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Bruges to Amsterdam, and what to do along the way

Hi and TIA for all replies.

We're going to be taking the train from Bruges to Amsterdam in September and I just wanted some feedback.

It looks like we need to take the IC from Bruges to Antwerp and then we take either the IC or the Thalys to Amsterdam. From looking at the time tables it looks like Thalys cuts about 1:15 from the time. My question is... right now Thalys is around 42 euro. How much could that go up if we wait and buy on the day of travel?

My second question is... we are considering spending part of the day either looking around Ghent or looking around Antwerp. My guess is the logistics would probably be easier to stop in Antwerp and look around there, since the train will stop there anyway. It's also occurred to me there may be nowhere to store luggage at the Ghent station, while hopefully the Antwerp station will have luggage lockers. Anyway... any thoughts on this? Part of why we are thinking of waiting to buy tickets is simply because were not sure how long we would like to look around.

Posted by
288 posts

To find the price difference, go online and book as if you are going today or tomorrow. It will generally be significantly more as you get closer to departure. For example tomorrow I see a fare of 73 euros.

Posted by
288 posts

Belgian trains are pretty short between stops. You could easily go bruges to Ghent to Antwerp. Ghent does have luggage lockers in the train station. We used them to do this on our way from Brussels to Bruges last year. So, pick the city you prefer to see.

Posted by
1576 posts

First, it looks like the IC from Bruges to Antwerp stops in Ghent, so you certainly have that option if you wish. In addition, the main train station in Ghent (Gent-Sint-Pieters) does have luggage storage.

Gent-Sint-Pieters is not really within walking distance of the historical center of Ghent, so you would need to take a tram. That's not a problem and shouldn't necessarily dissuade you, but it's worth taking into consideration. You can walk from Antwerpen Centraal to the historical center of Antwerp, though it's not a short walk either.

Personally, I liked Ghent a bit more than Antwerp, but I think you'll enjoy a short visit to either city.

Depending on how long you're staying in Bruges, a day-trip to Ghent is another good option. It's less than half an hour by train.

Posted by
1825 posts

It is well possible to think about visiting both places. Sorry if I repeate, but all major train stations in Belgium, well at least those in Flanders and Brussels have large lockers. A tram from Sint-Pieters in Ghent takes about 10 minutes to Korenmarkt, are very frequent and a oneway ticket costs €3. If you spend 3 hours there in the early afternoon you can proceed later to Antwerp for having dinner there for instance. In Antwerp you can also take the tram or metro to the centre, have no experience there, but must be about the same as in Ghent. You can leave Antwerp for instance at half past eight and arrive in Amsterdam Centraal before 10 o’clock in the evening, it will be dark then.

The train ticket between Bruges and Antwerp give you also the flexibility to stay as long as you like in Ghent, so you can decide that on the spot. But you have to be right on time in Antwerp for catching the Thalys to Amsterdam as it is a reserved ticket.