Host City Mechelen
Mechelen is on everybody’s doorstep. The city is located in the heart of Flanders, midway between Brussels and Antwerp. In Mechelen everything’s within walking distance. As you wander along the narrow streets, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on historical buildings and on so many charming restaurants and cafés that you’ll wish you could eat your way through Mechelen! And for a while at least, you can switch off and quietly daydream, for the centre is pedestrianized. You’ll find that the people of Mechelen greet you and are only too happy to offer a word of explanation. The people of Mechelen are super-proud of their 300 listed buildings, three of which flaunt the UNESCO world heritage label: St Rumbold’s Tower, the Belfry of the Town Hall and the Large Beguinage. The city centre boasts no fewer than eight historic churches, each with its own distinctive style: large or small, Gothic or baroque, Rubens or Van Dyck.
How to get to Mechelen
The national airport of Belgium (Brussels Airport) is the closest to Mechelen (20 km). The easiest and cheapest way to reach Mechelen from the airport is to take the train to Mechelen, which runs every half hour and costs 8€60. Alternatively, you can grab a taxi outside the airport. A taxi ride to Mechelen will cost you at least 50€.
Some airlines will fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport (85 km from Mechelen). From there, you can either take a shuttle to Charleroi-Sud train station, where you can take a direct train to Mechelen that runs every half hour. A shuttle-train combi ticket costs 18€70. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus to Brussels (14€20) and hop on a train to Mechelen (4€70) there.
The train station of Mechelen is located at the border of the city and lies within walking distance of the city centre. There are regular connections to every major city in Belgium and to Brussels Airport. More information on schedules and fares can be found at www.belgianrail.be.
Coming from Antwerp (E19), take exit n°9 (Mechelen-Noord) and follow the N16 to the ring road (R12). Coming from Brussels (E19), take exit n°10 (Mechelen-Zuid), follow the B101 to the N1 and then take the ring road (R12).