We did not do this tour as we walked everywhere but for some people this may be an option if you want a guided tour of the city.
All the bus tours start in the Markt (the large square in the town centre) and in 2013 the costs are 16 euro for adults and 9.50 for children. The tour lasts 50 minutes and audio guide is given in Dutch, French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.
Cycling is a common form of transportation is Brugge, both for tourists and for locals.
One-way streets are generally open to cyclists going both directions, and there are numerous signposted bicycle routes, including car-free bicycle paths along the canals. Several companies offer guided bicycle tours.
Next: Bike rentals at ‘t koffieboontje
Brugge, like the rest of Flanders, has a fine network of signposted bicycle routes for local or long distance cycling.
The signs in my photo are in Brugge near the beginning of the LF5, a route that is 294 kilometers long and goes across the entire northern end of Belgium, connecting Brugge with a town called Thorn at the other end of the country.
Next: Fiets goed gesloten?
When I visited Brugge in 2012 there were signs in the city center reading “Fiets goed gesloten?” (Bike securely locked?) with a real chain and lock hanging from the sign for emphasis.
The lady in the second photo is in fact locking her bike securely, as do most other people in Brugge.
Next: Trains to Brugge
I travelled to Brugge on an InterCity train from Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels South Station).
Two days later I left on an InterCity train for Gent/Ghent/Gand. For this trip I bought a Senior Ticket for all of 5.30 Euros, which as I recall was a considerable saving over the normal price.
In front of the station there is a large inhospitable square (third photo), which is quite empty and barren for the simple reason that it forms the roof of a large parking garage, so they can’t plant trees on it. (The square at ‘t Zand has the same problem.)
From the front of the station you can already see the tower of the Church of Our Lady (fourth photo).
This church, which in Dutch is called the Vrouwkerk and in French Notre-Dame, has the highest tower in Brugge, with a height of at least 116 meters (or a bit higher, depending on which website you believe).
Next: Tourist boats
horse carriage tour
I guess for many people (especially couples) a horse carriage tour is a romantic way to see an old medieval town. Of course the reality is a bit different, for this old fashioned style of transport you have to pay lot of money for just a 30 minute ride through the streets along with cars and numerous other visitors.
Most of them depart from Market square, I noticed the driver was also a guide too, pointing at sites etc so it’s not just a ride but a small tour around.
Although it was nice to see around these horses and listening to the clip clop sound I was surprised to see how clean the streets were until I realized there is bag underneath the horse’s tail :)
Every horse we saw seemed in good condition.
Brugge is full of canals and a canal tour will give you an opportunity to see this beautiful medieval town and many of these old monuments and buildings from a different point of view.
There are many open boats that run through the main canals with the boat driver as a guide too that will give information about the surroundings (usually in more than one language). The boat tour lasts for 30 minutes.
It was a cloudy day with small light showers through out the day so we preferred to save the 7.60 euros per person and enjoyed some other things less touristy although this is hard to find in Brugge :)
Brugge isn’t big and the Old Town is really walkable so you wont need a car inside the city. The Old Town is only 1,5km north from Train Station. We walked through a nice park and then just wondered around the Old Town where most of the sites are. Lot of cobble streets there so comfy shoes are a must.
Bicycle is a good option too, we saw lot of locals and visitors using one although the cobblestone streets don’t seem very comfortable. I guess they are very useful if you want to explore some area a bit further from the compact city center. Have in mind that we saw cars everywhere (we were imagining Brugge as a car free town) but there are lots of cycle lanes too.
There were many buses passing by the train station, I guess some of them will take you closer to Old Town in case you don’t want to walk.
