door I had a last minute panic attack: “What if you’re meant to check in an hour before like you do on a flight?”

I spent the next 40 minutes sweating and willing the tube to go faster while I paced around in a circle like a dog trying to find a comfy spot. In situations like this I’m sure the tube driver can sense your intense urgency from the front of the train and purposely slows down and cautions his passengers at every single stop about the dangers of getting your coat stuck in the door.

After sprinting up a marathon of escalators at King’s Cross St Pancreas (with my suitcase in tow!), I arrived with 20 minutes to spare. Phew. This was more than enough time to get through security which was a quick ticket barrier, brief luggage scan and passport check and even I had enough time for a coffee and croissant which made me feel very European.

The train was spacious and comfortable and we arrived in Brussels at 11.04 feeling relaxed and unflustered.

Getting to Ghent

Inside the very pretty Ghent Train Station

If you plan to travel to somewhere else in Belgium, Brussels train station is really easy to navigate. We found the train to Ghent in no time and the trains seem to leave about every 12 minutes.

A return journey from London to Belgium costs from £69 on the Eurostar website. If you plan to travel over the weekend it is a little more expensive but it’s still cheaper than flying when you factor in the price of transport on either side of the airport.

TIP: The train to Ghent was included in the Eurostar ticket but this wasn’t obvious on the ticket. I was later told that this Eurostar ticket would take you to any Belgium station.

If you want to see more from Ghent, you can check out A weekend in Ghent: An Instagram Photo Essay and my stay in the Hotel Gent Clock Tower where I stayed in a magical room surrounding the train station clock!

Disclaimer: The trip to Ghent was sponsored by Visit Flanders but my new found love for the Eurostar is all my own.

Have you ever travelled by the Eurostar? If so, how did you find it?

 

 

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TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

SHOWHIDE Comments (11)
  1. Yeah, travel by Eurostar is the most convenient way definitely. I flew in twice to London from Brussels, and the hassle of checking-in, boarding then getting to the centre is already a return trip with the train.

  2. I love the Eurostar! I’ve taken it to Paris a couple of times and it’s just so easy going from central London right into central Paris. I think it has a bit more of the ‘glamour’ that train travel from yesteryear used to have ( at least it’s quite a bit nicer than the intercity ones in the UK), but maybe it’s because you can pop up in Belgium or Paris that it seems more special 🙂

  3. Note: Not all Brussels bound Eurostar tickets cover all stations in Belgium. Some of those booked online with the self print option are for Gare du Midi only. Check when booking.

    1. Thanks for that John. That’s good to know.

      My tickets were booked in Belgium so printed out in Dutch so it was tough to figure out where the tickets were to. The ticket man on the train from Brussels to Ghent was lovely though and you can buy tickets on the train if your Eurostar isn’t valid.

  4. Great post! Love the photos (especially the Ghent station one, beautiful!) I did the Eurostar trip from London through Brussels to Prague in January & have been daydreaming about doing it again lately. Thank you for taking me back there!

  5. So glad I found this post in your archives. I’m coming back to the UK for a visit in August and we want to take the Eurostar, but I was wondering how easy it *actually* was to get!

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