We are considering renting a car in Luxembourg City and exploring various WWII sites between the city and our next stop in Bruges. Is it possible to rent a car in one country and return it to another? It seems essential to have a rental car while exploring the area around Bastogne. Is there a public transit option I am overlooking? I would appreciate any advice on Luxembourg as RS does not have a book/forum that covers it. Thanks!
Yes, it is possible to rent a car in one country and return it to another, but it usually comes with a high surcharge.
I would suggest getting quotes from some companies to see how high. You may be lucky as Luxembourg is small and adjacent to Belgium.
It is possible, but it will cost more. The only way to find out is get a quote. You might consider dropping it in Liege and see if the drop charges are less than taking it all the way to Bruges. You can get a direct train from Liege to Bruges every hour, and with a connection in Ghent on the half hour mostly. Lastly, return it in Luxembourg and go by train from there with no drop off fees.
I would observe that Belgium is perfect for train travel, and highways between Brussels and Bruges are very crowded with prosperous locals, as well as tourists. You do not want a car after you get near Brussels. The final city I would visit with a car might be Mechelen, if you want to stop there, or nearby Breendonk, a little-known, scary (but fully government-prepared for visitors, including English audioguides) Nazi prison. From personal experience, I can tell you that subcontracted high-rise parking garages in Belgium are expensive and have very narrow aisles and parking stalls. Medieval city centers are filled with twisty one-way streets and dead ends. There are no wooden villages up there, only postwar stucco townhouses along the same insufficiently wide and now, paved roads.
Edit: I did not mean to suggest that a car wasn't best for Bastogne and other green fields. (Check the Search box to maybe find some previous battlefield advice by past posters.) I only meant Brussels and north. I have spent at least eight weeks in Antwerp, and have driven from Antwerp to Turnhout (which is not exactly a tourism center .... ) a few times. The traffic has always been like Long Island, NY - a creeping nightmare. The bus from BRU to Antwerp always gets caught in Ring Road traffic, almost any time of day.
Yes, get quotes from rental car companies, returning in other countries.
I disagree on the traffic & parking in Belgium. I have driven most of the country (not Brussels) and to Bruges a few times. Never had issues. Parking at the train station in Bruges is 3,50 euro for 24 hours, and includes a free transfer to the bus. Or most places are walking distance from the station. Cheap and convenient.
The free bus transfer is up to 4 people.
Edit- there is an Avis walking distance from the old town Bruges, if you drop off there
I had a rental car when I visited Bastogne and it was very handy. Just getting there without one takes a long time via train and bus. The museum and battlefield sites are outside of the town. If you must take public transportation to Bastogne, it's possible to get a taxi to take you to the museum. Or you could hire a local guide for the day. If you want to rent a car, don't do it in Luxembourg--the fees will be too high. Take a train to Liège and rent one there for your time in Belgium.
Thank you for all of the advice, this is incredibly helpful!
Luxembourg is a very nice little city.
Center and ground is nice and it would take about 2 hours to visit.
Echternach and the small switerland as well as the Moselle valley both 20 miles from the city are worthwhile and you could dedicate 3 hours for each of them.
Bus Transport is very good in all Luxembourg There is a big board with all deStinations at the Luxembourg main station. Luxembourg is also very expensive.
If you intend to rent a car to travel within the Ardennes, take the train from Luxembourg to Arlon or Neufchateau and rent it from there, you will save quite a lot of money
This may be to late but what about taking a bus into Belgium from Luxembourg then getting the car rental?
what happened? How did it go?
I have reserved a car in Luxembourg and will return it to Brussels, incurring a 50 euro one way fee. After my trip I will return with a full report on our adventure:)
edited to add: it was necessary for me to rent/return a car from the larger cities as I am not confident enough to drive a manual and the automatics are not available in smaller rental centers. Having a car for the duration of the trip also enable me to explore the greater Ypres area as well. I have compiled all of the traffic advice from the forum, but wish me luck with the traffic!