Bruges is, rightfully, one of the most popular tourist highlights in Belgium. You haven’t actually been in Belgium if you haven’t visited it! But we noticed a lot of people wondering; how to get to Bruges?
Should I take a train to Bruges? And is the Bruges train station centrally located? Is there easy access to the city? How to get an Amsterdam to Bruges train or a train from Brussels Airport to Bruges? Is there also a Brussels to Bruges bus? So many questions and we’re about to answer them all!
As the intro already suggests, it depends a lot on where you’re coming from. But yes, a train is usually the best method of transportation. Belgium has a good railway system, fast trains, and centrally located train stations.
So let’s start with answering a few questions for you.
If you’re just looking for your specific train journey or bus journey, you can easily find them in the table of contents, so click through to the information you need!
We start with the trains, because we believe catching a train is the best and quickest way to get to Bruges.
Bruges train station
Bruges has 2 train stations, so this might be confusing on a first-time visit to the city.
The main Bruges train station is just called ‘Brugge‘ and this is the one you need. The other one is called ‘Brugge Sint Pieter‘ and it’s located outside of the city.
BRUGGE station is located just outside of the historical city center and within walking distance of all the main sights.
Walking from Bruges train station to the central plaza will take about 20 minutes, but the walk is mostly beautiful and it takes you through the historic city center. So this walk would already be a part of your discovery of the city. Only the first five minutes of this walk might be a bit boring, but after that, the city will start to grow on you pretty quickly!
Bruges train station to the Markt: 1,6km – 20min walk
Right outside of the train station, there’s a bus stop with buses to other cities in the area and to the city center.
If you want to catch a bus from the Bruges train station to the Markt, you have a lot of choices. We recommend asking in the ‘Lijnwinkel’ just outside the station. They will tell you what is the next best bus to take!
Brussels to Bruges train
When traveling from Brussels to Bruges, taking a train is your best option.
All trains pass through all 3 stations in Brussels: Nord, Central, and Midi Stations.
Trains leaving Brussels in the directions of Ostend, Knokke, and Blankenberge, pass through Bruges first. So any of these trains will work fine!
Journey duration: 1h15
Interval: every 15 to 30 minutes
Price: Around 17 €
Train from Brussels airport to Bruges
Brussels Airport is located in Zaventem and there’s no direct connection between the airport and Bruges. You ALWAYS have to change trains in Brussels. We recommend switching trains in the Brussels Midi train station as it has the easiest connection.
So you first get from Brussels Airport / Zaventem to Brussels Midi. Then you catch a train to Bruges.
Journey duration total: 1h40
Journey Airport to BXL: 20 to 25 minutes
Journey Brussels to Bruges: 1h15
Interval: every 10 minutes
Total price: 23€
Attention! If your flight arrives in Brussels Charleroi, this is not the train journey you need! For this journey, there’s a bus involved too. We explain this journey a bit further down!
Brussels Charleroi Airport to Bruges
The Charleroi Airport is not near Brussels, but they still call the airport Brussels South. On thing is certain: this airport is located South of Brussels, quite a bit South of Brussels though.
Charleroi Airport does not have a train station, but there is a bus taking passengers from the airport to the Charleroi train station every 30 minutes.
Here’s how it works if your flight lands in Brussels South / Charleroi.
Right outside of the airport, BUS A leaves every 30 minutes to Charleroi train station. The bus journey takes 17 minutes.
From this train station, you can catch a train to Brussels Midi, which lasts 50 minutes.
In Brussels Midi, you can catch a train to Bruges.
There is also an option to catch a direct shuttle from Charleroi Airport to Brussels Midi train station every 30 minutes, but this option is more expensive at around 17 € per person, just to get to Brussels Midi train station.
Journey duration total: 2h 30
Journey Airport to Charleroi station: 17 min
Journey Charleroi to BXL Midi: 50 min
Journey Brussels to Bruges: 1h 15
Price bus A ticket: 6€
Price train journey: 23 €
Ghent to Bruges train
Ghent is located pretty close to Bruges and the journey is short and sweet!
The information in this article is for journeys starting in the main train station in Gent-St-Pieters, which is the most accessible train station in Ghent.
Most trains from Ghent that are riding in these directions will also stop in Bruges: Oostend, Blankenberge, Knokke, and Zeebrugge.
Journey duration: 25 minutes
Interval: Every 5 to 10 minutes
Price: 9 €
Antwerp to Bruges train
To catch the Antwerp to Bruges train, you’ll have to switch trains once in Ghent / Gent St Pieters, where you will have to wait for about 10 to 15 minutes for your next train.
From Antwerp, you’ll have to catch a train with one of these destinations: Ostend, St Nicholas, De Panne, or Poperinge. You get off the train in Ghent / Gent St Pieters and then catch a new train to Bruges.
Journey duration: 1h30
Interval: Every 20 to 30 minutes
Price: 17 €
Amsterdam to Bruges train
As you might know, Amsterdam is not in the same country as Bruges and the journey takes a little longer: around 3 to 4 hours. If you have some extra time to spend in Bruges, you might want to get a room for the night.
It’s also possible to book a day trip from Amsterdam to Bruges where everything is taken care of.
But, about the Amsterdam to Bruges train!
The first leg of this journey brings you from one capital to the next. It’s the Amsterdam to Brussels train, which takes around 3 hours. From Brussels, you catch the train to Bruges as mentioned in the first part of this article.
