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-   -   Train Questions: Getting a Train to Bruges And One Random Question (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/train-questions-getting-a-train-to-bruges-and-one-random-question-1497486/)

JKline1229 Oct 20th, 2017 01:48 AM

Train Questions: Getting a Train to Bruges And One Random Question
 
I keep running into conflicting reports on whether or not there is a direct train from Brussels Airport to Bruges. I've read there is one every hour(at :58) and then I've read the opposite, that there is a trip to Bruges with a connect from Brussels Midi. I'm just super thrown about it! Is the direct new and that's why I keep getting conflicting reports? I'm also going to be there on December 26th/Boxing Day, so how different will the train schedule be?

Also for the random question, we're going from Bruges to Amsterdam, and since it's a 3-4 hour trip, we decided to take a small break in between. We're already taking a day trip to Ghent and since we've got lots of time in Amsterdam, we're debating on hitting up Antwerp during our "layover". Obviously, you can't "do" any city in a day or, in our case, six to eight hours, but since our trip would take us there anywhere, I was wondering if anyone had any "quick hits" for the city?

That last one is up in the air...A large part of me wants to wait and see what happens when we get there but I've always bought tickets in advance when I come to Europe, so the thought of waiting for the day makes me nervous. I'm not sure about prices/seating all that.

Thanks for any help.

StCirq Oct 20th, 2017 02:10 AM

belgianrail.be shows a number of trains daily between Zaventem and the main train station in Bruges (Saint-Pierre).

Belgians don't celebrate Boxing Day as far as I know, so that shouldn't be a problem. And belgianrail.be shows trains on December 26 at pretty regular intervals.

Antwerp can certainly be enjoyed in 6-8 hours. Visit the main square, see any special exhibits at the city hall, walk along the waterfront, just wander (it's not a very large place).

JKline1229 Oct 20th, 2017 02:18 AM

Thanks StCriq! The train planner was super helpful. Apparently, Boxing Day isn't even celebrated in Belgium(which is good to know! Means less closures!)...It seems I've got to get lucky to make the direct. I'll need the train to be delayed! But they all seem to be the same length

Would it be quicker to grab a taxi at that point? Or an Uber? How safe/reliable/expensive would that?

Tulips Oct 20th, 2017 02:42 AM

December 26 is maybe not an official holiday, but most people have a day off. In tourist places like Brugge the shops will be open.

No need to book tickets in advance for the train, except for Thalys tickets which are cheaper if you buy early (but then you will have to take that train, it's not flexible).

I don't know how easy it is to get Uber at the airport, or even if Uber is used much. Not so long ago Uber was not allowed in Brussel. Taxis are expensive, train will be faster/cheaper/easier.
Otherwise book a car service, don't just hail a taxi in Brussel to take you to Brugge.

You can easily stop in Antwerp for a few hours. The train station alone is worth a look, then walk along the Meir towards the Groenplaats and Markt. Don't miss the Conscience plein and the Carolus Borromeus church on this lovely small square. There's a large Christmas market in the center of Antwerp and along the river.

Tulips Oct 20th, 2017 02:54 AM

Oh and by the way, in case of train strikes (it happens...), there's an excellent and cheap bus between Antwerp and Amsterdam, the Flixbus.

jan47ete Oct 20th, 2017 04:45 AM

Just came back from doing BRU to Bruges. Since I didn't know how long it would take to get though customs etc, bought my ticket on the spot. Usually I know when I will be needing train info, so have at least 5 time slots with me, especially if there are trains 30-45 minutes apart. I like to know that I either have to run for it or I can take my time.

I bought my ticket at the counter with euros I had leftover and it was a very easy trip, so no worries. Signs are clear, directions are easy.

I did a day trip to Antwerp on my way to Brussels and easily doable in a day. Enjoy.

pariswat Oct 20th, 2017 04:57 AM

Hi
Boxing day is unheard of in Belgium.
26 december is a normal working day, however it is school holidays. I have never worked on a 26/12 in all my life.
Uber is virtually unnheard of in Belgium, at least within the people I frequent. I know nobody who ever took one.
Don't overplan tickets from Zaventem to Bruges. Just wait to be at Zaventem airport and buy your ticket there. No interest in preobooking, no discount and no reservation on such trains.
Train strikes are not unheard of but quite infrequent during winter.
Stop in Antwerpen and visit the trainstation to start with - a beautiful one.


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