Belgium is a treasure trove of historic cities, captivating culture, and architectural beauty. Its efficient rail network makes exploring the country by train a breeze. Here’s a suggested itinerary to maximize a week-long Belgian rail journey:

  • Days 1-3: Brussels
    Start in the dynamic capital city and experience:
    • Grand Place: A magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site, considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
    • Manneken Pis: The quirky, world-famous statue of a peeing boy.
    • Belgian Comic Strip Center: Delve into Belgium’s love for graphic novels.
    • Atomium: A unique, futuristic landmark from the 1958 World’s Fair.
  • Days 3-4: Gent Take a train from Brussels to the picturesque city of Gent. Discover:
    • Gravensteen Castle: A medieval fortress with stunning city views.
    • St. Bavo’s Cathedral: Admire the Ghent Altarpiece, a masterpiece of Flemish art.
    • Graslei and Korenlei: Stroll along these scenic quays filled with guildhalls and cafes.
  • Day 4-5: Antwerp A short rail trip takes you to Antwerp, Belgium’s diamond hub and a city of art and fashion. Explore:
    • Central Station: An architectural gem in itself.
    • Rubenshuis: The former home of the Baroque master painter, Peter Paul Rubens.
    • Grote Markt (Market Square): Antwerp’s beautiful central square with its Brabo Fountain.
    • MAS (Museum aan de Stroom): A museum with breathtaking city views.
  • Day 5-7: Brugge The postcard-perfect Bruges is a quick train ride away. Get ready for:
    • Markt (Market Square): The heart of the city with its beautiful Belfry tower.
    • Burg Square: Bruges’ historic and administrative center.
    • Boat tours: Explore the city’s enchanting canals.
    • Basilica of the Holy Blood: Home to a revered relic.
  • Day 7: Liege From medieval gems, journey to the industrial heartland of Liege:
    • Liège-Guillemins railway station: An architectural marvel designed by Santiago Calatrava.
    • Montagne de Bueren: Climb these 374 steps for a panoramic city view.
    • The Grand Curtius: A museum complex showcasing Liege’s history and art.

Estimated Rail Costs:

Single train tickets between these cities are quite affordable. Here’s a general idea:

  • Brussels to Gent: €10-€15
  • Gent to Antwerp: €10 – €15
  • Antwerp to Brugge: €10 – €15
  • Brugge to Liege: €15-€20

Consider purchasing a Belgian Rail Pass if you plan on extensive travel. These passes offer unlimited train journeys within Belgium for a set number of days.

Additional Tips:

  • Purchase train tickets in advance for potential savings, especially during peak season.
  • Belgian train stations often have luggage lockers for convenient storage.
  • Belgian cities are compact and walkable, perfect for exploring on foot after your train journey.

Belgium is a delight to discover by rail. With a planned itinerary and a sense of adventure, you’ll create unforgettable memories throughout this charming country.

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