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Bruges to Lille train & Lille car rental

My wife and I are traveling from Bruges to Lille, France with the intent on renting a car in France for travel to the D-Day beaches. My question is this: Which destination in Lille is the best one for renting with Auto Europe? Would it be Gare de Lille Europe Tgv or Gare Lille Flandres Tgv?

Also, is there any particular train line that would be better than another? I have looked at Google Maps at various times of the day and most of the time it show a train routing going through Brussels and then down to Lille. But there have been a couple of times where a train from Bruges to Lille shows up. Is there a train that goes directly from Bruges to Lille? Is it better to book in advance? Is it possible to book in advance?

Our date of travel is May 15.

Thanks,
Arthur

Posted by darrenblois
Moncton NB
334 posts

I can't tell you which is "better" but I can say I've rented from Lille Europe and it was not difficult because the station is near an autoroute.

Are you heading back to Belgium after Normandy? If so, just rent from Bruges station and skip the train. The Belgian countryside is delightful to drive through.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
12748 posts

Auto Europe is a consolidator, so there are no "Auto Europe" location in Lille, but all the biggies are at both Lille stations. I don't see any direct trains, but there is an hourly IC train connecting in Kortrijk to Lille Flandres. That will be the cheaper option. So just tell Auto Europe you want a car at Lille Flandres.
Lille Flandres and Lille Europe are within a 5 minute walk of each other.

Posted by Nigel
Northamptonshire, England
19347 posts

The two stations are so close it matters not. Lille isn't my favourite town to drive in although I have to drive through frequently.

Avoid - I repeat avoid - the rush hours.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
14936 posts

You don't need to travel via Brussels and that would be more expensive. InterCity trains connecting at Kortrijk run almost hourly at :14 after, (but skipping 9:14). Looking Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the Deutsche Bahn train schedule link and tips for using it. Just buy tickets in Bruges.

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
2420 posts

When I left Bruges in 2015 , we took the train to Lille Flandres via Kortrijk . We picked up our Avis rental and drove back to Ypres for several days . We dropped the car at CDG ten days later after having utilized it to visit sites in The Somme , Amiens , Beauvais , and Compiegne . If you are only going direct to Normandy , why rent a car ? Go via Lille to Caen by rail and pickup the car there , perfect for seeing the beaches and historical sites along the Channel coast .

Posted by arthurwest OP
2 posts

Thanks to all for responding - the information provided is most helpful and we now know which way we are going to go.

This is a great forum - just wish I had started using it earlier. It would have saved lots of time.

Best wishes to all travelers!

Arthur

Posted by randeb
128 posts

We did a similar trip via Ghent. The train from Belgium (via Kortjik) dropped us at the Flanders one and we walked with roller suitcases to the other station. Easy.

For train information, you can try the German rail website. (I use their app when traveling on trains in Europe even outside Germany). They show no direct trains when I look at it, all with one change, at the very same Kortjik. When we did it there it was a matter of going from one train to a second train directly across the platform.