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10 Best Day Trips From Antwerp, Belgium

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Last updated on July 26th, 2023 at 03:03 pm

In this post, I will take your through the 10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. If you are in Antwerp for just a few days, or are living there for a while, you may want to explore some of the other cities nearby. Read on to discover some of those cities worth visiting.

All trains mentioned have a starting point of Antwerp Central and all cities included take 2 hours or less to get to, from Antwerp.

I use Omio to buy train tickets, it is good, especially if you are travelling between Germany and the Netherlands as you can buy the tickets in the one place.

Go To:

  1. Ghent
  2. Bruges
  3. Brussels
  4. Leuven
  5. Mechelen
  6. Liege
  7. Breda
  8. Rotterdam
  9. Vlissingen
  10. Middelburg

Have a read of 5 Must Visit Places in the Netherlands if you fancy crossing over the border to see what lovely cities the Dutch have to offer.

Don’t miss out on the best tools for planning your trip – read 30+ Essential Holiday Planning Tools & Useful Resources now!

Maybe you prefer an Italian getaway, look no further than the recent itinerary I created: What to do in Rome for 3 Days?

1. Ghent

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Ghent
  • 1 hour by train
  • 55 minutes by car

From Antwerp Central, there are a few trains heading in the Ghent direction. Get the train to either Poperinge, De Panne or Oostende and get off the stop ‘Gent-Sint-Pieters’.

Ghent is a great option for a day trip from Antwerp. It is definitely the nicest city I have been to in Belgium. It is one of the less popular tourist cities, but it has so much to offer and should be first on anyone’s list of towns to visit in Belgium.

While you are there, there are certain places that you should not miss: Visit the beautiful ‘The Castle of the Counts’ at Gravensteen where you can go inside and learn about the horrific torture methods and cruel inquisition that took place. Pay a visit to the castle of Gerald the Devil. Admire St. Bavo’s Cathedral, Abbey and St Nicholas’ Church.

Walk over St. Michael’s Bridge and take in the breathtaking views. Pass by the Ghent belfort, and go shopping along Patershol amidst the beautiful architecture. Or choose to take it in by boat on a stunning canal cruise.

2. Bruges

  • 1 hour 30 minutes by train
  • 1 hour 25 minutes by car

From Antwerp Central, take the train to Oostende, that goes every hour. Ride 8 stops and get off at ‘Brugge’.

Bruges has got to be next best for me. This charming town known as ‘The Venice of the North’ is full of history. Start off by visiting the Markt Square and the Belfry tower, which you will recognise if you have watched the film ‘In Bruges’.

The provincial Palace is another cool building located on Markt Square. Also you can visit Historium Bruges here – this historical museum takes you back in time to the golden ages in Bruges.

Next up visit Burg Square – some of the architecturally pleasing buildings here include the city hall, the courthouse ‘Brugse Vrije’ and the Basilica of the Holy Blood.

There are many ways of seeing Bruges. You can opt to take a canal cruise, see it by bike tour or by attending a walking tour.

3. Brussels

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Brussels
  • 40 minutes by train
  • 1 hour 10 minutes by car

Get the train to Charleroi-Sud, which leaves every 30 minutes. Ride 4 stops and get off at ‘Brussel-Centraal’.

Brussels, Belgium’s capital is next on the list. This city is definitely worth a day trip from Antwerp.

Firstly, you should visit the Grand Palace, the central square in Brussels. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts beautiful architecture including the Brussels town hall and the Royal Palace.

You then need to see the Manneken Pis, a famous landmark in Brussels. Go shopping at Royal Gallery Saint Hubert, a covered shopping centre where you will find a mix of cafes, shops and restaurants to choose from. The atomium and mini Europe are also big attractions in Brussels.

Get away from the hustle and bustle by visiting one of the many parks. Jardin Mont des Arts offers one of the best views of Brussels Grand Place. Its geometric hedges and flower arrangements make it a vibrant sight. Brussels Park is another great spot and the largest urban public park in central Brussels.

4. Leuven

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Leuven
  • 1 hour by train
  • 1 hour 5 minutes by car

Get the train to Leuven that departs once per hour. You need to ride 6 stops, which will take 51 minutes and get off at the ‘Leuven’ stop.

Leuven is a great choice of day trip from Antwerp. It is a university town with a great night life. But also is a charming town with great architecture. Visit the town hall, university library, St. Peters Church and Grand Beguinage. Stroll through the historic city centre and soak in the atmosphere before sitting down for a drink in the Oude Markt, where you will find a long line of bars and a nice atmosphere.

5. Mechelen

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Mechelen
  • 20 minutes by train
  • 35 minutes by car

Get the train for Tongeren, Charleroi-Sud or Brussel-Zuid/Bruxelles-Midi. They all stop at Mechelen. You need to ride 2 stops/17 minutes and get off at ‘Mechelen’.

Another one of the best day trips from Antwerp is Mechelen as it is just 20 minutes by train.

In Mechelen, you can climb St. Rumbold’s tower, visit the historical Grote Markt or Market square and catch the weekly market on a Sunday morning. Stroll through Mechelen’s Large Beguinage which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also, you should also pay a visit to the winter garden.

6. Liege

  • 1 hour 30 minutes by train
  • 1 hour 40 minutes by car

Firstly, get the Charleroi Sud train to ‘Bruxelles – Nord’ (3 stops/38 minutes). Secondly, you need to get on a different train at Bruxelles – Nord to ‘Liege – Guillemins railway station’. You can either get the train to Welkenraedt, Vise or Eupen. You will need to stay on this train for about 55 minutes until you reach ‘Liege – Guillemins railway station’.

Consider visiting some of the following sites on your trip to Liege: Climb the Montagne de Bueren, gaze at the Liege-Guillemins Station, visit St. Pauls Cathedral, the church of St. Bartholomew, the former Palace of Prince Bishops, as well as the city hall.

Learn more about the city at some of Liege’s museums – Grand Curtius museum, La Boverie, Musee d’Ansembourg, the arms museum, Treasure House of Liege, Musee d’Art Religieux Et D’art Mosan.

7. Breda

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Breda
  • 35 minutes by train
  • 50 minutes by car

Get the train to Rotterdam central, ride 2 stops or 35 minutes and get off at ‘Breda’.

Breda is another beautiful city and even better it is not very popular for tourists. Read what to do in Breda here from a previous post I have written.


8. Rotterdam

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Breda
  • 35 minutes by high speed train
  • 1 hour 35 minutes by car

Get the high speed Thalys train to Rotterdam central. Get off at the first stop after 32 minutes. This train goes once an hour.

Rotterdam is a great option for a day trip from Antwerp. It is more of a modern city and something different to see. This port town has a lot to see and do. Have a read of the highlights here from a previous post I have written.

9. Vlissingen

  • 2 hours by train
  • 1 hour 10 minutes by car

First get the train to Roosendaal, that goes once per hour. Ride 11 stops for 48 minutes. At Rosendaal station, change to the train for Vlissingen and ride 4 stops or 47 minutes.

Looking for a beach day during the summer? Then head to Vlissingen. Stroll along the longest beach promenade in the Netherlands. Go for a swim at Vlissingen beach. Learn about sealife at the Maritime muZEEum and admire the ships at the port of Vlissingen.

10. Middelburg

10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Middelburg
  • 1 hour 55 minutes by train
  • 1 hour 10 minutes by car

The exact same trains for Vlissingen, except on the second train, ride 3 stops/41 minutes and get off at Middelburg.

Some of the main sights to see on your trip to Middelburg include visiting the city hall, abbey and the Lange Jan (the 90 meter tall tower of the abbey). Then stop by the old harbour which is surrounded by beautiful 16th century buildings. Wander around the weekly market on a Saturday in Markt, directly in front of the city hall.

As well as this, take a look at the Kloveniersdoelen which was once a military hospital but is now a grand cafe and cinema. Lastly, check out Kuiperspoort where there are many warehouses and merchant houses situated.

I hope you enjoyed this post on the 10 best day trips from Antwerp, Belgium. Antwerp is in a great location, surrounded by many beautiful cities, so make use of this benefit while you can. Share this post with your friends, if it was useful for you, via the social sharing buttons. Also you can subscribe for more travel tips. If you have any additions or comments, you can comment below.

If you fancy a 7 Day Road Trip through Germany, Austria & Switzerland, have a read of an epic itinerary here.

Thanks for reading,


  • Don't forget to get travel insurance before you set out on your adventure. Safety Wing is a great choice and so reasonable.
  • If you are looking for accommodation, then Hostelworld or are good options with plenty of accommodation choices.
  • Looking to book tours, entry tickets and more, check out Get your Guide.
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