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have you taken the train from the Amsterdam airport to Brussels?

We signed up for the Belgium-Netherlands tour for next spring and wanted to fly nonstop so we booked our tickets roundtrip PHL to
Amsterdam as there is no nonstop to Brussels .. I know there is a train right from the Amsterdam airport into Brussels and we are arriving a couplel days before the tour starts. Have any of you done that, and if you did stay in Brussels for a night, where did you stay? I see the royal greenhouse may not even be open that early, but there must be some fun things to do:-)

Posted by
5686 posts

I have not taken the train directly from the airport, but I have taken trains between Amsterdam and Brussels. Very easy. I stayed a night in Brussels near the Central station, which is close to the Grand Place. I don't remember where I stayed - something forgettable I booked on Priceline. Very walkable area.

Some high speed trains may not stop at the central station, so you might need to change at the Nord station - I don't remember.

Posted by
6416 posts

Regarding the train, you have the choice between high-speed Thalys trains and hourly Intercity trains.
The high-speed trains save 30-40 min but they require reservations for a specific train (same day tickets are very expensive and can sell out) and they only stop at Bruxelles Nord and Midi instead of the more-convenient Central station.

Whereas on NS International, you can buy a full-flex ticket for about 50€ valid for any Intercity train on the day of departure, and it is a one-seat ride to Bruxelles Central. I would recommend that option.

Posted by
422 posts

I took the train from Amsterdam's main train station to Brussels in 2012, but then went to Bruges for two days. I saw Brussels again after my stay in Bruges on my way to France.

I wish I had stayed in Brussels. I'm told the musical instrument museum, art galleries and eateries are excellent.

More important, sometimes it's about the environment and atmosphere of a place, rather than a multiplicity of sites. Brussels struck me as cosmopolitan yet relaxed. It might well be a well-kept secret among European cities.

Posted by
3990 posts

What is a "one seat ride"? I'm sure once you explain it will be overwhelmingly obvious. Thx

Posted by
13257 posts

I've done that from Schiphol to Brussels and like Balso's suggestion regarding the ticketing.

IF you are going to spend a night in Brussels, I do recommend going to the Centraal Station. There are several hotels just a block or less from the train station on Place Agora which is between the Centraal Station and The Grand Place. It's been several years but I stayed at the Ibis off Grand Place at that location but there are 3 or 4 more right there. There are a number of restaurants in Galeries Royal Saint-Hubert which is one of the oldest covered shopping arcades in Europe. Great chocolate shops there. I also recommend at least having a beer at one of the sidewalk cafes on the Grand Place - so cool!

Rick has a decent DIY walking tour of the Grand Place and area surrounding it.

Posted by
1013 posts

“The high-speed trains save 30-40 min but they require reservations for a specific train (same day tickets are very expensive and can sell out) and they only stop at Bruxelles Nord and Midi instead of the more-convenient Central station.”

This is not correct. Thalys trains only stop at Brussels Midi, they do NOT stop at Brussels North.

Posted by
1013 posts

@Patty; what are your travel dates? I ask because you say you travel in spring. Should you wish to see the tulips in bloom, you should aim to be in the Amsterdam region in the second half of April. So depending on when the tour starts and ends, it might make more sense to spend your pre-tour days in Amsterdam.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everybody for your great info.. I found some good YouTube videos of people actually walking from the airport to the platform for the train to Brussels.- well the Thalys train to Midi station anyhow. It showed how to buy a ticket .. we may just take the local train so we can go to Central station and be close to a hotel we would like and the Grand Place too. Thanks again!

Posted by
1991 posts
Posted by
1013 posts

Patty, if the videos you found showed how to buy tickets for the train to Belgium, it’s not very likely that these tickets were for the highspeed Thalys trains. Walk up tickets for Thalys trains are very expensive.

If you plan to take the non highspeed train to Brussels, you don’t have to wait until you arrive at Amsterdam Airport before you buy your train ticket. A train ticket for the regular train from Amsterdam to Brussels central is valid on all trains on the day mentioned on your ticket. These trains have free seating, so you can just take any regular train to Brussels.
You can buy your tickets online on the website of the Dutch national railway company which is called NS. NS operates the regular non-highspeed train to Belgium. Buy your tickets here;

Posted by
5169 posts

What is a "one seat ride"?

Pat, I think balso means that it's a nonstop ride