Getting Around By Bus
The Mechelen and area bus network is run by the De Lijn company with the main bus station next to the railway station. There's also a second group of bus stops in the square next to the Veemarkt.
The buses serve the immediate surroundings and there are also services to and from Antwerp, although if travelling centre-to-centre the train is a faster option.
The city website, below, has a useful journey planner.
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Getting Around By Bicycle
Although Mechelen is eminently walkable if you want to get a little further afield you can always hire a bicycle.
At the main railway station there are two options - the Blue Bike system and a conventional hire shop.
If you are a regular visitor to Belgium the Blue Bike is well worth considering. This is membership based, for which you pay 10 euros a year and there are automated hire facilities at most main Belgian railway stations. Once you've signed up the bikes only cost 3 euros per day (24 hours) and you can use them for as long as you wish - the only proviso is that the bike must be returned to the railway station from which it was collected. Website has all the details:
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Only On Saturdays!
If you happen to be visiting Mechelen on a Saturday and find yourself a bit foot weary you can always jump on the free Shopping Shuttle to get around.
This is a minibus service, sponsored by local businesses, which loops around the main shopping streets and the car parks between 10 am and 7 pm with a frequency of every five minutes. If you want to get to and/or from the main Mechelen railway station you'll find the closest stop to it at Zandpoortvest 2, roughly across the road from the station.
Website below has a map of the stops.
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Midway Between Brussels And Antwerp
Mechelen is on the railway line between Brussels and Antwerp, about half-way between the two, and all the Belgian intercity trains that ply this route stop off at the main Mechelen station. There's also a second station, Mechelen-Nekkerspoel, where the regional trains stop.
From the tourist point of view Nekkerspoel is actually closer to the old city places of interest and so if your time is limited that's the station to get off at. However, if you are in no rush then getting off the train at one station and returning via the other gives you the opportunity to appreciate both the Medieval centre and a taste of the modern city - about 20 minutes if you walk fast and about 6 hours dwaddling.
The main Mechelen station has all the facilities expected of a mid-sized station, including left-luggage, and the De Lijn bus station is immediately adjacent for forays further afield. Nekkerspoel is relatively basic, facilities-wise, but is only five minutes walk into the old city centre and is closest to the most interesting bars - ;-HIC!
For train times and fares use the link below:
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To Mechelen by train
To get to Mechelen I took the Eurostar from London to Brussels and from there changed to a regular train. The journey to Brussels took only 2.5 hours from London and will be even quicker next month when the new terminal at St Pancras and high-speed line open. All tickets to Belgium include onward travel to any other destination in Belgium, providing you travel within 24 hours of your Eurostar journey. The Eurostar arrives at the Midi station in Brussels, which conveniently is also the terminus for departures to Mechelen. Trains to the latter leave very frequently and take only 25 minutes – look for trains going in the direction of Antwerp. Mechelen is almost exactly halfway between these two larger cities, and would make a good day out from either.
The station in Mechelen is well served by buses, or a taxi to a hotel in the old town will cost about €5. If you aren’t carrying any heavy bags and prefer to walk it will take about 15 minutes from here to the Grote Markt.
Dream Cars exibition in Mechelen
Neckershallen - April 2007, the place to be for private or public exhibitions
I visited this place at the meeting of "Dream Cars", and damned i saw a lot of them, even HONDA had a few cars, dream cars like a Honda"Prelude"
Parking in Mechelen
When you go abroad by car and don't know the cities the most difficult part is to find a good and close to the centre parking place, especially if you don't have map.
We just assumed that this parking place was close to the Cathedral, there was so sign of Saint Rumbold's Tower, but we've been really lucky.
The parking is close to the Church of St. John and we paid only EUR 1.5-/hour.
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This is the stationbuilding in Mechelen-Nekkerspoel. And what is in large letters on its facade?
THIS IS NOT A STATION.
And if you are from another country and speak another language, your language is probably there too. It is written in many languages.
This must be Belgium...........
But seriously, even if they don't use the old stationbuilding anymore, it is easy to reach Mechelen by train. There are two stations: Mechelen and Mechelen-Nekkerspoel.
Mechelen has two train stations: Mechelen and Mechelen-Nekkerspoel. The latter is the closest to the important places in Mechelen. You will need about 10 to 15 minutes to get to the centre of town. Be aware that both stations are not always accessible by the same train.
The outskirts and surroundings by bus
"De lijn", Belgium's public bus company, has many services in Mechelen and surrounding area. This is very useful to get to places outside the centre or in Mechelen's surroundings. More information can be obtained on their website.
Walk and see everything as it was ment to be seen
The centre of Mechelen is compact and walking is therefore the best way of getting around in the town. Distances are short and the intensivity of sightseeing by foot is much better then going by bus or car. Actually, it would be impossible to do so, as certain alleys are just much to small or one-way traffic (and guess what ... it's always the other way around - haha).
Mechelen, right between Antwerpen and Brussel
Mechelen can be easily reached by car following the highway (E19) going between Brussel and Antwerpen. Also the A1 road glides across it's borders. Exit "Mechelen" is clearly stated, but focus on "Centrum" and not on the earlier / later "Noord" (=North) or "Zuid" (South).
Trains, running between Antwerpen and Brussel, also stop at Mechelen. The first railroad on mainland Europe actually had Mechelen as station!
Take the train....
Mechelen is in the middle of BRUSSELS and ANTWERP. Every train between these two cities stops in Mechelen. Except for the international train 'THALYS'.
Mechelen has got two stations - MECHELEN and MECHELEN-Nekkerspoel.
MECHELEN-nekkerspoel is the most convenient one to visit mechelen. It stops only a five minutes walk away from this little cities center.
The line BRUSSELS-ANTWERP is the most crowded line in the country.
Watch out and plan your trip a bit...not every train stops in station Nekkerspoel.
It will take you 20 minutes to go to Antwerp and about 25 minutes to Brussels. So you don't have any excuse to miss this city.
The largest toymuseum in the world is right behind station 'Mechelen-Nekkerspoel'.
We noticed that there are two railway stations in Mechelen, of the two Nekkerspoel is slightly closer to the centre than Mechelen itself. Some intercity trains do not stop at Nekkerspoel.
Mechelen is between Brussels and Antwerp which means that all trains between the two (and they are many) stop here as do the Brussels to Amsterdam trains on the same route.
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