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P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 08:25 AM

Amsterdam to Brugges-which option?
After Amsterdam, I am planning to stop in Bruges/Brussels before going on to Paris. I have 3 days in between. As of now, I booked 2 nights in Brugges but as Iím looking at my itinerary, it may make more sense to stay in Brussels. My original thought was to stop over in Antwerp but both kids (7 and 9) already expressed they want to see the peeing boy statue in Brussels after seing pics from their grandparents recent trip. Which do you think works best :

1.Leave Amsterdam; stop in Brussels for 3 hours for lunch (leave stuff in locker) and continue to Brugges for 2 nights

2.Or leave Amsterdam and stay in Brussels for 2 nights with a day trip to Brugges.

The 3rd day, we will be going to Paris via train. So logistically I know if I go to Brussels, Iíll most likely have to reserve the Thalys unless I go with the local trains. From what I see, that can work too. Although I want to stay in Brugges from everything I have read, it seems that Brussels would make sense as well, plus it will reduce some train time travel to Paris the last day. Thoughts?

PalenQ Nov 2nd, 2007 08:29 AM

From Bruges it's just a quick (3.5 hrs or so) to take local trains to Lille and then TGVs to Paris as to go to Brussels and hop Thalys, which could be much more expensive unless you book a hard to get SMILYS fare. or for the TGV info and tickets.

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 08:35 AM

Thanks PalenQ, so which option for hotel stay would you pick?

BTilke Nov 2nd, 2007 08:40 AM

If you want to enjoy a fine meal, go with option 1. Brussels has better restaurants than Bruges and has a LOT of restaurants offering excellent lunch time bargains.

If you're more keen to see Bruges, then stay there. It's gorgeous at night when all the day trippers have left. I would suggest spending two nights in Bruges, catching a morning train to Brussels, storing your luggage and seeing the Brussels highlights (Sablon, Grand'Place, maybe the Cinquantenaire) and then catching an afternoon Thalys to Paris.

If you're more keen to stay in Brussels (there is plenty to do there and it's a great city for foodies), then go with option 2.

But it sounds like you'd rather be in Bruges. Remember, it's only about 50 minutes between Bruges and Brussels Gare du Midi, trains run at least 2x per hour, and there are plenty of trains to Paris from Brussels, so getting to Paris from Bruges isn't as inconvenient as you think it might be.

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 08:43 AM

I did see the direct train (Brugges to Paris) that leaves at 6:32 am. I'll wait to hear what more people on the board think. But since there are more options in Brussels, maybe that is a good pick with kids.

PalenQ Nov 2nd, 2007 08:46 AM

There is one daily direct Thalys Bruges-Paris

There are hourly trains Bruges-Lille and hourly TGVs Lille-Paris - this route is as quick as any and typically cheaper than the Thalys

There are hourly or more Thalys trains Brussels-Paris but no local trains on that route only Thalys.

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 08:48 AM

Ok, So it's cheaper to go from Amsterdam to Brugges (stop in Brussels), and then Brugges to Paris- correct?

Bitter Nov 2nd, 2007 08:52 AM

I think I would suggest the stop over in Brussels, but continue on to Bruges. Brussels has a lot to offer, but you can get a pretty good wow factor by hitting the square and visiting the Mannekin Pis and moving on. You will not regret spending the extra time in Bruges.

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 10:14 AM

ok, thanks for all your quick replies. I'll keep to my original plan and stay in bruges.

BTilke Nov 2nd, 2007 10:55 AM

Pal is NOT correct about the train route from Bruges to Paris via Lille being as quick as taking a train to Brussels and then on to Paris.

First, it is NOT as quick. Getting to Paris via Brussels takes 2.5 hours (50 minutes Bruges to Brussels, 1 hour 25 minutes Brussels to Paris). Getting from Bruges to Lille alone can take up to 2 hours. The shortest route between Bruges and Lille is 1 hours 20 minutes. There are NO direct trains from Bruges to must change at Kortrijk...there are a few routes that require 3 train changes. There are NO changes on the trains between Bruges and Brussels. Brussels is the second stop from go down to the main concourse and then walk over the Thalys wing. Simple as that.

