There aren't any direct daytime trains from Bruxelles/Brussels to Berlin (they're near the top of SMTJ's European travel wish list), but it's usually a straightforward journey, most of which is on high speed lines.
But from May 25th there will be an option of taking a direct night train on three days per week
There are no direct daytime trains between Bruxelles/Brussels and Berlin but the simplest journey options involve only 1 x change of train at Koln Hbf station.
Making this connection in Koln is not absolutely guaranteed, but a typical transfer between trains is around 33mins, which should ensure a stress-free connection.
And IF the train from Bruxelles/Brussels does arrive in Koln/Cologne particularly late, tickets will be valid on the next train on to Berlin.
Between Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne:
ICE and Thalys trains share the service of direct trains between Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne.
This doesn't particularly affect the journey time and connections, but it matters when booking tickets.
DB generally offers the cheapest tickets on this route on this route, BUT it only sells tickets for journeys that involve taking an ICE train between Bruxelles/Brussels and Koln/Cologne; and NOT the connections which involve departing from Bruxelles by Thalys train.
up to 8 x connections per day
Change trains in: Koln/Cologne
There are no direct daytime trains from Bruxelles/Brussels to Berlin.
When travelling from Bruxelles/Brussels to Berlin by train, some journey options involve taking an ICE train on the first stage of the journey between Bruxelles and Koln/Cologne, while others involve taking a Thalys train between these two cities.
The ticketing terms and conditions vary depending on the trains you will be travelling by.
(1) ICE train + ICE train:
Bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date (usually)
Book 1st class ticket journey tickets for the ICE trains and your seat reservation is included - but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.
DB will have the cheapest tickets and price match with the other agents for the journeys which involve taking an ICE train from Bruxelles.
Rail pass users should take the ICE trains.
(2) Thalys train + ICE train:
Bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date (usually)
Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for the Thalys trains, but rail pass users will need to be pay a reservation fee prior to boarding.
DB does not sell tickets for the Thalys trains, so journey options involving both ICE and Thalys departures from Bruxelles can be compared B-Europe.
General booking advice for ALL journey options:
It can also be worth comparing the prices across the agents, particularly if you want to take a specific trains, as there can be variations in price.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Save A Train||from €39.90|
|Happy rail||from €39.90|
Final Destination: Frankfurt (Main) – the ICE trains
Final Destination: Essen/Dortmund/Koln – the Thalys trains
Most of ICE trains also call at: Bruxelles-Nord
Note that the Thalys trains do not call at Bruxelles-Nord.
Neither the ICE or Thalys trains call at Bruxelles-Central.
A choice of train services:
The service of high speed trains between Brussels/Bruxelles and Cologne/Koln is split between
ICE and Thalys trains.
The timetable is arranged so that either one of these types of trains departs in each hour.
The ICE trains travel at the same speed as the Thalys trains; most of the ICE trains are around 4 mins slower than the Thalys trains due to their additional station call at Bruxelles-Nord.
Departing from Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid station:
At Bruxelles Midi/Zuid station you will usually* have to pass through security checks before boarding these trains and queues can build up at busy times.
The security checks are at the entrance to platforms/tracks/voies 3 -6 and these ICE and Thalys trains to Koln are usually scheduled to depart from this part of the station.
But check the departure screens before heading for the security checks, these trains can occasionally be scheduled to leave from platforms/tracks/voies 7 or 8.
For virtually the entire train journey from Bruxelles to Koln the trains, will either be travelling at up to 290 km/h on a purpose built high speed line, or up to 220km/h on a section of line, that has been re-engineered to allow trains to travel faster.
The high speed part of the route comes between Leuven and Aachen.
Final Destination: Berlin-Gesundbrunnen
All trains also call at: Bielefeld, Hannover and Berlin-Spandau*
*If your final destination is in West Berlin, the fastest option is usually to leave these trains at Berlin-Spandau and connect there into S-Bahn commuter trains or Regio trains.
The station in the heart of West Berlin is Zoologischer-Garten, but these ICE trains do not call there.
If your final destination is to the north of the city centre, then it's likely that your best option is to take this train to Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station.
Check your onward connections in Berlin on this public transport map.
Travel overnight by train from Cologne/Koln to Berlin:
You can take an overnight train from Koln/Cologne to Berlin, but there are no sleeper trains between the two cities.
So if you need to be in Berlin by 07:00, you can take an ICE train, which happens to travel overnight.
This a journey on which we recommend having something to do on the trip, as it's a train ride with few wow moments.
A highlight of the train comes near the beginning, with the views over the city of Wuppertal, on the left hand side.
Between there and Bielefeld, the train will pass through an industrial landscape.
The train will travel at more than 250 km/h on a high speed line between Wolfsburg and Berlin-Spandau.
Final Destination: Berlin Hbf
This train also calls at Antwerpen Centraal; typically departs at 20:01
European Sleeper is a new train operating company with a mission to provide links between cities with no direct train connection.
It's trains aren't brand new, though they have been refreshed, but if you:
The train departs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Book early and save: Yes
Online Bookings Usually Open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date
The ticketing options depend on the type of accommodation you wish to travel by on the train.
The seats are straightforward, the ticket(s) will include a reservation.
In the couchettes you can either book a place; or solo travellers can pay more and book the entire compartment in order to have sole occupancy.
If you will be travelling in groups of 4 or 6 people, you will be the only occupants of the compartment.
But if you will be travelling in a group of 5, the only method to ensure you won't be sharing the compartment with somebody else, is to book six tickets.
Similarly if you will be travelling in a group of 3 and don't want to share a four person compartment with anybody else, you will need to book four tickets.
Female only couchette compartments are available.
The sleeping cabins are priced according to how many people will be occupying them during the journey.
Solo travellers can either:
Pairs of travellers, who are happy to share a cabin, can either:
Groups of 3 travellers will have sole occupancy of a triple cabin, but groups of four or more will need to split the accommodation to whichever suits them; 2 x double cabins, or 1 x triple + 1 x single etc.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|European Sleeper Train||*|
The train is typically scheduled to depart from Midi / Zuid station in Bruxelles/Brussel at 19:22.
Connecting trains typically depart from London St Pancras at 15:04 and from Paris Gare Du Nord at 17:25
The arrival time in Berlin is scheduled to be at 06:48.
Typical connections which should be available are:
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