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Brugge to Brussels Airport (CRL)

I read the info about the other airports called "Brussels." I bought a ticket on Ryanair for a flight May 27 this year before I realized that CRL is so far from Brugge where I will be staying.

My tentative plan is to take a train about 6am from Brugge to Brussels-Midi train station, then take the airport shuttle to CRL from there at about 7am. My flight is at 10:25am to Pisa. Frequent trains run from Pisa to La Spezia. This seemed to be the most appealing transportation from Brugge to Pisa and La Spezia.

Any hints or experiences to contribute?

Posted by
3580 posts

I'm considering finding a centrally-located hotel in Brussels and just daytripping from there to Brugge and Ghent. Transportation to CRL would be quicker and simpler.

Posted by
23396 posts

That's such a shame, Swan. Charlerois is not exactly in the middle of things. I agree that you need to be on the 7:15 shuttle from Brussel Zuid/Brussels Midi. And that the 5:57 from Brugge which is the 6:25 from Gent St Pieters which arrives platform 11 at Brussel Zuid is the last one which would work for you.

Ryanair is renowned for flying from unusual airports - usually because the local government gives them truckloads of local taxes cash to go to their remote areas.

Sorry you got caught in the trap. You might be less stressed staying in Brussels that night but it is a shame that it will spoil your experience of Brugge and Gent.

Posted by
3580 posts

Thanks, Nigel. I think it's doable from Brugge. I can usually manage early morning departures. The hard part was figuring out the transit connections. I hope the airport shuttle is easy to find in Brussels. Ryanair is so popular, I have to wonder why these complicated connections don't bother more people. Of course, Ryanair's rates and scheduling often look more attractive than what else is available. I flew once out of Beauvais (Paris) to Venice. It was an ordeal getting to the airport so early, but I was at my hotel in Venice at lunch time. With this flight to Pisa I should be "home" in La Spezia in time to enjoy the afternoon on the CT.

The lesson: never assume you know exactly what you are doing. Stay on top of the details. Be flexible.

Posted by
3580 posts

Doesn't the shuttle to CRL depart from Brussels MIDI ? Or maybe shuttles leave from other Brussels stations as well?

Thanks to info received from Nigel, I am reminded that in Belgium three languages are used. Brussels Sud and Brussels Midi are the same.

Posted by
1453 posts

Hi Swan - Instead of taking the Brussels City Shuttle to CRL from Bruxelles-Midi, you can also take the connecting train there to Charleroi-Sud railwaystation. Just outside there is every half hour a shuttle to CRL, serviced by TEC, but in total it will take more time then your plan. The Brussels City Shuttle will arrive according shedule at the airport around 08:10h and the TEC shuttle around 08:45h. The advantage is that the shuttle price is included in your railwayticket, you have to indicate that clearly when buying and with €20,50 it’s cheaper then an online booked Brussels City Shuttle ticket.

As I live some 40km from Bruges I did the trip with the TEC shuttle some five years ago, because it was cheaper and I had anough time to travel to CRL. But as your schedule is so tight I think using the Brussels City Shuttle is the best option. As far as I know is Bruxelles-Midi the only place where this shuttle stops and according their website this is just outside the station. This is also the first trainstop in Brussels when coming from Bruges or Ghent. With public transport, Bruxelles-Midi remains the best place to travel further to CRL, you can’t go quicker.

Be aware that in the morning it still will be rushhour in Brussels, so some delay with the shuttle can be expected. And if you also have to drop off luggage it’s best to take anough time for this trip. You can use the option with the train to Charleroi as a back up if something goes wrong with your plan, but with this tight schedule it remains very risky. If you want to reduce the risk of a delay, staying the last night in Brussels or a hotel close to the airport is certainly worth to consider.