Bruxelles / Brussels to Den Haag / The Hague by train

How to take the rail journey from Bruxelles/Brussels to The Hague/Den Haag

The Dutch high speed railway between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, used by both the Thalys and Intercity trains from Brussels, bypasses Den Haag/The Hague.
So in order to maintain the direct rail link between the Belgian and Dutch seats of government, three of the daily Intercity trains from Belgium to The Netherlands were diverted in order to serve Den Haag/The Hague.
However, they terminate at the city's secondary station, Den Haag HS (the HS doesn't stand for 'high-speed').
Though Den Haag HS has excellent public transport links to the city center.

If you want to travel by train from Brussels to Den Haag Central station, the options are:

  1. take these direct trains to Den Haag HS and connect there for Den Haag Centraal.
  2. Take a high speed Thalys train to Rotterdam and connect there for Den Haag Centraal.
  3. Take an Intercity (IC) train to Breda and connect there for Den Haag Centraal.
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Routes

Option 1: taking the direct train to Den Haag HS

Travel Information

Most of the Intercity Brussels between Belgium and The Netherlands have now been diverted away from Den Haag/The Hague.

These three remaining departures depart from Bruxelles-Centraal at 06:50; 10:50 and 13:59 and from Bruxelles-Midi/South 5 mins earlier and from Bruxelles-Nord 6 mins later.

So work out which would be the optimum station to head to in the Belgian capital, in order to board these trains.

The Bruxelles/Brussel public transport map is here.

Final Destination: Den Haag HS

Note that these direct trains terminate at Den Haag HS station, so DON'T call at Den Haag Centraal station.

If you want to head to Den Haag Centraal, then take these trains, OR the Intercity Brussels trains heading to Amsterdam and then change trains at Breda.

A somewhat bizarre feature of this service is that THESE direct trains to Den Haag HS wait in Breda for 10 mins.
While they're at Breda station an Intercity Direct train heading to Den Haag Centraal, which also calls at Den Haag HS, is scheduled to arrive at the opposite platform/track.
That other train then heads off to Den Haag before THIS train departs, so gets there faster!

Note that these direct trains from Bruxelles trains do NOT call at Delft, so if you want to head to Delft from Bruxelles, the simplest option is to change trains in Breda.

3 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

There are now three options for train journeys between Bruxelles/Brussels and Den Haag/The Hague.

(1) These direct Intercity Brussels trains - which arrive at Den Hagg HS station.
They are the 06:50; 10:50 and 13:50 departures from Bruxelles-Centraal.

(2) Taking an Intercity Brussels train from Bruxelles to Breda and connecting there for an Intercity Direct train to Den Haag Centraal station

(3) Taking a Thalys train from Bruxelles to Rotterdam and connecting there for a 'Sprinter' train to Den Haag Centraal station.
This third combination of Thalys train to Rotterdam + a train to Den Haag Centraal is fastest, but usually more expensive - though the price difference can be less than €5, particularly if you can book more than a couple of weeks ahead.
Tickets for that alternative connection which includes a Thalys train from Bruxelles are only available from 4 months ahead of the travel date.

However, note that the Thalys trains only depart from Bruxelles-Midi/South station, but the Intercity Brussels trains also depart from Bruxelles-Centraal and Bruxelles-Nord.

Using rail passes:

Taking these IC Brussels trains is a good option for rail pass users – if you will be making this journey with an InterRail or Eurail pass you can avoid the rail pass reservation fees charged on the Thalys trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
NS Intl from €25

NS Intl Guide

NS is the Dutch national rail operator and it operates a bespoke website for the booking of international rail journeys from and to The Netherlands.
Therefore it offers tickets for journeys by:

  • Thalys trains to Bruxelles and Paris
  • IC trains to Berlin via Hannover and Bruxelles via Antwerpen
  • Eurostar to London
  • ICE trains to Basel and Frankfurt (Main) via Koln
  • the Nightjet trains to Austria and Germany

NS International also sells tickets to a range of destinations in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland, which involve a change of train in Germany, along with the destinations in France, which can be accessed by making a connection in Bruxelles.

B-Europe from €25

B-Europe Guide

B-Europe is the website provided by Belgium's national railway operator for the sale of international rail journeys from and to Belgium.
Therefore tickets can be booked for the following international train services to/from Belgium

  • Eurostar
  • IC trains to France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands
  • ICE trains to Germany
  • Thalys trains to Germany, The Netherlands and Paris
  • TGV trains to destination in France other than Paris
    B-Europe offers a 'Best Fares' policy for journey by these trains.

It also sells international end-to-end journeys solely by train, with connections outside of Belgium, if you will be heading to popular destinations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Users of Eurail and InterRail passes can also book seat reservations on the Eurostar and Thalys services without paying booking fees.

Omio from €25

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

SaveATrain from €25

SaveATrain Guide

Happyrail from €25

Happyrail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

On this journey

Good to Know

The alternative journey options:

(1) The fastest option for taking a train from Bruxelles to Den Haag is to take a high speed Thalys train to Rotterdam and then connect there for another train on to Den Haag/The Hague.
And if you can book tickets more than a couple of days ahead, that option can be around only €5 more expensive than taking these direct trains.

