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Planning a trip to Brussels? Thanks to its fascinating museums and art galleries, architecture, rich history and fabulous food, it’s a popular city for weekend breaks. But it’s also the political capital of Europe and an important business hub, so many people also travel there for work.
Whether you’re visiting Brussels for work or play, you’ll need to know the fastest, cheapest and most convenient way to get there from the UK.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about taking the Eurostar from London to Brussels. This includes the rail route, timetable, prices and how to get your tickets.
We’ll even throw in a hot tip for low-cost holiday spending. Get the Wise international debit card and you can spend and withdraw cash in EUR at the mid-market exchange rate. Your GBP is converted to EUR whenever you spend, so there’s no need to visit the Bureau de Change or carry cash around.
But more on that later. Let’s get back to the Eurostar, starting with the average journey time from London to Brussels.
The Eurostar is a high-speed train, which travels at a maximum speed of 186 miles per hour¹. So, it’s safe to say that it’s pretty fast.
A typical journey time from London to Brussels is 1 hour and 53 minutes¹. However, some services can take a little longer, with some journeys clocking in at around 2 hours and 9 minutes².
The Eurostar rail route from London to Brussels starts at London St Pancras International. This is the main hub for Eurostar in the UK, and it even has its own section of the station.
After leaving London, the train travels through the Channel Tunnel into northern France. It crosses into Belgium, before arriving at Brussels Midi station. This is one of the city’s main stations.
Some Eurostar services from London to Brussels do stop at Lille Europe³ in northern France.
However, you won’t need to change trains and the stop is factored into the overall journey time.
There are direct Eurostar services from London to Brussels departing roughly every two hours. The earliest is around 6.16am, with the last service of the day around 6.04pm².
You’ll need to check times for your chosen dates on the Eurostar website, as they can vary, especially on weekends.
Now, let’s take a look at how much it costs per person to take the Eurostar from London to Brussels:
There are plenty of flights from the UK to Brussels, especially from London. A number are cheaper than the standard Eurostar one-way fare, but only just.
For example, you can get a direct one-way flight from London Heathrow to Brussels with British Airways for just £46 a person⁵. This may not include baggage though, so there could be extra charges.
The flight is quicker than the train too, taking just 1 hour and 15 minutes⁵.
However, it could actually end up taking longer when you factor in time to get to the airport, check in and pass through security.
With the Eurostar, security checks tend to be very quick so you don’t usually need to arrive as early as you would for a flight. And you can just step straight off the train right into the city centre.
It’s quick and easy to buy your Eurostar tickets online. You can go directly to the Eurostar website, where you’ll enter your travel dates, departure and arrival stations. You’ll see all your options for travel times and prices, so you can start to put together your travel plans.
Alternatively, you can buy your tickets at another train ticket website such as Trainline.com.
There are a few ways you can lower the cost of your train journey to Brussels. The first is to book in advance. As a general rule, Eurostar trains are cheaper the further ahead you book, with most routes available for booking around 6 months in advance³. Leave it too late and the Eurostar service can become very expensive.
As you’ll see from the prices table above, it’s also better value to book a return rather than a one-way trip. The cost for each leg of the journey is lower than if you booked each one-way fare separately.
Lastly, it can pay to be flexible about when you travel. If you’re able to go to Brussels on a weekday rather than a weekend, the cost of your Eurostar tickets should be much cheaper.
Prices tend to be lower between midday on Monday and midnight Thursday³, and they shoot right up at the weekend. This is because weekends are a popular time to travel. Eurostar uses something known as dynamic pricing, which adjusts prices based on demand. Check this detailed guide on how to get cheap Eurostar tickets.
Got your Eurostar tickets booked? Now it’s time for the exciting part - planning the rest of your trip to Brussels.
One must-have travel essential to take with you is the Wise international debit card. It automatically converts your pounds to the local currency in 175 countries, and does it at a fair exchange rate around. All you’ll pay is a tiny fee⁶ for the conversion, or it’s free if you have the currency in your Wise account already.
This means no worrying about changing money or comparing exchange rates, or even having to carry cash around with you. You can simply tap your contactless Wise card to spend in Brussels for less, whether you’re buying delicious Belgian chocolates, paying the bill in a fabulous restaurant or buying public transport tickets.
You can even use your Wise card to withdraw up to €200 a month for free from ATMs while you’re in Europe. Again, the currency is converted using the mid-market exchange rate. Wise will not charge you for these withdrawals, but some additional charges may occur from independent ATM networks.
To get your Wise card, simply open a free Wise multi-currency account. You can do it online in a matter of minutes.
And that’s it - everything you need to know about taking the Eurostar from London to Brussels. It’s a fast, comfortable and pretty affordable way to get to the Belgian capital. Have a great trip!
- Eurostar - London to Brussels
- Eurostar - Booking - London to Brussels One Way
- The Man in Seat 61 - London to Paris/Brussels by Eurostar
- Eurostar - Booking - London to Brussels Return
- Skyscanner - London to Brussels
Sources last checked on date: 13-Oct-2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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