So you decided to head to Ghent… great! But how do you get there?
We encourage you to consider a more ecological mode of transportation.
Belgium is in the middle of Europe and has very good connections with a lot of big cities. Think trains, carshare, busses, or even biking.
We recommend booking your transport early to keep it affordable.
Have a look at this CO2 emission chart put together by the Upside Down Festival team:
Bus companies connecting Europe are more popular these days. You can find very cheap options.
Search for a bus going to Ghent. Or search for “Brussels” or “Antwerp” (for more options) and then add a train to Ghent from a neighbouring city.
Both Brussels & Antwerp are only 1 hour away from Ghent by train, and there is many connections. No need to book in advance, just get your ticket at the train station.
There are several companies serving travelling to Ghent/Brussels:
This is probably the most eco-friendly option for travelling long distances. A train journey often takes as long as travelling by plane, so that’s not an excuse anymore.
These days, the network and prices are getting better. Especially if you book in advance, you can make a very good deal!
Trainline gives a good overview of schedules and prices for travelling in Europe. A good thing is that you can choose your train according to the timing, the amount of transfers or the price. If you’re flexible in time, you can make a good price.
Also Omio is a good website. It usually finds good connections for low prices.
For research of local trains, go to the Belgian Railway website.
In Ghent we have 2 train stations:
- Gent Sint Pieters is the main train station that connects with all the cities.
- Gent Dampoort is a smaller train station, but closer to the center (which is relative in the small city of Ghent). It has a straight connection with Gent Sint Pieters and Antwerpen. For Brussels you need to change trains in Gent Sint Pieters.
Both train stations have a good connection with public transport in Ghent.
If you come by car, look for travel companions to carpool with. Share the costs, listen to some music and have a pre-party in your car.
Join up with dancers from your own scene, or pick up fellow dancers along the way.
Another good tool is ‘blablacar’ that’s used all over Europe. Search for a car, or place a ride that you offer.
Attention! To improve air quality, Ghent’s city center is considered a low emission zone (LEZ). A vehicle with a foreign license plate must always be registered. Check and register your vehicle here. Tip: The LEZ is visible on Waze navigation system.
If you want to take the ‘fastest’ travel option, you often choose a flight.
Think about the total amount of time you’ll be on the road. The time going to the airport / waiting for the flight / flying / going to Ghent from the airport. Often it takes as long as travelling by train within a range of 1000km. Just saying 😉
If you want to go for the cheapest travel option, take some time to compare the prices to those of trains or busses. You might be positively surprised.
If after all you still decide to come by plane…
Most cheap flights will end up in Charleroi (Brussels South Charleroi Airport), which is still a few hours away from Ghent. The biggest and main airport is Brussels National Airport Zaventem.
From any Belgian airport you can take a train to Ghent. Make sure the trains are (still) running if you arrive on a late night flight or you leave with an early flight (for more info see train above).
From Brussels South Charleroi Airport you can also travel to Ghent by Flibco bus (which goes faster than the train). But you need to be lucky with the schedule.
Consider buying some quality carbon offsets to compensate for your travels. Thank you.