Travel by Plane Train ,Boat or Car or Bus, Brugge
For my onward travel to Euromeet, I booked an ICE train from Brugge to Aachen for 24€ + 5€ seat reservation which was absolutely not needed, I don't think it was mandatory but I figured I didn't want to stand for the whole journey. The ticket included a reserved seat on a specific train from Brussels to Aachen and "Any Belgian Station included" which meant that the train from Brugge to Brussels could be any train that day. I got to the train station a little early for the train I thought I was going to catch so I took the earlier one to give myself more time to transfer trains. The tickets for ICE trains and Thalys trains tend to get more expensive the closer you are to travel.
There were other non-high-speed IC trains for which the price is the same whenever you buy (€23.10: except that if you buy the ticket at a station ticket office, you will pay an administrative fee of €3.50 which doesn't apply to online purchases) and high-speed ICE or Thalys trains, where you can get better prices buying up to 3 months in advance (and the administrative fee for purchase at the station would be €7). The last-minute price on Thalys is up to €59 (compared with €42 for end of May), ICE - a German high-speed train - is cheaper at about €24 (€19 for end of May), depending also on departure.
Book on www.b-europe.com/Travel unless you want to travel by Thalys, you can also book with German Railways, http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
Arriving into Brussels at 9:00 am I just made the 9:59am direct train from the Brussels airport (Brussel-Nat-Luchthaven in train timetables) directly to Brugge. Currently there are direct trains from Brussels Airport to Brugge during the week at 59 minutes past each hour and takes 1h29 to Brugge, you don't have to change trains. There are other options that require a change in Brussels before heading to Brugge. The current cost is €20.60 to Brugge for a direct or a one change train. From Brugge to Brussels, the one way fare is €14.10. A weekday return ticket between Brussels and Brugge is €24.20.
It doesn't appear that there is any monetary benefit to prepurchasing a ticket but I did pre purchase mine and that was the only reason I made the train, I wouldn't have if I had to figure out how to work the machines. The ticket is good for any train that day, you don't have to pick a specific train.
The airport train station is located below the terminal (basement level -1) and is just a few minutes walk from where you come out of customs. Very easy to find and there are only two tracks, follow the signs for Thalys/trains down two escalators. The train stopped at two or three stations in Brussels so it's the same train if you are staying in the city.
There is a good range of bus services in West Flanders that radiate from Brugge, There are 25 bus routes within the city and many to tourist towns such as Ostend, De Haan etc and the website link here has details.
The bus station is a 5 minute walk from the town centre and is near the Concert Hall.
A large station on the edge of the town centre dating from 1939, although the railway came to Brugge many years before. There is a restaurant , booking office , left luggage lockers etc here and regular services to Brussels, Ostend, Ghent, Zeebrugge, Knokke , Blankenberge and Korttijk.. You do not need a time table to search for train times as services run regularly and in many cases until the early hours of the morning.
The walk to the town centre is at least 20 minutes and if you have mobility problems a taxi may be an option.
Our trip to Bruges station began in Brussels Midi Zuid or where we caught the train. There are quite a few trains a day is not necessary to book in advance. I looked online before going to Belgium and the prices were even more expensive. We bought second class ticket round trip cost us 13.50 euros or 14 euros. The trip takes 1 hour and stops midway in Ghent.
Nuestro viaje a Brujas empezó en la estación de Bruselas Zuid o Midi, debido a que hay bastantes trenes al día no es necesario reservar con antelación, es mas miré por internet antes de ir a Belgica y los precios eran incluso mas caros, el billete en segunda clase de ida y vuelta nos costó 13.50 euros o 14 euros.
I arrived in Brussels via the Eurostar and took a regular train to Bruges (when buying your Eurostar ticket, you can select "Any Belgian station," and that will cover you to your final arrival in Bruges, if you're staying there).
The Bruges train station is not very large, but it's a small town, of course. It's reasonably outfitted for its size. It's clean and safe.
