Trains in Belgium and routes that make sense..help!

I'm heading to Amsterdam for a few days then want to travel thru Belgium seeing Ghent, Bruges, Mechelen and Edam. Is there a route that makes more sense w/o a lot of backtracking? Anyone been that can give me some advice? Going in October. TIA!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8742 posts

Ghent, Bruges, and Mechelen are all very close to each other and Brussels. It is very easy to base in Brugge and pop over to Gent or vice versa. Mechelen is easy on the way towards or going back. You do know that Edam is northeast of Amsterdam and not in Belgium, right?

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1339 posts

heres what i do and it works for me. 1. use google maps and print out a couple/several of the area. 2. plot the areas i want to go 3. look for a path or paths. note i dont know if its possible to go from a-b-c..ect, but i will get a lay of the where i want to go. 4. use google again for trains. 5. start plugging and chugging dates/time/places and see what comes up.
6. repeat the process if necessary. happy trails.

Posted by JILL
Federal Way, WA, USA
107 posts

Thank you! And no, I didn't realize that is where Edam is, thank you! Duh.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9108 posts

Trains in Belgium are not very expensive, and as the others noted, Gent, Brugge and Mechelen are fairly close to each other. If you're traveling with more than one person, you might want to purchase a rail pass from Belgian rail (not from Rail Europe or Eurail). I don't know what the current price is, but I think it's somewhere in the range of about €60. It gives you 10 trips within Belgium, but more than one person can use it. So, a round trip for two people from Gent to Mechelen would count for 4 of the 10 trips. You can buy this pass at any rail station in Belgium, no need to purchase in advanced.

Posted by JILL
Federal Way, WA, USA
107 posts

Thank you! Great idea on the railpass. I'm going to homebase in Brugges and day trip out. Been trying to plan this while a lot of other craziness is going on in daily life right now. But I want to get some sort of plan so I can book a room in Brugges or wherever before it gets too much later. Thanks again!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

If you are traveling by train the very first thing you should do is buy a copy of the latest edition of RAIL MAP EUROPE by Thomas Cook. We get ours through Amazon. Then you can see where places are in relationship to each other, and if trains go there.

Posted by Jim
Seattle
143 posts

Thanks from us also re the Belgium rail pass. We're traveling from Amsterdam to Belgium and have elected to lodge in Antwerp because it seems to be the most centrally located for day trips (bruges, Brussels, Ghent, etc) and is only a two-hour straight through (i.e., no ttanfers) trip from Amsterdam itself. If anyone here has a clue about the location of the nearest laundromat to our hotel, the Matelote, in the Old Town, that tip would be most appreciated.

Posted by JILL
Federal Way, WA, USA
107 posts

Jim, when is your trip? I'll be there starting 10/17. Can't wait!