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How to get to Bruge from Zeebrugge

We will be arriving at the Zeebrugge cruise port on May 3 at 9 am and depart at 9pm. I've seen many suggestions as to what to do there. Many have suggested touring on your own. I haven't seen anything about how to get to a nearby bus / train/ shuttle. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.
Iris Scott

Posted by
8889 posts

Zeebrugge is the port for Brugge (Zeebrugge translates as "Brugge-on-sea"), 17Km away. Brugge is the reason the cruise boats stop at Zeebrugge.

There is a railway station at Zeebrugge with trains to Brugge, but it is nowhere near either the ferry or cruise terminals. I know the ferry company (P&O Ferries Hull - Zeebrugge, click here: http://www.poferriesoffers.co.uk/routes/hull-to-zeebrugge ) does run a shuttle bus direct to Brugge station. But that is not much use if you are arriving on a cruise (different part of the docks, different times).

I would suggest that the cruise company is almost certainly running a bus to Brugge. You should enquire with the cruise operator. This website says there is a local bus to the dock exit only.

Posted by
1684 posts

From an earlier post if the cruise company doesn´t provide transport to Bruges:

I think the best way to go to Brugge/Bruges is taking the tram from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge and from there the train to Brugge.

The “Zweedse Kaai” is where the cruiseships usually dock in Zeebrugge, at the sea-side close to the large sea-lock. From there you have to walk along the mainroad N34a about 1 km to tramstation “Zeebrugge Kerk” opposite the church. There is also a little ticketbooth, but is not always open, you can buy tickets for the tram also in the nearby little “Spar” supermarket. On the tram is possible, but more expensive. Be carefull with crossing the street as it is busy there, especially with the quick moving trams.

From there between 9AM and 8PM in the summer period you have every ten minutes a tram to Blankenberge. Trams go in both directions, but take the one with direction “De Panne” , clearly shown on the front of the tram and also with a blue sign underneath the station sign. You need “2 zone” tickets and costs €1,20/1,30 pp per ride and is enough to get to Blankenberge.
On the way back you have to take the tram direction “Knokke”.

From the trainstation in Blankenberge you have at least in the morning every hour a train to Brugge, later more, see (select English) www.belgianrail.be. The ride takes no more then 15 minutes, you have to get out at the main station in Brugge for walking to the centre. Think with a bit of planning between 1 hour to 1½ hour to get from the ship to the railwaystation of Brugge.
In Zeebrugge is also a trainstation, but the connection is not so frequent and the few locals I talked to prefer the route explained above. You have also to walk two km to get there. Nevertheless it’s possible that someone has a good experience with the train from Zeebrugge, but the route above ìs the one I can suggest.

In winterperiod the trams run every twenty minutes. If the Spar supermarket and the ticketbooth are not open, you can buy the tickets at the tram for €2,- each. The ferry company Hull-Zeebrugge has it´s own dock 3km away from the cruise dock and is actually of no concern for you.

Posted by
6 posts

The ship only has one guided tour of 4 hours in the afternoon. We will be in port 12 hours so I wanted to take advantage of all that time there.

Thanks for the past post - that sounds like we may be able to get there by the tram and then train.

Thanks for all the info.

Posted by
1005 posts

I've done this and Wil's directions are spot on. There are some trains between Zeebrugge and Bruges, but the line from Blankenberg to Bruges is faster and more frequent. The tram is easy to find once you walk out the port gates, turn right and look for the church steeple. The Blankenberg train station is a main stop on the tram--you won't have a problem figuring out where to get off. Don't pay for the cruise ship excursion--public transportation in Belgium is easy and cheap.

Posted by
1684 posts

Since 02/01/15 the system with the tickets is changed. Single journey tickets are instead of a distance now valid for a 60 minute ride, way enough time for the ride from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge, but cost now €3 pp instead of €1,20/1,30 and are no longer available at presale points like the Spar supermarket in Zeebrugge.
For a daytrip to Bruges it´s now best to buy a €5 pp day pass for going with the tram from Zeebrugge to Blankenberge and later in the day for coming back, the supermarket still sells these day passes. If the supermarket is closed or they run out of these passes you can buy them anyway from the driver at the tram.

Tickets/passes must be validated every time you get on the tram by inserting them in the yellow devices near the entry door.
More info: https://www.delijn.be/en/vervoerbewijzen/ritkaarten-dagpassen/
(VVK means presale point in day pass price table.)