If you take the train to Lille, you have to check whether you arrive at Lille Flandres or Lille Europe and that you depart from the same station.

There are frequent trains between Bruges and Brussels (two per hour), moreover, that run is usually on the nicest trains in the Belgian fleet. That is not true for the trains from Bruges to Kortrijk or from Kortrijk to Lille.

Short answer: Bruges to Paris via Brussels is faster than via Lille, has fewer changes and with smart shopping in advance, costs about the same.

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 11:50 AM

Thanks. definitely will keep this in mind when I book my train tix next year.

PalenQ Nov 2nd, 2007 12:51 PM

<Pal is NOT correct about the train route from Bruges to Paris via Lille being as quick as taking a train to Brussels and then on to Paris.>

Bruges-Lille Flandres there are direct trains every 3-4 hours or so, such as 7:33am ar Lille 8:54

and 11:33 ar 12:55

and on other hours you can change at Kortrijk, from one platform to another, and actually get to Lille a few minutes earlier than on the direct trains.

Leave at 8:33am from Bruges
ar Lille Flandres (no trains from Bruges go to Lille Europe) 9:54am

lv Lille Flandres 10:00 ar Paris Nord 11:02 TOTAL TIME 2.5 hrs

and similar timings throughout the day -

and this 2.5 hrs can be quickly than 3 hrs on some routes via Thalys

so to say it's quicker via Brussels is simply not true if my Thomas Cook Timetable is correct (except on the early morning direct ^;30am Thalys Bruges-Paris

so why hassle with the Byzantine pricing structure of Thalys and face paying twice as much as the Bruges-Lille-Paris route (special PREM fares at

P67742 Nov 2nd, 2007 01:36 PM

ok while i still figure out the whole brussels stopover,

hereís another question,

Day 1-leave Amsterdam in the morning, stop in Brussels (12-5), continue to Bruges for the night
Day 2-Sightsee in Bruges for the day
Day 3-train to Paris

Is ĺ of a day enough in Bruges and should I spend the extra time in Paris. I currently am in Paris for 3 days but do you think I should train to Paris evening of Day 2? As it stands now, I allotted 1 full day and whatever time we may have the evening of Day 1.


PalenQ Nov 3rd, 2007 06:18 AM

yes Bruges historic centre is compact and in 1/2 day you can savor the essence of this wondrous old town, unparalleled north of the Alps IMO

nuttakorn_r Nov 3rd, 2007 06:20 AM

I recommend for using train , in Europe , that's really comfortable and flexible than using airplane due to there are some time-consumption for that.

MyriamC Nov 3rd, 2007 09:54 AM

Do check the timetables of the trains Brugge to Paris. I don't know where Pal got the information of a direct connection between Brugge and Lille, because there isn't any. At least not on weekdays. All involve a change in Kortrijk (also the 11:33 train he's mentioning). Furthermore, if you would take this routing, you will have to have a reservation for the TGV (the leg Lille to Paris) as well.
IMO it's much easier to travel via Brussels, with 2 Thalys trains every hour. Travel time is 2 hrs 30 min. against 2 hrs 29 or 2 hrs 33 min. in case you'd travel via Lille. And cheap Thalys tickets (Smilys type) are not hard to get if you book early (as of 3 months ahead). Do keep in mind that these cheap tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable, though.

hopscotch Nov 3rd, 2007 10:05 AM

I think your option 2 with a stay in Brugge and a fly-by of Brussels is best. You'll be passing right through Antwerp so it is a pity to miss it.

P67742 Nov 3rd, 2007 10:14 AM

I am not sure what everyone is recommending. Stay in Brussels or Bruges. Looks like I should spend the extra time in Paris in any case so I am moving hte extra day to Paris...SO.....

Should I:
1. leave Amsterdam, stop in Brussels, stay the night in Bruges OR
2. leave Amst, stay the night in Brussels and do a day trip into Bruges before heading to Paris


hopscotch Nov 3rd, 2007 10:45 AM

Oops. Sorry. Messed up on your numbers. Option 1 is my final answer. Do the overnight(s) in Brugge.

P67742 Nov 3rd, 2007 11:27 AM

Ok. Thanks.

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