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Traveling to Bruges

Bruges boatsBruges is the epitome of the old saying, "All roads lead to Rome". With its convenient location roughly in the middle of the London, Paris and Amsterdam triangle, you will find many ways to travel to Bruges.

Also, have a look at the Bruges Traveling Tips and maps of Bruges.

Air Travel to Bruges

There are 5 international airports in Belgium:

  1. Zaventem Airport-Brussels
  2. Deurne Airport-Antwerp
  3. Ostend Airport-Ostend
  4. Brussels South Charleroi Airport
  5. Liège Airport

Zaventem Airport is about 1 hr and 30 mins from Bruges by train. Check the timetable for the Airport City Express on the Belgian Railways (SNCB/NMBS) website, entering Zaventem Airport as the departure or destination station in the online form.

If you prefer to rent a car, there are many car rental companies at the airport. Make sure you get a road map as Belgian roads can be tricky at times.

The modern Antwerp (Deurne) Airport is ideal for international scheduled flights and general aviation. You will find frequent regular connections with London, Rotterdam, Manchester, Jersey and Milan. If you are in the UK you can compare flights to Belgium with or for more information check the Antwerp Airport.

Brussels South Charleroi Airport is about 2 hours from Bruges by train. Ryanair is one of the biggest carriers there. Other carriers later joined Ryanair in Charleroi, such as Wizz Air and JetAirFly.

Liège Airport is the 3th biggest for passenger next to Brussels and Charleroi. Next to that is Liège airport the biggest cargo airport in Belgium.

Train Travel to Bruges

Traveling by train to Bruges is the best way to see the beautiful Belgian countryside. For Eurail Pass holders, it is also quite inexpensive. There are several connections to hub cities that will lead you to Bruges.

  • The Belgian Railways (NMBS) will bring you from Brussels to Bruges in 1 hr, from Antwerp to Bruges in 1 hr and 25 mins, from Ghent to Bruges in 30 min., from Ostend to Bruges in 15 mins.
  • The Thalys links Bruges and Paris Nord in 2hrs and 30 min. Brussels and Amsterdam in 1 hrs and 52 min. Trains depart and arrive at the south station (Gare du Midi) in Brussels. For more information
  • The Eurostar links London and Brussels, with the trip taking 2 hrs. Trains depart and arrive at the south station (Gare du Midi) in Brussels and depart and arrive at the London St Pancras International Station or Ebbsfleet International. Connections are outstanding, with six underground lines and seven rail companies operating from St Pancras International, King’s Cross and nearby Euston. For additional information about the Eurostar train, call 2 555 25 25 or
  • The best way to find out train schedules is to contact Rail Europe at or contact them by phone. From the US dial 1-877-257-2887, from Canada dial 1-800-361-RAIL. For more information on the Eurostar, Thalys, Benelux pass, rail passes in Europe and point-to-point tickets visit: Rail Europe.

Additional Belgian Train Travel Info:

  • Reduced price Eurail Passes for tourists coming to Europe must be purchased before leaving the US/Canada.
  • The train stations in London, Paris and Brussels are located in the center of the city.
  • Seat reservations within the Belgian train network are available only for groups of 15 passengers or more.
  • A dense train network connects all of Belgium tourism cities. National and International passes for regular and First Class travel are available at major train stations in the Benelux region. The Benelux pass can be used to travel between Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.
  • The price of a round trip ticket is generally double the price of a one way ticket. The one way trip or the outward trip of a return trip ticket must be made on the date shown on the ticket.
  • Since schedules can change, tourism offices don't usually keep train schedules. It is best to check with the station. In general, trains leave every ½ hr from and to all major Belgian cities. The first train is usually around 5 AM and the last one around 11 PM.
  • Coin operated lockers are available for luggage in all major train stations.
  • Bicycles can be rented at major stations. More info can be found online.
  • If there are not ticket-sale facilities at the departure station, you can buy your ticket from the on-board train crew, without extra charges. Find them before you board. If there was a ticket counter and you instead purchase from the train crew, there can be an extra charge. The fines for attempting to ride for free are quite high, so you better not do it.
  • If you are staying in the same city or commuting for a while? You can buy a ticket for ten single journeys on the same route, which is good value.
  • An explanation of the types of passes can be found online.

Bus Travel to Bruges

Belgium is a densely populated country due to this we have extensive public bus routes, which are used often by locals. Check beforehand bus routes to avoid confusion, bus drivers are usually quite helpful as are other passengers so do not be afraid to ask someone for some help.

Prices vary depending on where you are going. Children younger than 6 travel free. You pay up to 50% less if you buy your ticket ahead of time at de lijnshops. A new way to pay for your ticket is with a single SMS (for now still only for proximus users). If you are traveling with a minimum of 5 people, you can buy a group ticket. Check out this site for types and fares.

Car Rentals

Drivers licenses from most countries are accepted in Belgium for up to 90 days. To see if your country's license is accepted, check with the Belgian Embassy website. The minimum age for renting a car is generally 25 years old.

If you are renting a car to travel from England, you can visit Bruges via France if you prefer to take the new English Channel tunnel, the Chunnel, which is located on the France side at the town of Calais, about 95,30km or 59,20miles from Bruges by car.

Ferry Travel to Bruges

To and From England and Belgium by Ferry:

  • Getting to Bruges by car from the UK is really easy. If you live in the south of Britain you can choose Eurotunnel from Folkestone or P&O ferries or SeaFrance from Dover. They all go to Calais and from there it's just an hour or so to Bruges. NorfolkLine sails from Dover direct to Ostend, which is only about 45 minutes to Bruges. From the north why not take the P&O Ferries overnight sailing from Hull to Zeebrugge, only 30 minutes from Bruges? Or there's the option of the overnight Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry service operated by DFDS, and it's only three hours by road to Bruges.
  • Hull, England and Zeebrugge, Belgium: One departure a day by ferry, which carries both cars and passengers. The crossing time is 14 hrs. For more information, visit P&O North Sea Ferries.

Ticket information and reservations are available in major Train Stations, travel agencies and online.

Traveling Tips to Bruges

Document Notes:

  • Passports and Visas: If you are a European Community citizen, you can travel with your ID card. Many other country's citizens, like Canada and US, are given a 90 day visitors visa, which are issued upon arrival in Belgium. Your local Belgian embassy or travel agent can advise you on the necessary documents for your visit.
  • Always check that your passport is valid for at least the period of your travel if not longer.
  • Get any visas you need in advance. Obtaining a visa or renewing a passport can take time.
  • It's always a good idea to carry a copy of documents with you, including traveler's checks and prescriptions, and leave a copy at home where they are accessible by a family member or friend. Keep the originals and copies separate.
  • An extra set of passport-size photos can also be useful.
  • Never bring fruit, vegetables or animal products to or from Belgium.

Medical Considerations:

  • Ask your airline or travel agent whether any inoculations are required based on your home area and where you will be first landing. This should be done as soon as you book your tickets, although in general none are required for Belgium.
  • If you have any doubts about flying, on medical grounds, ask your doctor. You may be required to advise your airline of certain conditions in advance, you should also let them know if you may require special assistance.
  • Airlines usually refuse to carry passengers after their 36th week of pregnancy. A medical certificate is usually required after the 28th week.
  • Ensure that you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications and a copy of the prescriptions with you. Always pack these items in your hand luggage and not in your checked luggage.

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Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to keep this information up to date, we are not responsible for any errors in this information. Please inform us immediately if anything is inaccurate.

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