I plan to visit Bruges from Amsterdam and fly out in Brussel in June. Please tell me which is the easiest/cheapest way to do this. Should I travel by train to Brussel from Amsterdam then visit Bruges? I plan to stay over night in Bruges but there is no direct train to Bruges from Amsterdam. I have early fly out in Brussel at 10 AM. It seems to much trouble to go to Brussel from Amsterdam first then visit Bruges (even stay overnight) then come back to Brussel to catch my flight. Please let me know how to arrange this route. Thank you very much.
My guess is that you can get from Bruges to the Brussels airport for a 10 a.m. flight. I would go to a couple Bruges hotel websites and read their directions to the airport (most large hotel websites have this stuff). Use the German train site to find train routes between Bruges and Amsterdam. I think you can go through Antwerp more easily than Brussels. Bruges is small so there are no direct trains, except to some other Belgian cities.
Trains from Brussels to Bruges run twice an hour, and take one hour. They stop at all three main central Brussels stations (North, Central, and South). So, it's not hard at all to go from Amsterdam to Bruges; you just change in Brussels to a train going to either Knokke-Blankeberge or Oostende. And trains within Belgium are unreserved, so no need to worry about missing one; just catch the next one.
From Brussels to the airport, it takes 15 minutes from Brussels North, 20 minutes from Brussels Central, and 25 minutes from Brussels South (be aware that the station names will be announced in Flemish and French, but not in English). So, again, you would take a train from Bruges to Brussels, then change for the airport train. But, if you're flying out of Brussels at 10 AM, you need to be there at 7 AM for a departure to North America and 8-8:30 for a departure to other European cities. Check the schedules carefully to makes sure you can get a train early enough, and then decide how risk-averse you are in case there's a problem with the train on the morning of your flight (if you're in Brussels and there are no trains, you can take a bus or taxi; if you're in Bruges, I'm not sure what your options are).
Trains between Bruges and Brussels run late, so another option is to stay in Brussels and just plan on long day/evening trips to Bruges.
As for cheapest, the Thalys runs the fast trains between Amsterdam and Brussels; these trains start out affordable for non-refundable tickets bought in advance, and go way up closer to travel or if you need flexible tickets. There are also slower trains on this route that are unreserved, and the price on these does not go up. To see both options, go to the Belgian International Rail website https://www.b-europe.com/Travel, and look at prices for tomorrow and for a few months out to see how they differ on the various route options.
For Belgian domestic rail schedules between Brussels, Bruges, and the airport, use this website: http://www.belgianrail.be/en/
Thank you Chani and Harold for your quick responds. I think I will book Thalys from Amsterdam to Bruges via Antwerp to stay overnight then travel to Brussel to stay in a hotel near the airport to catch my flight next morning. I might post more questions after I review your recommendations. Thank You very much.
Sounds like the best plan.