(2) If you will be buying tickets at the station, or only a few days before your travel date; and the timings of these direct trains don't suit, the cheapest option is to take two Intercity trains and change trains in Breda.

Option 2: taking two IC trains

Travel Information

In the hours where there are no direct trains from Bruxelles to Den Haag/The Hague there are two good reasons for taking this combination of two InterCity trains:

(1) you can travel between the city centres, this is the only combination of trains on which it's possible to travel in the one direction and depart from Bruxelles-Central and arrive at Den Haag Centraal.

(2) if you will be booking tickets after the cheapest deals on the Thalys trains have sold out, or will be using rail passes, this combination of trains will save money.

1 x connection per hour
 
The connecting time between trains in Breda will be around 5 mins, but if the train from Bruxelles is delayed remain on the train until it arrives in Rotterdam.
There are more trains per hour from Rotterdam to Den Haag Central than from Breda - and your tickets will be valid on any train from Rotterdam to Den Haag.

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

There are now three options for train journeys between Bruxelles/Brussels and Den Haag/The Hague.

(1) THIS combination of an Intercity Brussels train from Bruxelles to Breda and connecting there for an Intercity Direct train to Den Haag Centraal station.
When booking on NS International look for the journey option that has 'x1' and 'IC Brussel > IC'.

(2) Direct Intercity Brussels trains - which arrive at Den Hagg HS station - option 1

(3) Taking a Thalys train from Bruxelles to Rotterdam and connecting there for a 'Sprinter' train to Den Haag Centraal station - option 3.
This third combination of Thalys train to Rotterdam + a train to Den Haag Centraal is faster, but more expensive; though the price difference can be less than €5, particularly if you can book more than a couple of weeks ahead.

Tickets for this alternative connection which includes a Thalys train from Bruxelles are only available from 4 months ahead of the travel date.

However, note that the Thalys trains only depart from Bruxelles-Midi/South station, but the Intercity Brussels trains also depart from Bruxelles-Centraal and Bruxelles-Nord.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
NS Intl from €28

NS Intl Guide

NS is the Dutch national rail operator and it operates a bespoke website for the booking of international rail journeys from and to The Netherlands.
Therefore it offers tickets for journeys by:

  • Thalys trains to Bruxelles and Paris
  • IC trains to Berlin via Hannover and Bruxelles via Antwerpen
  • Eurostar to London
  • ICE trains to Basel and Frankfurt (Main) via Koln
  • the Nightjet trains to Austria and Germany

NS International also sells tickets to a range of destinations in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland, which involve a change of train in Germany, along with the destinations in France, which can be accessed by making a connection in Bruxelles.

B-Europe from €28

B-Europe Guide

B-Europe is the website provided by Belgium's national railway operator for the sale of international rail journeys from and to Belgium.
Therefore tickets can be booked for the following international train services to/from Belgium

  • Eurostar
  • IC trains to France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands
  • ICE trains to Germany
  • Thalys trains to Germany, The Netherlands and Paris
  • TGV trains to destination in France other than Paris
    B-Europe offers a 'Best Fares' policy for journey by these trains.

It also sells international end-to-end journeys solely by train, with connections outside of Belgium, if you will be heading to popular destinations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Users of Eurail and InterRail passes can also book seat reservations on the Eurostar and Thalys services without paying booking fees.

Good to Know

Final Destination: Amsterdam Centraal/CS or Den Haag HS

All trains also call at: Bruxelles-Central; Bruxelles-Nord

Good to Know

Final Destination: Den Haag Centraal

All trains call at: Delft and Den Haag HS

These trains use the Dutch high speed line between Rotterdam, but they don't travel at high speed.

Option 3: taking a combination of Thalys + IC trains

Travel Information

If you want to travel from Bruxelles/Brussels to Den Haag/The Hague by train as quickly as possible, you can save a minimum of 30 mins by taking this combination of trains.

Though as will be seen on the alternative options, this speed advantage is somewhat negated if the starting point of your trip is conveniently located to either Bruxelles-Central or Bruxelles-Nord stations.

Travelling on Mon-Friday:

The fastest connections involve taking a Thalys high speed train from Bruxelles Midi/South to Rotterdam and then making a 3 min connection there into a Sprinter train on to Den Haag Centraal.

It's why when you look up this journey on the ticket booking websites, you will see a combination of Thalys + Sprinter (Spr) trains listed
But you don't have to rush to make this tight connection into what is a local/commuter train.

12 mins after the Sprinter train has departed Rotterdam for Den Haag, there will be an InterCity (IC) train also heading to Den Haag Centraal.
So not only will you not have to rush to change trains against the clock, you will be travelling on a more comfortable train, which will arrive in Den Haag Centraal only 5 mins after the Sprinter train.

Tickets can be used on either this alternative IC train or the Sprinter trains between Rotterdam and Den Haag.