If you're traveling to major cities (e.g., Gent or Brussels), be sure to take the intercity (IC) train and not the local. :-)
There are several coach operators who offer Brugge as a destination for a short break.On my most recent trip to the city I used National Holidays. They are a good, reliable company and have comfortable coaches. The drivers all seem to be experienced and knowledgeable about their destinations.
Prices of breaks begin from £99.
The City Tour is a really good way to see the sights of Brugge. The bright yellow mini-buses run from the Markt area every hour. There is a Brugge tour which takes 50 minutes and a Damme tour which lasts 2 hours. Tickets are bought on the bus.
Once you get to Brugge you should park your car and leave it. In order to get to your hotel, you may want to know what a couple of important signs mean.
Picture 1-round red sign with a white strip in the middle means that you should not enter that street, it's either one way or pedestrian only.
Picture 2-the blue sign with a red \ means no parking, if there's an X it means no stopping. A
Picture 3-at the entrance of Bruges I saw this sign, it means that if you see the sign with the parking disk that you can park for 4 hours for free, if you see pay parking it's a maximum of 2 hours
A sign with a red arrow going one way and a black arrow the other means two way traffic, if one arrow is larger than the other, the larger arrow direction gets priority (usually on narrow sections of roads or narrow bridges)
Below are some other examples of European street signs from Wikipedia.
Updated September 2011
If you are driving through Belgium and have a car, find a place to park it and don't plan on using it again until you leave. Brugge is a very walkable city as it isn't that big and it's a delight to walk through the streets.
Check with your hotel regarding parking, parking restrictions exist throughout the entire city. On both visits we were staying far enough outside the center that the parking was free between 7pm and 9am and also on Sunday. The 1st hotel had 5€ parking in a garage, the 2nd hotel suggested we change the disk a couple of times through the day for free parking which we did with no problem. During the day from 9-19 (7pm), you could park for 4 hours for free by using the parking disk you should find in your glove box, you set the disk to the time you park. The sign in the photo is the 4 hour free parking sign, closer to the center you may a different sign that says you can park for 2 hours for a fee, look for parking meters if you see that sign.
If you are arriving to Brussels, but trying to get to Brugge right away, you can take the train from the airport to Brugge. There is no direct train, but it is really easy to switch from one train to the next at Brussels Central Station. The ticket will cost you 13.20 euro ($18) per person and one way for 2nd class. It is not a very long ride and trains are very comfortable. It is much easier than taking a bus. The price of the fare includes the train ride from the airport to Brussels Central Station. If you are at the station already, it will cost you a little less.
This is a great website to check for other fares and order tickets on-line, although I am not sure if they ship the tickets to US.
Getting to brugge is exptremely easy - and this in particular if you come from Antwerp: the ride takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes, so if you leave early in the morning it's possible to see the major sights as a day trip from there. If I'm not mistaken there's about a train every hour- from early morning to late evening.
You can easily go from Brussels to Bruges and I think the best way is by train. It only takes you 1 hour to get there and there are trains every half hour.
There is a choice of 1st and 2nd class tickets. I traveled in 1st class but ,to tell you the truth ,it's not worth the extra price. A return ordinary ticket in 2nd class is 24,60 EUR while in 1st class you will pay 37,80 EUR , depending on the week days and departure/arrival times.
Take a local train from any Brussels train station to Brugge (Bruges). There will be a stop in Ghent. Once you arrive in Brugge, you could possibly walk to the town center, but you can take a bus. You can purchase an all day bus pass for a nominal fee and take advantage of using it to get from place to place. We took the bus to the center and then walked everywhere that we wanted to go.
The trainstation of Brugge is an interesting building. The enormous clock on the outside, the interior of the hall. It's like going 30 years back in time. You'll experience the same grandeur as in the citycentre.
Furthermore there is a very cheap parking garage next to it. Already for 3 years the price is 2,50 EUR per car per day, which can be called pre-war.