Bruxelles-Central/Brussel-Centraal

Bruxelles / Brussels, (Belgium)

Journeys from Bruxelles / Brussels

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About the station


Bruxelles-Central train station is aptly named as it’s located close to the heart of the city – Le Grand Place is only a 10 min walk away (if you don’t get lost in the maze of streets in this part of Bruxelles.)

Despite its great location, Bruxelles-Central is akin to a commuter station, rather than a major railway terminus.
It has fewer facilities than the city’s main station, Bruxelles-Midi and the ICEs and Thalys trains to/from the Belgian capital DON'T call at Bruxelles-Central.

However, they’re the only trains that pass through there without stopping.
Meaning that the Intercity Brussels trains to/from The Netherlands DO call at Bruxelles-Central.
So if you will be travelling between the very centre of Bruxelles/Brussels and Amsterdam, Den Haag/The Hague or Rotterdam by train, then the Intercity Brussels trains can be a better option than taking The Thalys.
Particularly as The Intercity Brussels trains now connect at Rotterdam into fast Dutch Intercity Direct trains to Amsterdam Centraal.

Boarding trains at the Central Station in Brussels

At Bruxelles-Central the voies (platforms/track) are located in a tunnel, similar to a Metro stop, the station experience is similar to using a large Underground station.
You won't see the trains arriving from a distance, instead they will enter the station from a tunnel.

The voies (French) / spors (Dutch)  have been brightened up as part of a recently completed refresh of the station.
However, frequent trains depart in rapid succession from each platform, so take extra care that you’re boarding the right train.
It can be a good idea to make sure you can see an electronic train departure indicator, from where you are waiting on the platform.

In common with most other Belgian stations the voies (platforms/track) aren’t zoned, partially because reservations aren’t available on any train that calls at Bruxelles-Central – including the InterCity trains.

People tend to congregate in the middle of the platforms, near to exits from the escalators on the voies (platforms/track).
So it can be easier to board the trains if you distance yourself from the crowds, by doing this you can also increase your chances of finding a seat.
However, the best option can be board the train by whatever door is nearest when it arrives and then move through the train to find a seat(s).

Arriving by train at the central station in Brussels:

If you have luggage it's worth seeking out the escalators which are on each platform/track at  Brussels-Centraal station, you don't have to use the stairs.
Though check the signage carefully as one set of escalators only gives access to the other platforms/spors and NOT the exit.

When ascending on the escalators which lead up to the exit,  you will initially be taken up  to the lower level concourse.
A short flight of stairs lead to the other  escalators which  up to street level - but these escalators don't head up to the main exit/entrance.
Instead when you step out on to the street by this exit, having taken this escalator route up from the trains, the main exit from the station will be over to the left.

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