Growing up in Belgium I`ve learnt that our public transportation is a great way to get around. There are trains, buses and trams to get you to where you need to be. Because Belgium is centrally located in Europe, it`s a great base to travel to other countries as well.
Belgium is divided in three parts: Flanders (Flemish part), Wallonia (French part) and Brussels. This makes for different companies to be in charge in these three parts. The train network has one main operator though, which I covered in a separate article: trains in Belgium.
- Coast Tram, or Kusttram in Dutch, covers almost the entire Belgian Coast from France to the Netherlands making it the longest single tram line in the world.
- Other tram networks exist in the cities of Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent.
De Lijn is the public bus transportation company throughout Flanders as well as towards and from Brussels.
- You can buy a single ticket in advance or from the driver. It`s always more expensive if you have to buy it on the bus!
- When planning on taking the bus a lot during your travels, consider buying a Lijnkaart in advance. Your journey will be 25 % cheaper this way. (more info)
- You can also opt for a Day Pass, 3-Day Pass or 5-Day Pass. This way you can travel unlimited for one or several days. Check for details.
Don`t know which ticket is right for you, then have a look at this overview.
The STIB offers a complete transport network in Brussels, including the metro (which is currently only available in Brussels). For more information on timetables and prices, go to STIB.be.
- MOBIB basic card: a plastic chip-card where you can load journey or day fares to. The card has to be validated at metro stations or on buses/trams. (This card is similar to the Oyster card in London) The MOBIB journey fares are 10% cheaper than normal tickets. You can recharge the card at several places. Check here for more details.
- JUMP: paper ticket that you have to stamp at the orange machines. It`s cheaper to buy your ticket in advance, you`ll pay more when buying from the driver. There are single fares, 5-trip cards, 10-trip cards, 1 day cards etc. For more information on different tickets, check here.
Unfortunately I`m not very familiar with public transport in Wallonia.
TEC offers a bus service throughout Wallonia as well as towards and from Brussels. You can check www.infotec.be for more information.
To and from Brussels South, Charleroi, there`s a Brussels City Shuttle that leaves from the main train station, Brussels Midi. Or you can travel to Charleroi by train and then a direct bus line A. For more info.
Have you used public transportation in Belgium? What did you think about it?