Travelling on Sat/Sun:

The timetable is arranged differently at weekends.
The fastest end-to-end journey times will be around 1hr 50 mins and the connections with this journey time involve taking a Thalys train to Rotterdam and the an IC train on Den Haag/The Hague.
That 1hr 50min journey time will involve making a 6 minute connection into the IC train, but tickets will be valid on the next train on to Den Haag from Rotterdam, if need be.

up to 11 x connections per day.

If you want to travel from Bruxelles/Brussels to Den Haag/The Hague by train as quickly as possible, you can save a minimum of 30 mins by taking this combination of trains.

Though as will be seen below, on the alternative connections, this speed advantage is somewhat negated if the starting point of your trip is conveniently located to either Bruxelles-Central or Bruxelles-Nord stations.

The alternative journey options:

(1) You don't have to change trains when travelling from Bruxelles/Brussels to Den Haag/The Hague.

There are still 3 x direct IC trains per day between the two cities, though the overall journey time will be slower.

(2) If the timings of those direct trains AND/OR the price of this combination of a Thalys train + another train don't suit, you can also travel from Bruxelles to Den Haag on an alternative combination of 2 x IC trains.

An advantage of taking those IC trains from Bruxelles to The Netherlands is that they call at Bruxelles-Central and Bruxelles-Nord stations.

If the starting point of your journey to Den Haag/The Hague is conveniently located to either of these stations:

  • you'll need to allow at least 10-15 mins to travel to Bruxelles-Midi station, in order to catch these Thalys trains,
  • and allow a minimum of an additional 15 mins in order to pass through the security checks at Bruxelles-Midi station.
Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

There are now three options for train journeys between Bruxelles/Brussels and Den Haag/The Hague.

(1) THIS combination of taking a Thalys train from Bruxelles to Rotterdam and connecting there for a 'Sprinter' train to Den Haag Centraal station.
When looking up this journey on NS International look for the options that have 'x1' and 'Thalys > Sprinter'.

(2) Direct Intercity Brussels trains - which arrive at Den Hagg HS station,

(3) Taking an Intercity Brussels train from Bruxelles to Breda and connecting there for an Intercity Direct train to Den Haag Centraal station.

This option is faster, but more expensive; though the price difference with taking the direct train can be less than €5, particularly if you can book more than a couple of weeks ahead.

Tickets for this connection which includes a Thalys train from Bruxelles are only available from 4 months ahead of the travel date - but the alternative journey options involving an Intercity Brussels train can be booked from 6 months ahead

However, note that these Thalys trains only depart from Bruxelles-Midi/South station, but the Intercity Brussels trains also depart from Bruxelles-Centraal and Bruxelles-Nord.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
NS Intl from €34

NS Intl Guide

NS is the Dutch national rail operator and it operates a bespoke website for the booking of international rail journeys from and to The Netherlands.
Therefore it offers tickets for journeys by:

  • Thalys trains to Bruxelles and Paris
  • IC trains to Berlin via Hannover and Bruxelles via Antwerpen
  • Eurostar to London
  • ICE trains to Basel and Frankfurt (Main) via Koln
  • the Nightjet trains to Austria and Germany

NS International also sells tickets to a range of destinations in Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland, which involve a change of train in Germany, along with the destinations in France, which can be accessed by making a connection in Bruxelles.

B-Europe from €34

B-Europe Guide

B-Europe is the website provided by Belgium's national railway operator for the sale of international rail journeys from and to Belgium.
Therefore tickets can be booked for the following international train services to/from Belgium

  • Eurostar
  • IC trains to France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands
  • ICE trains to Germany
  • Thalys trains to Germany, The Netherlands and Paris
  • TGV trains to destination in France other than Paris
    B-Europe offers a 'Best Fares' policy for journey by these trains.

It also sells international end-to-end journeys solely by train, with connections outside of Belgium, if you will be heading to popular destinations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Users of Eurail and InterRail passes can also book seat reservations on the Eurostar and Thalys services without paying booking fees.

Journey Features

High Speed (partial)

Good to Know

Final Destination: Amsterdam Centraal/CS

Aim to be at Bruxelles Midi/Zuid station a minimum of 10 - 15 mins before your train is due to depart.
You will have to pass through security checks before boarding this Thalys train and queues can build up at busy times.

The trains use the high speed line between Antwerpen and Rotterdam, but are not high speed between Bruxelles/Brussels and Antwerpen

These Thalys trains do not call at Bruxelles Central or Bruxelles Nord stations, but the alternative InterCity Brussels trains do call at those stations in the city.

Journey Features

Scenic - NoHigh Speed (partial)

Good to Know

Final Destination: Den Haag Centraal

All trains also call at: Delft; Den Haag HS

Den Haag HS is located on the eastern edge of The Den Haag/The Hague, while Den Haag Centraal lives up to its name, by being more conveniently located for the heart of the city.
Though it's worth trying to work out which of the two stations will give you the easiest access to your final destination in the city, particularly if you will be completing your journey by tram.

These Sprinter trains are 2nd class only

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