Would appreciate any suggestions about how best to travel from Caen to Bruges. Two couples traveling together. Thanks. Rental car was first idea until we saw the cost to pick up in Caen and drop in Bruges. Over $800 for a little over a day rental.
The car should be closer to or under five hundred bucks. It'll take about five hours of steady road time.
Straight trains will have a station change in Paris and one in Lille if you go that way. Through Brussels, it's the Paris mess and just a train change at Midi.
Trying to do something clever like dropping the car in Calais or something probably wouldn't help much.
I can see tickets on http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ (the French SNCF website) that will get you from Caen to Bruges for 61.40Euro per person 2nd class. Trip takes close to 6 hours with a train change in Paris and at Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels). For the Paris train change, you have to change train stations as well (Lazare to Gare du Nord). Regular fare is 113Euro.
There train system is great in France. I would take that over a rental car any day. You all can sit back relax and enjoy. And the train will be much faster then via car. I rented a car out of Paris, on our return the traffic was so backed up it took forever to get into Paris. This was mid afternoon and the locals say it's always that way. Had we taken the train we would not have wasted so much time sitting in traffic.
Response #3: And the train will be much faster then via car.
Response #2: Trip takes close to 6 hours with a train change . . . .
Response #1: It'll take about five hours of steady road time.
Enthusiasm can't trump facts.
I am looking at RailEurope.com and they have a train that takes 4.25-4.5 hours average duration.
On the weekend first train is around 0900, week day only two starting at 1400.
Per Mapquest you have two different way's you can take. One taking 4 hours 40 minutes. If you don't stop or have traffic issues.
I myself like to sit back and relax on vacation. Taking the train you can all get to relax, get up move around, enjoy lunch etc. Not worry about all the driving? And there should be no surprises on what time you will arrive at Bruge
Enjoy Bruges is a really wonderful town.
Rail Europe is an unreliable source of overpriced tickets - it is a ticket reseller - who neither run nor own any trains anywhere.
For considerably more accurate timetables use the Bahn on which you will see frequent 5 to 6 hour connections. I didn't see any 4 hour connections.
I don't mean to disregard your perfectly reasonable OP inquiry. But aren't there some other variables you could change around to make this journey more palatable? I mean, you certainly didn't fly from the U.S. to Caen (no location in your profile .... ) And since you can't fly home from Bruges, what is the next stop? Reading between the lines, I'll guess wildly that it's Amsterdam? It's nice to hit the high spots, but is there any chance you'll be returning to Europe? I mean, the highways in these countries are just fine, but if you don't have time to stop and visit places along the way, what's the point of that much travel time?
If Paris is on your agenda, could you go to Brussels after Paris for a day or two, and then Bruges? Or Antwerp? Would you consider another medieval city in Belgium? Did you take a ferry from England to the Caen area? I ask because Lille, France is the first stop on the Eurostar train, and it's "midway" between your two named destinations. And I would not rule out a momentary train journey from Lille, FR into Belgium to rent a car in the "return" country! BTW, are you renting a car for the D-Day sights anyway? (I love euro trains, but Normandy beaches are a special case.)