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Confused about Brussels Train Stations

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Hello again,

I'm afraid I am quite bewildered about two of Brussels' train stations and how we are to navigate them.

Problems:

1. We are catching a train (Thalys) from Amsterdam to Brussels. This apparently arrives at Bruxelles-Midi (which means SOUTH - why not SUD?). It can also be called Gare du Midi or Zuidstation.

Anyway, we need to get to Brussels Centrale (or Gare Centrale or Brussel Centraal) because our hotel is walking distance from that station.

What is the easiest way to get to Central from South? We are told that Intercity is easier than Tram or Metro, but that the Midi station is big and busy so is there an easy way to find our way to the Intercity train we need?

2. After spending a night in Brussels, we are travelling to Bruges for two nights. Can we get a train from Central to Bruges, or do we need to make our way back to Midi for that trip? If we do, again what are the directions for getting from Central to Midi and on to a train that will get us to Bruges?

3. Following our 2-day stay in Bruges, we are travelling to Paris - again via Thalys, and again this train leaves from Midi. Various forums say that the Midi station has quite a high crime rate - especially for tourists looking "obviously lost".

It is also mentioned that the signage is not that good and I want to be sure that we can get off the train from Bruges and quickly and easily find our way to the correct Thalys platform. Is there an easy way to plan this ahead of time?

Thanks in advance - and sorry for being paranoid. Just need to be confident.

Regards,

Steve

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