Moving to Antwerp?
Transportation in Antwerp
Antwerp has an excellently integrated transportation system, both on a national and international scale. The city has become a road and rail center for Belgian and international destinations; therefore, traveling to or from Antwerp as an expat is easy!
The Cheapest and Fastest Way to Travel around Antwerp
All bus and tram services in Antwerp are operated by the Flemish transportation company, De Lijn. These two modes of public transportation provide the fastest and cheapest manner of moving around the city. Trams conveniently run for an additional hour on Friday and Saturday nights, and also coordinate with Antwerp’s night buses.
To make sure you get the cheapest possible fares on De Lijn transportation, buy your bus or tram ticket in advance, rather than from the driver. This can be done at newsstands, supermarkets, or from vending machines near bus and tram stops; you can also purchase tickets by text message. To see all the tariffs, both presale and from the driver, visit the English De Lijn site.
The Ecological Option
One of the greatest advantages to Antwerp’s compact size is how easy it is to get around. If you don’t own a bicycle yourself, you can get a day, week, or year pass for the Velo City Bikes for 3.60 EUR, 8.00 EUR, or 36.00 EUR, respectively. They are fully compatible with public transportation, with stations all around the city, and the first half hour is free.
The Efficient Taxi System
Within Antwerp, taxis are fast and affordable. Each taxi should have a red recognition sign as proof that it is a licensed vehicle. The rate is standardized and is controlled by the city — good news if you are used to rocketing prices in other major metropolitan cities!
De Lijn has introduced a TOV (Taxi — Public Transportation) ticket. This allows you to travel on buses and trams, and also gives you a 2.00 EUR discount on your taxi fare. If you have any problems with taxis, you can contact the “Blauwe Lijn” (blue line) of the Antwerp Police, at +32 (0)800 123 12. For emergencies, however, call 101.
Moving Around by Water
Antwerp is integral to Europe’s vast inland waterway network. Its historic port has long been an important commercial and strategic link via the Scheldt River to various parts of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and via the sea to Britain. Several waterways snake through Antwerp, which makes travel by boat another pleasant means of transportation to, from, and within the city.
A Strategic Position
Antwerp has an impressive international train network: within 45 minutes, you can be in Brussels; in a few hours, you can reach Copenhagen, Berlin, Helsinki, Paris, London, Rome, and many other major cities on the European continent.
Antwerp Airport is a small airport located in Deurne, just two kilometers outside the city. The airport offers limited routes, its most regular being four flights per day to London-City, which account for the majority of its flights. Its short runway length renders it impossible for larger aircraft traveling to more exotic destinations to fly in and out of the airport. Antwerp is considering extending the airport sometime in the future, but, for now, you are much more likely to find an appropriate rail, bus, or automobile connection than a flight — unless you’re leaving from London.
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