Journey duration: 3 to 4 hours depending on your connection
Interval: Amsterdam to Brussels trains leave every hour
Price Thalys + IC train (3h15): 129 € (option 1)
Price IC trains (4h): 45 – 60€ (option 2)
You can catch a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels, which is more expensive, but also a little faster. With a Thalys, your journey takes around 3h15. With a regular (much cheaper) train, the journey takes 4 hours.
London to Bruges train
London is another city which is not located in the same country as Bruges. The journey takes a little longer and you might want to consider getting a room for the night in Bruges. This way, you have a little more time to explore Bruges.
It’s also possible to book a day trip from London to Bruges, so you can see as much as possible in one day without spending the night.
About the London to Bruges train journey!
If you want to travel from London to Bruges by train, you’ll be taking the Eurostar, which travels underneath the North Sea. This is an iconic high speed train in Europe. It’s a cool journey, even though you won’t see much scenery!
The Eurostar train leaves the London St Pancras Station and it takes you to Brussels Midi. From there, you can catch a train to Bruges
Journey total duration: 3 – 4 hours
Journey London to Brussels: 2h15
Journey Brussels to Bruges: 1h
Price: 145 – 330 €
- the price for this journey varies heavily depending on your time schedule. If you’re flexible, you can get cheaper rates.
- the Eurostar train has luggage restrictions
- you have to board at least 30 minutes before departure
Getting a bus to Bruges
Getting a bus to Bruges is a little more gentle on the budget.
Within Europe, you can catch a variety of buses. The local public bus operator is called: De Lijn. When traveling with De Lijn, there will be a lot of stops along the way, but you can get from anywhere in the country to any other place in the country.
When traveling from one large city to the next, you’ll be able to get long distance buses with fewer stops, which can take you to your destination quicker.
Bruges bus station
The main bus station in Bruges is located in front of the train station.
There are also some buses that go all the way into the city center of Bruges, but then you still have to change buses at the bus station / train station.
Brussels to Bruges bus
The best and fastest option to catch a Brussels to Bruges bus, is to get a semi-long-distance bus.
The Flixbus leaves Brussels at the Brussels North Station about 6 to 8 times each day.
You can also travel this journey with a De Lijn bus, but it will have 4 changes along the way.
Flixbus journey duration: 1h 30 – 2 hours
Price: 5 – 10€
Brussels airport to Bruges bus
This journey can also be done with Flixbus. The journey takes a little longer and costs only 1 or 2 € more.
This bus has a less frequent interval, so it’s also an option to combine this journey with a train from the airport to Brussels city and catching a bus or train to Bruges from there.
If you take a train to Brussels in order to get a Flixbus there. You should get off the train in Brussels North, as that is where the Flixbus departs.
Flixbus journey duration: 2 – 2h 30
Intervals: Less frequent
Price: 5 – 10 €
Amsterdam to Bruges Bus
The Amsterdam to Bruges bus takes a little longer to get there, but there is an option to catch a night bus, which might save you some time!
Flixbuses leave Amsterdam either at the Schiphol Airport, or from 2 bus staions in the city. There’s the Bijlmer station and the Sloterdijk station, both of which are located slightly outside of the city center. Sloterdijk is easy accessible and is probably the best station to start from.
Most of the Amsterdam to Bruges bus journeys are direct. You don’t have to switch buses along the way!
Flixbus journey duration: 5 – 6 hours
Intervals: Multiple departures each day
Price: 14 – 16 €
London to Bruges Bus
There is an actual Flixbus from London to Bruges and back. We haven’t used it for ourself, so we can’t actually comment on how the travel method is. The Flixbus site isn’t too detailed about it either. We do know it’s cheaper than catching a train!
Flixbus London to Bruges: 6h 30
Intervals: 1 or 2 buses each day
Price: 20 – 50 € depending on time schedule
Getting to Bruges by car
If you decide to rent a car in Belgium, that’s a great idea. We have an upcoming article about driving in Belgium and driving in Europe.
But in general, driving in Belgium is not too complicated!
There’s no tax for highways (yet) and we drive on the right side of the road.
Just add the address into your GPS and take off. It’s easy like that!
Parking in Bruges
This is a different story and parking in major cities in Belgium is not always easy.
We suggest finding a parking just outside the city center.
Average parking fee per hour: 1 – 1,6 €
Average parking fee per day: 8 – 14 €
What about flights to Bruges?
Nearest airport to Bruges
The nearest airport to Bruges is the Oostende-Bruges International Airport.
Even though it is the nearest, it might not be your best option, as not all flight operators land in this airport.
Most flights will get you to Brussels Airport, which is easy to connect with.
Brussels Airport is the main airport for Belgium and most international flights arrive here.
How to get to Bruges - Conclusion
It’s not too difficult to get to Bruges from almost anywhere in the country or even from other countries!
We recommend taking a train, especially if you’re short on time. Trains in Belgium are reasonable fast and convenient.
If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend taking a bus. It will take a little longer, but it’s a lot cheaper than trains. Even though Belgium has a public bus system, we recommend booking a ticket on the Flixbus, because those buses offer direct connections
Renting a car is also a nice option, but it’s not that convenient for visiting cities, as you won’t be able to park your car in the city. That is unless you book a hotel with a parking attached or underneath. Most hotels in Bruges don’t have underground parking lots.