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Train from Bruges to Leiden- worth a quick stop in Antwerp to see the station?

The Man in Seat 61 recommends a 30 min stop in Antwerp when going from Bruges to Amsterdam, but we're staying a night in Leiden and Lisse before Amsterdam, so I'm assuming we're buying a ticket from Bruges- Leiden. I see several options.
Is it worth a three or four change itinerary to see the lovely Antwerp station?
Thanks so much!!!

Posted by
273 posts

No, not just to see the station. Seeing the pictures of it somewhere online is enough. I spent 2 nights in Antwerp. It is ok. Similar to Amsterdam there is a port and scantily clad in windows Red Light District. There is a Paul Rubens museum there also

Posted by
6497 posts

I've been to Antwerp several times and would agree with Man in Seat 61 that it IS worth a visit. It's one of the great European stations to me. With the frequency of service offered it is little hardship to do so while travelling with SNCB/NS. I would debate that it is worth more than just the station, but an hour or two to visit the city centre and the main square. Last time I looked there was left luggage at the station.
I believe it's that kind of experience which makes travel, not just getting from A to B in the fastest time possible.

The red light district is not obvious and very small. I only found it when cutting through to the old port from the under river pedestrian tunnel near the cruise berth. Frankly it's blink and you miss it.

Posted by
2008 posts

The train from Bruges arrives anyway at Antwerpen Centraal. There are four floor levels, first level, street level and two basement levels, usually your train will call at the first level. Easy walk to the old part, nicknamed “the cathedral” of the station. Trains to Antwerp are frequent, take an earlier one if necessary to take time admiring the building. There are luggage lockers underneath the marble stairs if you want to spend more time in Antwerp.

In case you travel further with the Thalys you have to go to the lowest basement level where they usually arrive and depart. Take into account check-in times.

Posted by
6850 posts

I had the choice of a longer stop in Antwerp or a shorter one in Brussels when I was there. I chose Antwerp and I'm so glad I did - I had more than enough time to walk around and see how beautiful the station is. It really is gorgeous and in my opinion, well worth going out of your way a bit.

Posted by
1999 posts

The reason a stopover is suggested is because the direct Brugge - Antwerpen train does not offer a short connection with the IC to the Netherlands. The trip planner thus usually either suggests going via Brussels, or an extra change in Gent.

But increasing the stop duration in Antwerpen means that you can plan on taking the direct Brugge - Gent train, which means one transfer less, and have some time to spend to look at the station.

Posted by
6743 posts

The station was pretty, but I wouldn’t stop just for it. If you could spend at least a half day there, then yes, I’d stop.