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Public Transportation in Mechelen

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Mechelen is an important step in adjusting to life in Mechelen. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.

Public transportation in Mechelen is diverse and efficient, making it a viable option for both locals and expats. The city is served by a comprehensive network of buses, trams, and trains, operated by De Lijn and the Belgian National Railways (NMBS/SNCB). The city’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly layout also make walking a popular choice. With such a robust public transportation system, it’s entirely possible for an expat living in Mechelen to comfortably live without a car.


The Mechelen railway station, operated by the Belgian National Railways, is a major hub in the Belgian rail network. It offers frequent connections to major cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Leuven, making it a convenient option for both commuting and leisure travel. The trains are generally safe and reliable, with security personnel present at the station and on board the trains. A standard one-way ticket costs around €5, but discounts are available for frequent travelers and students. The station itself is modern and well-equipped, with facilities like a waiting room, ticket office, and bicycle parking.

Buses and Trams

De Lijn operates an extensive network of buses and trams in Mechelen. The buses cover most parts of the city and its suburbs, while the trams provide a fast and efficient way to travel within the city center. The bus and tram stops are well-marked and usually located near major landmarks, making them easy to find. The vehicles are clean and well-maintained, and the drivers are known for their professionalism. A single journey ticket costs €3, but there are also day passes and multi-journey tickets available. The buses and trams are generally safe, even at night, but it’s always a good idea to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.


Given Mechelen’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly layout, walking is a viable option for getting around the city. The city center is largely car-free, making it a pleasant and safe place to walk. There are plenty of pedestrian zones, marked by wide sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. The city is also known for its beautiful architecture and historic sites, which can be best appreciated on foot. Walking is not only a free and healthy way to travel, but it also allows you to experience the city at your own pace.


Bicycling is another popular mode of transportation in Mechelen. The city has a well-developed network of bicycle lanes and paths, making it safe and convenient to cycle around. There are several bicycle rental services available, including Velo, which offers a convenient and affordable bike-sharing scheme. A day pass costs €4, while a yearly subscription is €49. Bicycles are also allowed on trains and buses, making it easy to combine different modes of transportation.

In conclusion, public transportation in Mechelen is efficient, affordable, and safe. Whether you prefer to travel by train, bus, tram, on foot, or by bicycle, you’ll find that getting around the city is easy and convenient. So, if you’re an expat living in Mechelen, you can definitely live comfortably without a car.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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