SNCB has 26% more international travellers for the summer holidays than in 2019 and more than 5,500 international destinations are available from Brussels.

The train is more popular than ever for holidays abroad this summer. This is what SNCB's sales figures reveal. To date, over 128,000 passengers have already purchased an international train ticket for July or August. This is around 26% more than before the health crisis, which was already a record summer for international trains.

Via its website, SNCB offers train tickets to no fewer than 5,500 international destinations in 14 European countries. More than 1,000 of these destinations are located less than six hours from Brussels, with a maximum of just one connection. SNCB has just expanded its service with new destinations in France and Italy and plans to add further destinations in Spain, Austria and the UK over the next few years.

SNCB's goal is to make international travel easier for both Belgian and international travellers thanks to its purchasing and booking platform for a large number of destinations in Europe. It is working with several leading railway companies to achieve this.

Most popular destinations

From Belgium, the most popular destination by train for this summer is France. Four out of 10 international travellers who bought a ticket via the SNCB's international website chose a trip to our French neighbours. The Netherlands are also popular, with 26% of all travellers. The UK comes third, with 16% of total passenger numbers. Germany ranks fourth, with 13% of all passengers. Many travellers also combine several tickets to reach their final destination.

Top 15 best-selling destinations, with travel times from Brussels

  1. Paris: 1 hr 22
  2. London: 2 hr 01
  3. Amsterdam: 1 hr 52
  4. Schiphol-Airport: 1 hr 33
  5. Rotterdam: 1 hr 10
  6. Lille: 38 min
  7. Cologne: 1 hr 50
  8. Luxembourg: 2 hr 53
  9. Frankfurt: 3 hr 06
  10. Lyon: 3 hr 43
  11. Charles de Gaulle Airport: 1 hr 36
  12. Frankfurt Airport: 3 hr 06
  13. Aachen: 1 hr 10
  14. Avignon: 4 hr 56
  15. Utrecht: 2 hr 16

Safe, comfortable and sustainable

More and more Belgians are convinced of the benefits of rail travel, even for holidays abroad. Travelling by train is not only safe, it is also comfortable, as the seats are spacious and offer ample legroom. There is no additional charge for luggage. Passengers also save time by not having to arrive at the station several hours in advance. What's more, most international stations are located close to or right in the centre of cities, so there is little or no extra cost to get to the centre.

The train is also a pleasant mode of transport, allowing passengers to enjoy the different landscapes they pass through. During the journey, they can comfortably read a book, listen to music or play a board game with friends or family.

Travelling by train is also more environmentally friendly, as a train passenger emits up to 14 times less CO2 than a car driver for the same journey.

To get the best price for your ticket, SNCB advises its customers to book their train journey as early as possible and at the least busy times. Special offers are also regularly available, as is the Interrail Pass, a ticket that allows unlimited rail travel in Europe for a given period and at a fixed price.

For more information on SNCB's international services and fares, go to