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Weekend Day Trip to Leuven

I would like to take advantage of a weekend half price ticket on Belgian Rail to travel from Brussels to Leuven on Sunday, June 14th, but I also want to make a side trip in the morning to the Foundation Arboretum Wespelaar. Here are my questions:

If I purchase a roundtrip weekend ticket from Brussels North station to Wespelaar-Tildonk in order to first visit the arboretum, will I be able to stop in Leuven on the return journey and still use the same ticket for my return from Leuven to Brussels? Or should I purchase a roundtrip ticket to Leuven and use a separate ticket for the trip to Wespelaar? If the first option is available to me, would I be able to travel to Wespelaar-Tildonk with a train change in Mechelen and then return to Brussels via Leuven, or do the outward bound and inward bound routes have to be exactly the same to use the weekend ticket?

I am also planning to take a day trip to Antwerp on Saturday, June 13th, preceded by a visit to the Kalmthout Arboretum in Kalmthout in the morning. Can I use a weekend ticket from Brussels to Kalmthout and on the return journey stop in Antwerp for several hours?

Thanks.

Larry Currie

Posted by
1666 posts

Good question. I use the Dutch names for the stations and places. If you buy a ticket from Brussel to Wespelaar-Tildonk you will travel from “Zone Brussel” to Wespelaar-Tildonk. Zone Brussel means you can start in the urban area Brussel from any station you like. Travelling from or to Brussel-Noord or Brussel-Centraal the route is over Mechelen so you have to change trains there. But travelling from or to Brussel-Zuid the route is over Leuven, so have to change trains there. So if you stay near Brussel-Noord and you want to travel over Leuven you have to go first to or arrive in Brussel-Zuid, being in the same “Zone” as the other stations in Brussel you don´t need a seperate ticket.

If I don´t misunderstand your question in this specific case the outward and the inward route don´t have to be the same unless the ticket states a specific station and so a specific route instead of a “Zone” if you know what I mean. So you can go outward over Leuven and come back over Mechelen to my opinion with the same weekend ticket, but best is to ask when buying the ticket in the station to be sure.

You can stop with a point to point ticket as much as you like on the same date the ticket is valid, as long you stay on the same route and don´t travel backwards. So you can stop in Antwerpen for a few hours if / as it is on the route between Kalmthout and Brussel.