I will be arriving in Brussels by air. What's the best way from the airport to the Grand Place, and, which train station is best to Brugge and back, then on to Amsterdam? Thanks.
Railway station at the airport, just catch any train into Brussels.
There are 3 stations in central Brussels (names in French / Flemish / English):
- Bruxelles-Nord / Brussel-Noord / Brussels North
- Bruxelles-Central / Brussel-Centraal / Brussels Central
- Bruxelles-Midi / Brussel-Zuid / Brussels South
Belgian domestic trains (including trains from the airport and to Brugge) stop at all three, international trains (like the Thalys to Amsterdam) only at Brussels South, which is the main station.
Brussels Central is the nearest for the Grand Place, see map here: https://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=50.8467&mlon=4.3525&zoom=15#map=17/50.84659/4.35460
By the way, if you are planning a short visit to the Grand Place and then continuing to Bruges the same day, you can buy one ticket with a stopover. When I arrived in Brussels last May, I found the agents extremely helpful. This was just a week after the station reopened following the bombing that spring, so they may have been going out of their way to be extra helpful, but I think you will not have any trouble if that's what you want to do.
Also, Brussels Central has lockers where you can stow your luggage, but they are old and some of them don't work very well. I had to buy an ice cream nearby to get the change I needed because the change machines didn't work at all.
Thanks to all who offered great advice!