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Travel between Brussels-Zaventem to Ghent

I have signed up for back-to-back Rick Steves tours in June/July. I will fly from Edinburgh, Scotland to Brussels-Zaventem airport on July 12. My Scotland tour ends on July 12 and the Belgium/Netherlands tour begins on July 12 in Ghent at 4:00 pm. Will it be possible for me to arrive in Brussels at 2:00 pm, get through the airport and catch the direct train from the airport and arrive in Ghent by 4:00 or is this time schedule too tight? I've never been to Brussels before and have no idea what to expect. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Posted by
1326 posts

Even if you are very lucky and arrive on schedule, get off the plane ahead of everyone else, zip through the airport, and work out the timing to jump on a train as it's about to leave the station, and get one of the direct trains that don't require you to change at Bruxelles-Midi, you will arrive at Gent-Sint-Pieters, which is probably not walking distance to the location of your opening dinner (or whatever the kickoff activity is at 4pm), so that will require a taxi or tram ride. I would say you have no chance of pulling this off.

Can you depart earlier? Or would it be tragic to miss this opening activity in Ghent and meet the tour group later?

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you so much for your input. There is an earlier option to leave Edinburgh at 5:55 am. Looks like that will be my best bet! Thank you again.

Posted by
16791 posts

[Edited] I did not find a flight that arrives at 2:00 p.m. using www.skyscanner.com and agree that a 6:00 a.m. departure is your best plan to make it to Ghent in time. You will probably not be the only person leaving this early, if some tour members are flying home that day.

Posted by
8 posts

Interesting. I did my flight search on Google flights yesterday and there was a mid-day flight option direct from Edinburgh to Brussels. I just searched again, and that option is gone. Good to know. That certainly solves my problem. Looks like it will definitely be the 5:55 am flight for me. Thank you for your help!

Posted by
787 posts

Sounds like fun. we did the Holland/Belgium last april . A fantastic tour. We stayed in brussels three days before our tour started. We caught the midi train to Ghent. It did not take that long. then took a cab from the train station to our hotel. We stayed at hotel harmony. Very lovely hotel. they finished up some remodeling this year. Loved our cabbie, exciting car ride thru the streets! LOL. Think you better get that early start. I agree it could take some time.

My 2018 pre planning is taking the 10 Scotland tour combine with the 8 day heart of Ireland in april of 2018. You will have to report back to me on your Scotland trip.

hope all works out for you.