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Antwerp or Brussels for the night?

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We are planning to go from Amsterdam to Bruges, but the hotel costs for our last night in Amsterdam becomes prohibitively expensive, so we are thinking of shaving a night off Amsterdam and staying somewhere between Amsterdam and Bruges. We would be leaving late afternoon/evening on that day. Since we would have to switch trains in either Antwerp or Brussels, these two come to mind.

Which city is better suited for spending only the evening/night (we hope the set out for Bruges before noon the next day)? Antwerp seems more on the way, but based on train time tables, we don't save more than 20 minutes transiting through there instead of Brussels. I heard the Grand Palace in Brussels might be worth seeing at night. How late do the places on the Grand Palace in Brussels open on a Monday (if we arrived at 8pm, would there still be people around)?

another consideration is proximity to the train station, and grunginess of the area around the train station.

...or should we pick another Dutch city (preferably one with convenient connections to Bruges)?


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