No need to reserve a seat
You do not need to book a seat on InterCity trains. All you need is a valid ticket for the journey you want to make for the required date. With this ticket you can set off when you want on the train of your choice. If you are travelling on board InterCity (IC) or local trains, your ticket will therefore never show a departure or arrival time.
Travel when you like
With your InterCity train ticket you can get on and off when you want along the route you have booked. You can also choose between direct connections or a journey with one or several changes. You can also use as many IC or local trains as you wish.
Please note the following conditions:
Note: If you take a train that requires payment of a mandatory surcharge or a reservation (for example, Thalys) for all or part of your journey, you must pay this surcharge in addition to your ticket. Please check which type of train you are taking when you consult the timetable for your journey.
International InterCity train connections
In addition to InterCity connections between the Benelux countries, France or Germany, other international InterCity trains run throughout Europe, including the following connections:
All these are available through SNCB europe, via the Contact Centre, in 28 Belgian stations and in travel agencies approved by SNCB europe.
National InterCity train connections
InterCity trains also provide rail links within several European countries.
NS International lounges, situated at Amsterdam Central, Rotterdam Central and Schiphol stations are pleasant relaxing spaces, where you can relax or work whilst waiting for your train. They offer a Wi-Fi connection and meeting rooms.
These lounges can be used by:
Unlike most high-speed trains, InterCity and regional trains in Belgium and the Netherlands do not require a reservation. For these trains, you get an open ticket, valid on board any train on the date shown (at any time of day*) and on the route as indicated on your ticket. Great flexibility!
Similarly, on IC and ICE trains run by Deutsche Bahn, seat reservation is optional. Consequently, most tickets for journeys in Germany do not necessarily show the time either. Remember though, that the Sparpreis economy fare does require you to use the specific train you chose when buying your ticket. In this case, the train number and time of departure are shown on your ticket.
* except for some time restrictions specified in the terms and conditions for specific fares, such as, for example, Benelux Youth or Superdagretour.
If you are travelling by InterCity train between Belgium and the Netherlands or between the Netherlands and Luxembourg, go for a return trip between Friday morning and Sunday evening: the Benelux Weekend fare offers 40% off (in 2nd class) and 50% off (in 1st class) the Standard fare.
Also, for a return trip between Belgium and the Netherlands on the same day, the Superdagretour fare offers 30% off in Belgium and 40% in the Netherlands (remember: on working days, the Superdagretour fare is not valid on the Dutch network before 9.00).
If you are travelling by InterCity train between Belgium and Lille and its suburbs (Roubaix, Tourcoing, Ascq, etc.), go for a return trip between Friday morning and Sunday evening: with the Trampoline Weekend fare, you get 40% off.
If you're travelling between Belgium and Luxembourg, it can be more cost-effective to travel as a group. So for the Escapade fare, which is valid on a return journey between Belgium and Luxembourg, money can be saved by buying two tickets instead of one (with even bigger savings for three people).
For this type of train, there are no restrictions on the various fares. So you don't need to book ahead to get the best prices.
International season tickets are only available on the Brussels-Lille service (rail passes valid on TGV® Brussels-France, Thalys and Eurostar).
If you take the same journey regularly on a Thalys train, remember that Thalys offers several ThePass options (Premium or Business), which means you benefit from cheaper flexible fares. Check the Thalys website for more information about Thalys ThePass.
And lastly, we also have railcards as part of our national train service for passengers who frequently take SNCB's InterCity or regional trains to one of our main border destinations - Aachen, Lille, Luxembourg, Maastricht and Roosendaal. Of course, you can combine an SNCB rail card to one of these border cities with a rail pass from another rail company to continue your journey in one of our neighbouring countries.
Check our belgianrail.be website for more information about railcards to border destinations.