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Traveling with Family from Ghent to Leiden - best way?

Hello! We are looking forward to a family trip this Spring to visit Ghent and Leiden and surrounding areas. Looking at train schedules online, it looks like we will need to transfer 2-3 times for this. The simplest trip is about $100/per adult and we are a family of five. Do you have a suggestion of the best way to travel? Once we leave from Leiden we will go to the Brussels airport. Thank you!

Posted by
6370 posts

Reading this I was surprised at the cost. According to both bahn.de and Rail Europe you get sent 'round the houses'.
So the trick seems to be to book it in two halves- Ghent to Antwerp which is $69.50 for the five of you, and then Antwerp to Leiden with a single change at Schipol Airport- on the xx44 from Antwerp that is $96 for the five of you so $165 for the five.
Also on Rail Europe Leiden to Brussels Airport is 1 change at Rotterdam at xx 35 past each hour for the 2 hr 15 minute journey- which is $153.50 for the five of you.
You have to be careful to select that route as the xx44 has a fast route with 2 changes, and a slow route (this one).
Tickets can be purchased through Rail Europe in $ or through NS International (Dutch Railways) in Euro.
The prices are pretty much the same so it doesn't matter much which site you choose.

https://www.nsinternational.com/en/traintickets-v3/#/search/BEABC/BEGNT/20230316?pax=A,A,A,A,A

Posted by
1382 posts

My guess is that you are looking at a 3rd party train ticket reseller. A train journey from Ghent to Leiden bought in advance and with regular trains should only cost €26,50 when you travel Monday -Thursday and €37 when you travel Friday- Sunday.
Buy your tickets on the official website of the Dutch national railway company; https://www.nsinternational.com/en

Posted by
1935 posts

So book this in one go on www.nsinternational.com. But pay attention: There are two main stations in Gen: St. Pieters and Dampoort. Depending on where you are staying one or the other may be closer.

And don't worry about short transfers. These are a normal and expected feature of train travel. In case you miss a train due to a delay you just take the next one.