Is 30 min. enough time to change over at Brussels Midi station from Eurostar to connecting train to Amsterdam?

How long will it take on average to clear through immigration and customs upon arrival from London by Eurostar? And how far will I need to walk from the Eurostar terminus to the platform for the Amsterdam train?

I am a citizen of India and am travelling for the first time with wife and daughter. Is half hour enough, or should I take a later train?

Is immigration check done on the train itself?


Thank you, Cisje. As you say, when I leave the Eurostar terminal I'll be checked by the Belgians. I presume this will happen at Brussels. How long would that take?

And would there be a customs check?

Update 2:

Thanks to Herashadow too. Will I be cleared for entry into Belgium at London itself? A little strange, I think, but I don't know. After all, as you say, it's Europe now. Please clarify. Thanks.

6 Answers

  • papars
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Indians, as a general, are targeted for stricter immigration and Customs checks at ALL European railway station. That is due to a high rate of illegal migration from that country. Often, such Customs and immigration checks can take as long as 2 hours and'll need a connection that's at least 3-4 hours since you arrive at Bruxelles Midi.

    Suggest you fly Ryanair, Thomsonfly, Avro, easyJet or Transavia- all budget carriers, from London to Amsterdam. It's faster and cheaper and will not involve the hassles related to train travel.

    Yes, EU is one big union but the British have their own visa regime in place while the Schengen member countries have theirs.

    Eurostar has a lot of fine print and more expensive as compared to budget carriers.

    Also, currently there's some level of confusion about who checks passports and when. Some trains are stopped at the first point of entry into the EU and authorities from that country will be the ones to check you into continental Europe. Or there are immigration officials who will board the train and conduct a initial check first on your passports to check whether you are traveling legally. Other formalities are completed on arrival.

    For this, you'll need to keep your passports, tickets, hotel reservations if any and other related documents at hand to show officials when they board the train. If you cannot produce these documents for any reason- you will be marked and escorted off the train for further checks- which can both- be embarrasing and time intensive.

    Secondly, to be able to enter the EU from Brussels, you'll need to show your Schengen visa was issued by the Belgian embassy. If the Belgians did not have a diplomatic mission in the country, it would have to be from the German or Nederlands embassies/ consulates or those authorized by the Belgian government to issue Schengen visas on their behalf.

    If your Schengen visa was issued by the embassy of a country other than Belgium, you need to ensure that you are allowed to have Belgium as your point of entry into the EU. For example, you cannot enter the EU for the first time on this journey if your Schengen visa was issued by say...the Portuguese or Greek or Spanish embassies. Unless of course, your visa was earlier used to enter the EU from that authorized country and you hold a multiple entry type visa.

    Source(s): frequent traveler
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This shouldn't be any problem!

    The train from London arrives at platform 1. When you come out the Eurostar terminus you actually don't even see the train station as you are on the second floor. You take the elevator down to the first floor (or take the rolling stairs, that's OK to and then you'll pass a chocolate shop) and go to your left hand side. You'll arrive now in the main corridor of Brussels Midi. Don't go outside but go to your right hand side...

    From this main corridor you have access to all the platforms!

    Now the tricky part... There are (if I'm correct) two different sort of trains that go to Amsterdam... A "normal" train which you can board without reservation. It's on platform 16 I think...

    But there is also a train for which you do need reservation and I believe that this a "Thalys" train... Now these trains depart from platforms 2-3 or 4...

    But either way, 30 minutes should be more then enough time and you should make the transit easy.

    About immigration : if I understand it correctly, you board the Eurostar in London...your passport will be checked there by the English...

    When you leave the Eurostar terminal you will be checked by the Belgians ... I doubt it you will be checked after that...

    If you need more details...just ask...I'll be monitoring this question for a while..

    The last time I came from London al I had to show was my passport...they didn't even look at it very much...

    They do have the right to look thru your suitcases but I don't think they will as you already have been checked in London.

    This happens right there in the Eurostar terminal in Brussels. I don't know how much time this will take but normally you should be able to catch your train...

    If you want to be sure, maybe you can contact the Belgian railways...see the link below.

    Have a nice trip!

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Brussels may be the capital of Belgium and is the primary seat of the Belgian Royal Family and, also the capital of the European Union and if you wish to know after that it this is actually the place hotelbye . Brussels is a remarkably little, easy-going, and human-sized town for all its importance. Unlike anthers city with their hordes of tourists, Brussels is Belgium's main economic and academic centre, which provides the town a more workaday experience than other towns. Here, in Brussels, if you'd choose to go to, you will receive a proper feel for Belgian life, especially its fantastic restaurant and café culture. Even though Brussels may possibly not have the star attractions of different Belgian areas, the capital has more than enough to help keep guests entertained for a day or two with a clutch of world-class museums and art galleries, along with quirkier views such as the Atomium, and some wonderful remnants of old architecture in the previous city quarter.

  • 1 decade ago

    Immigration is not done on the train, it is usually done at departure. Terminal when arriving from London is just next to departure to other european cities (Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, etc) and if you passed immigration without any trouble in London there shouldn't be any immigration check in Brussels (it's Europe now!). Just for safety though I would take a later train (so you have time to buy chocolate too ;-) ) but if you can't/don't want to 30 min. should be fine.

    Bon voyage!

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  • 1 decade ago

    It depends if there's a long row before you.Yes normally 30 min. can be enough also remind there can be delays on the Eurostar.There's 2 times in a hour a direct train to Amsterdam and also a fast train (Talys) that one cost a lot more(reservation in advance) and Talys trains are not as good as Eurostar believe me, so your best choice(less expensive) is the normal direct train to Amsterdam.Yes it happens that also on the train is a immigration check(happens frequent!) and when you go to passport control Police (always!).

    And yes, they have the right to search the luggage with your presence like everywhere in the world.

    Source(s): I know Eurostar , Talys and the trains here.
  • 4 years ago

    In Amsterdam is a broad spectral range of attractions for recreational and cultural sightseeing. They range between interesting old buildings, like the Oude Kerk, to oddities such as the Hash

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