Eurostar to Brussels

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Back in 1802 the European scientific community could barely suppress their laughter when Albert Mathieu Favier drew up plans to build a tunnel underneath the channel. Two centuries later and the French engineer’s plans have become reality at a cost of $15 billion. At 50km in length the channel tunnel is one of the 21st century’s great engineering feats and is serviced by the world’s longest passenger train; Eurostar.

Eurostar opened in 1994 and has quickly become part of the European consciousness. Europe’s favourite train link has a reputation for slick efficiency with a welcome touch of class. However, its biggest selling point is speed: From London you can get to Brussels in less than two hours. If you compare this to the time it takes to fly (including check in and transfers on arrival) then Eurostar wins hands down. Besides saving time and hassle Eurostar also works out to be a highly competitive way of getting to Brussels.

More than a dozen trains depart each day from London’s St Pancras (formerly Waterloo) Station, stopping at Ashford in Kent (a convenient choice for passengers wanting to leave vehicles) before disappearing into the tunnel. On arrival Eurostar terminates at Brussels Midi/Zuid station, which is well positioned to access the rest of the country’s rail network.

Advanced tickets can be bought online by visiting eurostar.com or you can simply turn up at the station armed with your credit card. Passengers must arrive 30 minutes before departure, unless they hold Premium or Business First Class tickets.

Fares to Brussels vary depending on what level of service you expect; Premium passengers can look forward to chauffeurs and champagne, while Leisure ticket holders have the comfort of knowing that they will still have some Euros left in the bank when they arrive. If you’re hoping for a bargain; it pays to be flexible. Seats booked for early mornings and late evenings tend to be cheaper and it’s best to steer clear of weekend travel if possible. You’ll also receive substantial discounts if you are able to book more than three months in advance.

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