Students traveling from an EU-member states won’t need a traveler’s visa. All other students should check the website of the Belgian Diplomacy Department (see: http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travel_to_belgium/). The process of obtaining a visa can take up to 3 months. We strongly advise you to make the necessary arrangements in time! We can supply you with a document that proves the reason of your stay.
You can take the taxi from the airport to Ghent but this is rather expensive. Brussels airport to Ghent costs about €100. Brussels South Charleroi Airport to Ghent costs about €150.
The cheapest way to get to Belgium by bus, is probably by traveling with “Eurolines”, which has stops in Ghent and Brussels. Check their website www.eurolines.com.
Brussels International Airport (67kms from Ghent):
Situated in Zaventem, a municipality of Brussels, this is the largest airport in Belgium. There is a train station within the airport. From here, you can take the train to “Gent-Sint-Pieters” railway station. Taking one of the direct trains going every half hour, the journey will take approximately 50 minutes. You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the train in the ticket office at the railway station. Ask the counter clerk or railway guard which train is the direct train to Ghent. As a student (26 years and younger), you pay approximately €17 for a one-way journey.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport (84kms from Ghent):
This airport, where the low cost airlines operate, is less accessible than Brussels airport. You can purchase a ticket “billet bulk” to “Ghent-Sint-Pieters” railway station at the bus stop (door n° 2). Bus line A rides to “Charleroi Sud” railway station in 20 minutes. The bulk ticket is on sale at the airport. Every hour (from 5.35AM till 10.35PM) two buses depart for “Charleroi Sud” railway station. From the “Charleroi Sud” you need to take a train to “Bruxelles-Midi” railway station (journey takes 1 hour) and there you hop on the train to “Gent-Sint-Pieters” railway station (direction=Oostende) (journey takes 30 minutes). Trains departing from Charleroi to Brussels (Bruxelles-Midi) and further on to Ghent will be operating between 4:30am and 11pm
As a student, you pay €22.20 (bus fare included, 26 years and younger)
There are five train companies operating in Belgium which provide high speed train journeys:
- Thalys (Germany, The Netherlands, France)
- Eurostar (United Kingdom)
- ICE (Germany: Frankfurt and Cologne)
- TGV (France)
You can take the high speed train to Antwerp-Central railway station or Bruxelles-Midi railway station. There are also connections to Lille-Flandres Railway station in France, located close to Ghent (80 km). From these railway stations you have to transfer to a normal speed train that takes you to “Gent-Sint-Pieters” railway station, the journey from one of the three stations takes about an hour. Two important sites to check your trip by train are: