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Flanders is the northern, Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, fairly modest in size. To put things in perspective: it's about the size of the state of Connecticut in the US or the county of Yorkshire in the UK. It will come as no surprise that Flanders is an easy place to travel to and around. Brussels is Flanders' and Europe's capital and has countless flight and train connections. The capital cities of London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin are only a short distance away. Similarly, all the cities in Flanders are within easy reach of each other and easily accessible by public transport or car. If you have any questions, you can always ask a local. The majority of Flemish people speak several languages and will be more than happy to help you out.
Brussels Airport is Belgium's main international airport. Frequent train connections from the airport will take you to Brussels in 20 minutes and to Antwerp in 35. There are plenty of bus lines as well, they go from 5am until midnight from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the first bus departs at 7am. Taxis are available 24/7 at Brussels Airport. They will take you to Brussels' city centre for an average price of € 45.00.
Although located in Wallonia, the French speaking part of Belgium, Brussels South Charleroi Airport is a popular point of arrival when visiting Flanders and Belgium's second largest airport. Brussels South is 37.28 miles (60km) away from Brussels. A direct bus will take you from the airport to the Charleroi-South railway station in 20 minutes. From there on, there are plenty of direct connections to Flanders' largest cities. Aside from that, there are direct shuttle buses to Ghent and Bruges.
The Ostend-Bruges International Airport is a third gateway to Flanders. A public bus will take you to the Ostend railway station in only 15 minutes, from there on there are plenty of trains to continue your journey through Flanders.
The Antwerp International Airport is your fourth option, easily accessible by bus and only a short distance from Antwerp city centre and its magnificent railway station.
Flanders is located in the heart of Europe and therefore easily accessible by international trains from - amongst others - London, Paris and Amsterdam. The Eurostar will take you from the Brussels South Station to London in less than 2 hours. The Thalys links that same railway station with Paris (1h25) and Amsterdam (1h52). Reserve your seats in advance at B-Europe or Rail Europe.
For international connections, contact Rail Europe.
By car: Low Emission Zones
Since Flanders is quite small in size, with several stunning cities only a stone's throw away from each other, travelling by car is also an option. One of the few things to keep in mind when doing so, is the Low Emission Zones that have been introduced in Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. Among others, cars, buses and campers must meet certain conditions regarding their emissions to have access to the zone. Other cities such as Willebroek and Mechelen are planning the same (or similar) measures in the near future.
If you're planning a group trip by coach, there's something else to keep in mind. Most art cities don't allow coaches or large private buses into the city centre. In that case, coaches must park at designated spots. More information on coaches in Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven and Mechelen.
Travelling through Flanders
As you may already know, in Flanders it's not difficult to travel around. By train, it often takes less than an hour to travel between two major Flemish cities. Find out more at Belgian Rail. For more information about the public bus services, visit De Lijn. When travelling through Brussels, you can rely on STIB-MIVB to take you around town by bus, tram and metro.
Another way of travelling is by rental car, to make the most of your time in Flanders. Take a look at some tips from the European Consumer Centre and search for the car of your choice. Driving your own car through Flanders is also an option. In that case, don't forget to check the latest information concerning the Low Emission Zones in certain cities.
If you only need a couple of rides, a taxi might do the trick. You'll find taxi stands at railway stations, hotel entrances acros the big cities. The taxi fare is always displayed on the meter, including the service charge. Minimum or initial fare in Brussels: € 2.40 (daytime); € 4.40 (evening). Average price per KM (0.62 miles) in Brussels: € 1.80 for jouneys within the Brussels Capital Region; € 2.70 for a journey located outside the region. Average transport price between Brussels Airport and Brussels city centre: € 45.00.