Public transport in Belgium

How to get around

There are multiple ways to travel around in Belgium. The public transport network is quite extensive and you will easily be able to go from place to place using trains, buses, trams and the metro.

Public transport in Belgium

The MOBIB travel card

Belgium has an excellent public transport network which is both cheap and efficient. The MOBIB card is an interoperable smart card issued by the NMBS/SNCB, the National Railway Company of Belgium.

It can be used for the entire Belgian public transportation network. You can upload multiple tickets for different forms of transportation on this card but it is not a ticket itself.

Visit the Belgian Rail website  for more information on the MOBIB card and how to get one.

Train

Traveling by train in Belgium is a great way to get from city to city. Train travel is easy since it’s primarily a regional system that takes you from location to location in no time at all.

You can conveniently connect to the rail network from Brussels National Airport and travel into Brussels, or on to Antwerp or historic Bruges. First class accommodation is available at your choosing.

You can find all the information you need about using the train in Belgium on the SNCB website . This includes information on timetables, domestic connections and international rail links.

The following people can travel for free:

  • Children under 6 years of age accompanied by a passenger of 12 years of age or older carrying a valid travel document (maximum 4 children).
  • Children from 6 to 12 years of age accompanied by a person of 12 years of age or older carrying a valid travel document, on condition that they travel after 09:00 on weekdays (maximum 4 children).
  • Children under 12 years of age with a ‘large family reduction card’. Only valid in second class.
  • Employees of companies that have an agreement with NMBS to pay 80% of the rail pass. The government pays the remaining 20 %.
  • Journalists travel free in second class.

Bus

The bus is a convenient means of travel and the network covers a wide area not served by other forms of public transport.

The bus routes in Belgium are handled by three different companies: De Lijn, TEC and STIB. De Lijn is responsible for the network in Flanders, while TEC handles bus travel in Wallonia. The STIB buses cover the Brussels metropolitan area.

Tram - metro

Tram and the underground metro are ideal to get around in the city. They encounter little or no hindrance from other forms of traffic and bring you safely and quickly to numerous destinations within the city limits.

You can travel by tram in the cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi. You can also travel along the Belgian coast by taking the kust (coast) tram.

The metro is currently only available in Brussels. The metro forms part of the STIB  network together with the bus and tram services of the Brussels metropolitan area.

Airports

Belgium has multiple airports with scheduled services on commercial airlines.

  • Antwerp International Airport (ANR)
  • Ostend-Bruges International Airport (OST)
  • Brussels Airport (BRU)
  • Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL)
  • Liège Airport (LGG)

Alternative ways

Besides the public transport there are also other ways to move around in Belgium.

One of the most popular types of transport is the citybike. These bikes are used by many locals and are available in some big cities. Because they are all founded by different companies, they all have different names as well. For example, in Antwerp they are called Velo  while in Brussels they have the name Villo .

Another easy and fast way to get around a city are with the electric city scooters . You just have to check the app if there is one closeby, scan the QR code on the scooter with your phone and you are good to go!

These types of transport are only good for short distances. If you need to travel for a long distance, a good way to get to another destination is with carsharing. With car sharing you can use a car for a certain amount of time and pay for the kilometres and time you are using it. It is very easy and usually cheaper than renting a car from a car rental company. Cambio  and Poppy are two carsharing companies. Poppy has stations within the city limits of Antwerp and Brussels, while Cambio has stations throughout the regions of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia.

The MOBIB travel card

Belgium has an excellent public transport network which is both cheap and efficient. The MOBIB card is an interoperable smart card issued by the NMBS/SNCB, the National Railway Company of Belgium.

It can be used for the entire Belgian public transportation network. You can upload multiple tickets for different forms of transportation on this card but it is not a ticket itself.

Visit the Belgian Rail website  for more information on the MOBIB card and how to get one.

Train

Traveling by train in Belgium is a great way to get from city to city. Train travel is easy since it’s primarily a regional system that takes you from location to location in no time at all.

You can conveniently connect to the rail network from Brussels National Airport and travel into Brussels, or on to Antwerp or historic Bruges. First class accommodation is available at your choosing.

You can find all the information you need about using the train in Belgium on the SNCB website . This includes information on timetables, domestic connections and international rail links.

The following people can travel for free:

  • Children under 6 years of age accompanied by a passenger of 12 years of age or older carrying a valid travel document (maximum 4 children).
  • Children from 6 to 12 years of age accompanied by a person of 12 years of age or older carrying a valid travel document, on condition that they travel after 09:00 on weekdays (maximum 4 children).
  • Children under 12 years of age with a ‘large family reduction card’. Only valid in second class.
  • Employees of companies that have an agreement with NMBS to pay 80% of the rail pass. The government pays the remaining 20 %.
  • Journalists travel free in second class.

Bus

The bus is a convenient means of travel and the network covers a wide area not served by other forms of public transport.

The bus routes in Belgium are handled by three different companies: De Lijn, TEC and STIB. De Lijn is responsible for the network in Flanders, while TEC handles bus travel in Wallonia. The STIB buses cover the Brussels metropolitan area.

Tram - metro

Tram and the underground metro are ideal to get around in the city. They encounter little or no hindrance from other forms of traffic and bring you safely and quickly to numerous destinations within the city limits.

You can travel by tram in the cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Charleroi. You can also travel along the Belgian coast by taking the kust (coast) tram.

The metro is currently only available in Brussels. The metro forms part of the STIB  network together with the bus and tram services of the Brussels metropolitan area.

Airports

Belgium has multiple airports with scheduled services on commercial airlines.

  • Antwerp International Airport (ANR)
  • Ostend-Bruges International Airport (OST)
  • Brussels Airport (BRU)
  • Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL)
  • Liège Airport (LGG)

Alternative ways

Besides the public transport there are also other ways to move around in Belgium.

One of the most popular types of transport is the citybike. These bikes are used by many locals and are available in some big cities. Because they are all founded by different companies, they all have different names as well. For example, in Antwerp they are called Velo  while in Brussels they have the name Villo .

Another easy and fast way to get around a city are with the electric city scooters . You just have to check the app if there is one closeby, scan the QR code on the scooter with your phone and you are good to go!

These types of transport are only good for short distances. If you need to travel for a long distance, a good way to get to another destination is with carsharing. With car sharing you can use a car for a certain amount of time and pay for the kilometres and time you are using it. It is very easy and usually cheaper than renting a car from a car rental company. Cambio  and Poppy are two carsharing companies. Poppy has stations within the city limits of Antwerp and Brussels, while Cambio has stations throughout the regions of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia.

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: