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Train to Brugge from Paris in the morning

Train to Brugge from Paris in the morning

Apr 14th, 2010, 10:52 AM
  #1  
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Train to Brugge from Paris in the morning

Our trip has changed, and I am wondering if it is possible to get a train in the morning from Paris to Brugge on a Monday? When I look at the Thalys time schedule, it looks like you can only leave at 1800 arrive at 2100 (approx.) If I book a train from Paris to Brussels, how easy is it to get a ticket at the train station to Brugge? We are traveling with two kids so I was trying to book ahead of time. And how often does the train leave from Brussels? Is it still a Thalys train? I wanted to be able to spend two full days in Brugge, not get there at 2100 on the Monday. Thanks for any feedback!
SandJand2kids is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Paris to Brussels, how easy is it to get a ticket at the train station to Brugge?>

Direct Paris to Bruges trains are rare and at odd hours for most but with many Thalys tickets request the ABS (All-Belgian-Stations) fare - free with tickets bought in the U.S.thru RailEurope but may cost a few bob at thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com - anyway lets you take any train from Brussels to Bruges both ways in conjunction with a Thalys ticket - for up to 24 if not 48 hours. Anyways investigate the ABS aspect - and it is easy to transfer at Brussels-Midi station where Thalys dumps you off - twice hourly or so trains to Bruges - no reservations even possible so just jump on - takes just over an hour

Another route Paris to Bruges goes via Lille - take a French TGV to Lille-Flandres then change for a Belgian regional train to Bruges - takes about the same time as via Brussels and often much cheaper - depending on what type of the myriad of fares Thalys offers you can get. Indeed you could just buy your Paris-Lille-Bruges ticket in Paris as this is pretty much a flat normal fare though you could save a tad perhaps on the Paris-Lille TGV by booking a PREM fare at www.voyages-sncf.com. At times RailEurope in U.S. offers decent Thalys fares such as their annual 50% off full price sale - have not heard yet this year but has last 3 years - but RailEurope site often IME does not list all the fares that are available - for any RE product or info i always suggest calling the helpful folks at www.budgeteuropetravel.com- but usually IME fares are cheaper thru thalys.com or www.voyages-sncf.com but you never know for your exact date so check both sources. In any case do not just show up and buy a Thalys ticket in Paris as you could literally pay $100s of dollars more than booking early - early bird does indeed get the worm here - but the Paris-Lille-Bruges route can be bought in Paris ata reliable good fare compared to full fares on Thalys. there are cheap child's and family fares i believe on Thalys trains.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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If it is a Saturday there is a direct Thalys train from Paris to Bruges, leaving at 8:01am - oddly taking a few minutes longer than other connections where you have to change to a regional train Brussels-Bruges! but it seems only Saturday mornings is there a direct train in the morning.

To sum up Thalys can be much cheaper if you can book their limited in number deep discounted fares but the TGV via Lille is dependably reasonably priced route even if you just show up in Paris and buy it.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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If there are not many direct trains from Paris to Brugge, I would definitely go by train (Thalys probably) to Brussels, then change on a local train to Brugge. The trains leave Brussels for Brugge about every 30 mins and you just make sure you have a ticket and hop on. You can buy tickets from a person at the ticket counter or at a machine.

Once you arrive in Brussels, check the electronic departure boards to see which platform you need, it won't show Brugge as the final destination, it will be Oostende or another place I can't remember - starts with K, helpful I know . It is fairly straight forward and there is a map online of Brussels Midi station you can check out beforehand if you think that may help. There are places to buy food at Midi to take on the Brugge train with you and also pay toilets at the station.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Apr 19th, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Knokke-Heist or Oostende will be the eventual destination of Brussels to Bruges trains i believe - Knokke-Heist being a thriving seaside resort - one of the finest on the Belgian Coast.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Again there are two separate routes Paris to Bruges - one via Brussels and the Thalys trains and one via Lille and TGV trains - once in Brussels or Lille it's local trains to Bruges - time is about the same either way - about 2.5 hours so i would take whatever is cheapest - and Thalys can be cheapest but only if you get one of those elusive at times advance deep discounted ticket - for most cases i would suggest the Paris-Lille-Bruges route would be the cheapest.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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You've given great information.

It's just funny that, "Knokke-Heist being a thriving seaside resort - one of the finest on the Belgian Coast."
That could be true and it's unfortunate for the Belgian Coast We went to Knokke-Heist to see the casino.
LSky is offline  
Apr 20th, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Going to Bruges via Brussels allows you to stop off in Brussels for a few hours - enough for the average tourist to savor Brussels few must sights - the Grand' Place - one of Europe's finest town squares and the nearby Mannequin Pis - a statue of a pissing boy that has become Brussels' symbol much like the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 10:06 AM
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If stopping off in Brussels for a short look the Thalys train comes into Brussels-Midi, the main station (a k a Brussels-Zuid or South station) - put your bags in a station locker and hop one of the every few minute trains to Brussels Centrale station - a smaller station that is a short stroll from the Grand' Place and Pissing Boy statue and the heart of town.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 10:36 AM
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The first Thalys train leaves Gare du Nord at 06:25 and arrives at Bruxelles-Midi/Zuid at 07:45. Book well in advance (up to 90 days allowed) at www.thalys.com to get the best fares. The cheapest ones sell out quickly so book ASAP! If both of your children are under 12, you can get a fare for two adults and two kids totaling as little as 80 EUR for all four of you.
TimS is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 10:37 AM
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It may be much like the Eiffel Tower is to Parisians but it's a lot of build up for nothing.

If one were going to spend a short time in Brussels the time is better spent at the Magritte Museum or Grand Place or enjoying the Art Nouveau than to hustle around to see that silly statue. Just my opinion.
LSky is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Actually, I was wrong. It's an out and out insult to the Parisians to compare that little lawn ornament to the Eiffel, not to mention poor Mr. Eiffel.
If it were such an important thing to the people of Brussels, why is next to unattractive shops?
LSky is offline  
Apr 21st, 2010, 11:56 AM
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I have to agree with LSky - don't both with the little statue of the boy. A total waste of time when there is so much beauty in Brussels - and Belgium for that matter.

Kay
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 06:58 AM
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Actually, I was wrong. It's an out and out insult to the Parisians to compare that little lawn ornament to the Eiffel, not to mention poor Mr. Eiffel.>

Well i agree with the Pissing Boy statue -much ado about nothing but the comparison with the Eiffel was only in it being the symbol nowadays for Brussels much like Eiffel Tower is for Paris.

And it is a must sight to me simply because it is so famous -and you cannot disdain it unless you see it - it is right in the heart of the Grand' Place area so takes just a fewminutes to look and then mock it to friends back home. A unique thing about the Mannequin Pis are the variety of hats and robes that are put on it to commemorate visits of dignitaries, etc i guess.
Palenque is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:12 AM
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True enough Palenque, I know how silly it is because I made the trek to see it on limited time in Brussels. Was it worth being about to sniff at it? Hmmm.

Now that we've seen it, the next time we go to Brussels we can enjoy so much more, imo a city with so much to enjoy. Wish we would have spent less time in Bruges.
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