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2 day trip to Belgium

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Jun 29th, 2014, 05:51 AM
  #1
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2 day trip to Belgium

Hello

We would be travelling to Belgium for 2 days. We plan to get to Bruges from Amsterdam via train/bus, and then get to Brussels by train the next day.The travel is planned around July 25. 1. Please suggest if we need to have a full day in Brussels or half a day is good
2. We will be with luggage, so is there a possibility to leave it in a cloak room in the city center and pick it back later in the day
3. The train from Bruges to Brussels is every 15 minutes, do we need to pre book. Do the fares change?

Thanks
Smriti is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2014, 05:59 AM
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You don't need to pre-book trains. Pre-booking a commuter train is even not possible, unless you are with a big group.

The train station in Brugge has luggage lockers and a luggage room with staff (as per info on the B-rail site). http://www.belgianrail.be/en/station...13/brugge.aspx
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Jun 29th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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Amsterdam to Bruges is all by train - no buses involved - change at Antwerp to IC trains to Bruges from there.

No you do not need to book Bruges to Brussels in fact you cannot - no reservations possible I believe and no worry - just hop on any train with a ticket.

For lots of great info on trains check these IMo superb sites: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Two ways between Amsterdam and Bruges - you can either take a Thalys train or IC train to Antwerp. IC trains are cheaper if you buy on a walk up basis but Thalys can be cheaper if you want to book months in advance to get the limited in number deep discounted tickets that are I believe however non-changeable non-refundable. www.thalys.com. And the ABS fare with Thalys is a good deal and can make Amsterdam to Bruges much cheaper than IC trains but you need to book in stone literally weeks in advance to guarantee availability of those fares!
PalenQ is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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You don't need to pre-book IC or domestic trains in Belgium and Netherlands but you do definitely need to pre-book Thalys trains which can cut an hour off the Amsterdam to Antwerp trip and with the ABS fare be even cheaper thanthe IC train route. Just show up Thalys will be much much more expensive than IC trains but if you pre-book far enough in advance it can be much cheaper and quicker.
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Jun 29th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Since TS is traveling on July 25th, Thalys will definitely be a lot more expensive than the IC train. The cheap Thalys tickets are long gone. If you want such a ticket, you need to buy it 3 months in advance (that's the earliest you can buy Thalys tickets and the cheap Non-Flex tickets sell out very quickly!).
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Jun 29th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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Oops - Myriam is right (as usual) - I failed to note the trip was so soon and that discounted tickets may not be available.

But IME they still may be available - last July I booked an Amsterdam to Paris train for 39 euros only a week before my son left and two Brussels-Paris-Brussels tickets for 29 euros - so those tickets can sell out fast but IME they may well not - at least they did not last year. Can easily book as I did on www.thalys.com and with the ABS fare that means 39 euros or less Amsterdam to Bruges and if going to Paris from there a total of 29 euros Bruges-Brussels-Amsterdam.
PalenQ is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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I checked before I wrote my post ... ;-)
MyriamC is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2014, 04:22 PM
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There are luggage lockers at Bruxelles-Central (station), which is the nearest big station to the main tourist sights in the middle of the city.

If you just want a quick look at the Grand' Place and surrounding streets, yes, you could do it in half a day. You might just do the Grand Sablon, the Galeries St.-Hubert, the Manneken Pis (really just a quick look would do). Lots of chocolate shops around the Grand Sablon. If you want to visit some of the sights that are a little further afield and maybe get a meal (which I recommend, Brussels is all about good food and drink), then give it a day, or a day and a night. Some of the sights further afield are the Horta Museum, which is in St.-Gilles (highly recommended, this museum is in the Art Nouveau style which predominates in Brussels), or the Atomium, which is outside the centre quite a long way. In Brussels you might also budget time for a museum (Museum of Musical Instruments, which is in an Art Nouveau building; Magritte Museum; the museum with the medieval armour at Porte de Hal; the automobile museum in the triumphal arch in Cinquantenaire).

Lavandula
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Jun 29th, 2014, 05:56 PM
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I checked before I wrote my post ..>

Well for that date maybe but I think my experience of just last July in making Amsterdam to Paris (can get off in Antwerp) and getting within a few days of travel a 39 euro ticket means they should at least look and not assume as you say they need to book 3 months in advance - I thought so too but my experience shows difference - maybe the closer to the train they release more discounted tickets if regular fares are not selling out.

I also booked on a few days notice Brussels to Paris and Paris to Brussels for 29 euros each - all on short notice so do not just not look assuming they will all be gone three months out - they may not IME.
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Jun 29th, 2014, 11:52 PM
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You may have lucked out, PalenQ. Usually those cheap tickets are sold within days after they come available. Secondly, July/August are the most quiet months to travel between those cities since it's the yearly holiday period when people travel 'en masse' to southern Europe.
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Jun 30th, 2014, 05:11 AM
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That was my understanding and yes I was shocked by the availability of not one but three separate trips (I misstated them - they were: Brussels to Amsterdam (Thalys); Amsterdam (39 euro) to Paris 39 euro; Paris to Brussels 29 euro - and the day of the week may matter - it was mid-week if I recall correctly.

But anyway never give up and keep checking. IC trains are a flat fare I believe and you may as well wait until Belgium before buying - teh ABS angle can make discounted Thalys fares obscenely cheap.
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