still exploring options to see bruges and battlefields of flanders. Any thoughts on travel from Aachen to bruges and back to aachen? bus seems to be about 4 hrs. train fee any better?
Take the train I think. But certainly the train cost more than the bus and Aachen is served by high speed rail from Brussels.
Look up the prices on the website for the train the day you plan to travel at the official Belgian rail site:
Compare the train time of travel and price to that of the bus and see which you want
Yes, use the above link to check train fares, but also try bahn.de and thalys.com, as they may potentially have cheaper fares on the higher speed trains that run from Aachen to Brussels. Expect to change at Brussels Midi.
The WWI battlefields are in the countryside. You'll need to rent a car or take a tour to see them. The city of Ypres has an excellent WWI museum, plus the famous Last Post ceremony at 8 p.m., but it takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there from Bruges by train. To do it all, I'd plan for two nights in Bruges. It's possible to rent a car for the day or book a tour of the battlefields.
OK...how about evaluating this idea. Drive from Aachen to bruges. Visit for the day. Drive from Bruges to Ypres. Stay the night. Use the next day to visit WWI sites. ddrive back to Aachen. I am led to believe the car rentals are not near the Aachen HBF