If you’re considering a day trip from Brussels to Bruges while in Belgium, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s all the info and tips you need to plan a stress-free journey and discover yet another side of Belgium’s historical, cultural & architectural heritage!
Table of Contents
- What is the best way to travel from Brussels to Bruges: by train or by bus?
- How to Find the Cheapest Train Tickets Available?
- How to travel from Brussels to Bruges on a budget (by train)?
- Is there a direct train from Brussels to Bruges?
- What about the journey back?
- Is it possible to visit Bruges in one day?
What is the best way to travel from Brussels to Bruges: by train or by bus?
The answer depends on your point of arrival (Zaventem, Bruxelles-midi, Bruxelles-central…) and budget!
Personally, I’d recommend taking the train in most cases as the departures are way more frequent, and therefore leave room for more flexibility. You will not even need to buy your train ticket in advance and will be able to buy it directly at the vending machines (in English as well). if you’re the planning type, it is of course possible to buy them online in advance on NMBS/SNCB’s website (Belgium’s national railway company).
If you’re travelling on a budget however, it might be worth considering the bus as it is usually the cheapest option.
How to Find the Cheapest Train Tickets Available?
If you’d like to compare the different fares available before making up your mind, you should definitely use Omio.
All you have to do is type in the departure city + destination, and you’ll know right away if the journey is doable by train, by bus or both. You will also be able to book the fastest journey at the best price.
How to travel from Brussels to Bruges on a budget (by train)?
Travelling by train is not particularly cheap in Belgium. However, there are a few ways to save up money on your train tickets:
- If you’re 26 or younger: buy a Go pass (10 journeys) or a Go pass 1 (One-way or return ticket).
- If you’re over 26 years old: unfortunately, you’ll have to buy a standard ticket or a Standard Multi ticket (10 journeys) if you’re planning to travel around Belgium.
- If you’re planning to travel to Bruges during the weekend: buy a Weekend ticket and save half the price! Weekend tickets are valid for return trips from 7 p.m. Friday until Sunday.
Belgium by train: good to know
- Train fares are fixed in Belgium. Therefore, there’s no need to buy your tickets too early.
- Seats are not numbered; you can sit anywhere.
- However, make sure you don’t sit in a first-class car if you’ve bought a second-class ticket. First class cars are the same as second-class cars, the only difference is that they’re usually quieter.
- Keep your ticket within reach in case of control.
Is there a direct train from Brussels to Bruges?
Yes, more than one actually! There’s one train per hour from early morning till late evening. Once you get to Bruges’ train station, you will have to walk for around 15-20 minutes to reach the city center as well as the main tourist attractions.
Alternatively, you can take the bus and reach the center in 10 minutes. I’d recommend doing it on foot as you will be able to walk through Bruges’ picturesque streets and get a first taste of the city.
What about the journey back?
You will simply need to take the same train line, this time in the other direction. The last train from Bruges to Brussels normally leaves (Brugge Railway Station) at around 11 PM.
Is it possible to visit Bruges in one day?
If you consider visiting Bruges as a day trip from Brussels, go ahead! It’ll be worth every minute. However, with such little time on your hand, make sure to plan your day ahead.
Here’s a suggested itinerary to visit most of Bruges in one day (in the right order):
- Church of Our Lady
- Bonifacius Bridge/Guesthouse Bonifacius
- Bruges City Hall (Stadthuis)
- The Markt
In case you’re curious, I have written another blog post about Bruges’ best attractions and photo spots.
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