I’ve been to Tomorrowland twice, once in 2016 when I camped in Dreamville, and the other time in Brussels, where we stayed in a hotel as part of the Global Journey package.
While it’s awesome to stay on the festival campground and soak in the Tomorrowland vibes, I love sleeping in a proper bed and getting a good hot shower at night. Maybe I’m getting old, but I rarely opt for the camping option at festivals anymore. And on the plus side, if you stay in a city like Brussels or Antwerp, you can continue the party after Tomorrowland ends at 1am (Friday) or 12am (Saturday and Sunday).
This post will help you figure out which city you should book your hotel in.
Where is Tomorrowland?
Tomorrowland is in the small town of Boom in Belgium, with a population of 16K. It lies between the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Brussels.
The closest city to Boom is Mechelen, which is about a 20-minute drive through local roads.
The closest major city to Boom is Antwerp, about a 25-minute drive on the highway.
The next closest major city is Brussels, the capital of Belgium. That’s about a 40-minute drive.
Now, let’s compare these options.
Hotels (AirBnb) in Boom
- You can get to the festival with a relatively short walk no matter where you’re staying in the town.
- In addition, there is a free Tomorrowland shuttle from the train station of Boom to the festival grounds.
- You can enjoy the comforts of staying in a hotel without compromising on distance to the festival.
- On the downside, options may be limited because Boom is a very small town.
- Additionally, there really aren’t many dining or going out options in Boom, so your hotel will really just be a place to sleep.
Some locals may AirBnb out their apartments during the festival, so if you can’t find a good hotel option, you could consider renting a local’s home as well.
Hotels in Mechelen
- There’s a shuttle bus from Tomorrowland to Mechelen train station during the day and after the festival ends, and it’s only a short 20-minute bus ride
- It’s the closest major city to Boom, so the taxi rate from the festival is reasonable (40 euros one way)
- It’s only 20 minutes by train to either Antwerp or Brussels
- Mechelen is not as vibrant a city as Antwerp or Brussels, although it is a historical city and interesting in its own right
It’s smart to stay close to the train station as the buses leave from there.
Find other hotels in Mechelen during Tomorrowland:
Hotels in Brussels
- The location for the Tomorrowland pre-gathering is in Brussels on Thursday
- By staying in Brussels, you’re in a major European city with great food, culture, and amazing nightlife. Check out the infamous nightclub, Fuse, which is one of the best and oldest techno clubs in Belgium. (I did an electronic music marathon in Brussels in 2017 – read for the best electronic venues in Brussels)
- If you stay at a Tomorrowland hotel, they offer free shuttles (and last year anyone could just hop on). I believe independent companies offer Tomorrowland shuttles from here as well.
- Further from Boom, about 1 hour by bus
- The hotel shuttles back to Brussels left quite late from Tomorrowland (approximately 2 hours after the festival ended). You could miss the shuttle, you could also not be able to find the shuttle. If you have to take a taxi, the taxi ride back is quite expensive – we couldn’t find the hotel shuttle in the large touring bus parking lot, and ended up hopping on the shuttle to Mechelen. Then, in Mechelen, we negotiated with a cab driver to take us to Brussels and paid 100 euros for the trip.
If you stay in Brussels, stay in the City Center by the Gare to take advantage of the transport options.
Hotels in Antwerp
- Antwerp is also a major city in Belgium, a cultural and culinary capital. It’s the principal city of the Flemish part of Belgium.
- It’s closer to Boom than Brussels, about 30 minutes by train / bus. There is a train during Tomorrowland going directly from Antwerp to Boom.
- WIth a young population, Antwerp also has good nightlife. Cafe d’Anvers is renowned in Belgium for its nightlife.
- None of the Global Journey hotels are in Antwerp. However, some hotels independently organize shuttles to Tomorrowland, such as Van der Walk.
Stay in the City Center close to the train station for easiest access to the festival.
In my opinion, stay at Mechelen for a hassle-free Tomorrowland experience while enjoying the luxury of staying in a hotel. While the festival is on, you won’t have much time or extra energy to explore the cities, to check out the nightlife, or eat out at nice places. Antwerp and Brussels are cities worth spending solid time in, so I’d recommended booking a couple extra days to properly see those cities!