Brugge is about 100km west of Brussels, 50km from Gent, and 100km from Antwerpen
We travelled to Bruges from Gent. There is a train every 30’ and we didn’t have to buy in advance. We payed €7.20 for a return ticket as there was a weekend offer (ask for that from Brussels too). Normally the ticket from Gent costs €6,50 single, and €13 return. From Brussels single ticket costs €13,50. The price is the same from any station in Brussels(Bruxelles-Nord, Bruxelles-Central, Bruxelles-Midi)
It makes no difference whether you buy domestic Belgian train tickets online or at a station (unless you are under 26, as Go Pass 1 ticket is only available ONLINE from b-rail site). You can't reserve seats on Belgian domestic trains.
The train station is about 1,5km from the Markt square in Old Town.
There are buses from Gent but it’s more complicated from Brussels, it seems you have to take 2-3 different buses so it isn’t really a choice. Maybe an organized bus tour is better if for some reason you don’t want to take a train.
The roads in Belgium are in good shape, you wont have a problem to drive around but parking must be tricky, especially on the street is difficult usually there’s pay parking for maximum 2 hours, not really convenient, but there are also some street that you can park for 4 hours for free. There’s a garage area at the railway station too.
Bruges port is at Zeebrugge which means Bruges-on-Sea).
It is the second largest port in Belgium and the most modern as well as one of the most important in Europe.
You can travel from Hull in the UK on P&O's overnight service departing every day from just £39 pp return.
Brugge is on the Belgian Railways' main line between Brussels and Oostende and trains run roughly every half hour with a journey time from Brussels of just over an hour. The railway station is located about a ten minute walk (and very pleasantly scenic it is too) from the city centre.
The station itself is quite artily-modern and has all the facilities you would expect including left-luggage lockers (about 3 Euros for 24 hours for a standard-sized bag), cafe, convenience shop and other "conveniences".
On the station forecourt is the local bus terminal from which you can take buses into the centre or travel further afield.
If just visiting for the day, or if you are staying centrally and not over-laden with luggage, then the walk into the city is simply a matter of going straight out of the main exit, crossing the road at the traffic lights, going over the river (?? Canal ??) and continuing straight ahead - central Brugge is where the church tower is. There's a useful city map once you've crossed the road and that'll give you your bearings.
it is a good idea to go around Bruges with a tourstic bus. I have not done it, but I have been here two times and I have always problems to find in the city. So, ask in the tourist office about bus trips around the city.
I travelled from Lisbon to Brussels with Brussels Airlines. The flight was direct and I liked the airline.
Flights were on time, planes were modern and new and service was good. and attentive.
They use the main Brussels airport as their hub in Brussels. Fares are good and so are their schedules.
I would definetly fly with them again!
Opening hours (Brussels local times)
Weekdays: 09:00 - 19:00
From Brussels Central Station you can catch a train to Bruges every thirty minutes. The trip takes just under an hour and is a great way to see something of the Flanders countryside. The great thing about coming by train is that you can combine a trip to Ghent with a trip to Bruges. I would recommend going straight to Bruges as the earlier you arrive the better the possibility of avoiding huge crowds. Then on the return journey get off in Ghent and spend a few hours there.
When I made this trip I left the train between Bruges and Brussels to visit Ghent. I thought this was allowed but VT member Museeuw (Brecht) has pointed out to me that this is in fact definitely not allowed and that I could have been fined. If you want to do this you must buy two seperate tickets. Thanks Brecht !
Belgian railways have an English website where you can check times and prices -www.b-rail.be
We travelled to Brugge on a guided bus tour with Brussels City Tours. We booked through the hotel and a mini bus picked us up at 11.30 to join the coach in the city centre for a 12.00 departure. The buses return journey leaves Brugge at 17.00 hours. We travelled on the E40 through the flat Flemish countryside. The journey takes around two hours giving ample time for some relaxation, reading or note writing. The tour guides give information in seven languages and you are invited to see the sights with them. Tours cost Adults 34e Children 16e 65+/Student 29e
On your return to Brussels you will be dropped off at or near your hotel.
Buzz buses constantly run from the railway station to the Market Place in the Centre of old Brugge ! Costing no more than 1 Euro it takes only a few minutes. Tip...groups can buy a group ticket even cheaper !
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