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Bruges to Normandy- train route?

We are a planning a trip from Bruges to Normandy for our family of 6, but it’s not as straightforward as we thought it would be. We are willing to take train(s) and expect to rent a car. What’s the best route to go? Where should we end our train ride and start our car adventure?
Thank you for your help!

Posted by
24894 posts

Where do you plan to drop off the car? You'll want to pick it up in the same country to avoid an international drop charge, which is usually very, very high.

I find the Deutsche Bahn website the easiest to use when I'm investigating train routings, but it doesn't give you fares for Belgian or Dutch trains. You'll need to specify a city or town (with rail service) in Normandy to see the routing. I chose Rouen for my reasearch. If you want to travel all the way to that city by rail, It appears that you'll need to change trains in Brussels and in Paris, and there will be change of stations in Paris as well. You might reasonably decide to pick up you car in a French city closer to the Belgian border. One or more of our other posters will be able to make a suggestion about that, I'm sure.

Posted by
4684 posts

The French rail network is very centralised and it's hard to travel between many regions without passing through Paris. I agree that your best choice is probably to go to Lille and hire a car there.

Note that there are two stations in Lille, if you are planning out what car hire office to go to, although they are in walking distance of one another. If you take the regional trains from Bruges via Kortrijk, you will arrive at Lille Flandres. If you change at Brussels and get the high speed train, you will arrive at Lille Europe.