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Amsterdam to Bruges - IC trains need reservations?

Hello - we are planning to spend time in Amsterdam then travel by train to Bruges. I know for the high speed Thalys trains reservations are needed, but for the IC trains, can we structure our trip from Amsterdam to Brussels, then Brussels to Bruges without having a reservation? Or is a reservation recommended (not required)?

Thank you

Posted by
4 posts

is taking this train a better option for a day trip to bruges than a bus tour with guide and tour of bruges?

Posted by
7088 posts

is taking this train a better option for a day trip to bruges than a bus tour with guide and tour of bruges?

Bruges is too far for a day trip, many here would agree; there are probably companies offering tours with a guide from Amsterdam; but having been to Amsterdam about 7 times, just taking into account the first 2 trips, I never thought going to Bruges from there on a guided tour was a good idea.

based on my interests I finally went to Bruges from Brussels as part of a self designed tour of Belgium that included Ghent and Antwerp and then Amsterdam

Posted by
17 posts

A couple weeks ago my wife and I traveled from Antwerp to Amsterdam via the Thalys train. The ticket agent at Antwerp found us a fare that was only couple Euros more than 2nd class inter-city. We are seniors, so that helped. You can buy online or via the machine but sometimes it pays to go into the ticket office at a slower time and let them work some magic. It cut almost an hour off our trip. Then again, its still a long day trip and Bruges station is not in the town center. adding more travel time.

Posted by
5393 posts

I haven't looked, but it's unlikely you can get there on Thalys without a change of train to local in Belgium. It's all a matter of time and comfort. I've daytripped to Bruges from Antwerp, but I wouldn't do so from Amsterdam. (The Netherlands have lovely daytrips from Amsterdam, including Den Haag, Delft, Leiden, Amersfoort, Utrecht - and that's just the west area.) So I wouldn't combine the two countries unless I had enough days of vacation.

Local trains in Belgium are all unreserved and easy to ride (luggage can be cumbersome on the double-decker commuter cars you sometimes encounter.) You might save money with local Netherlands trains but I don't think you can spare the vacation time to sit on a long-distance train that isn't the fastest.

Note that I'm not suggesting that Bruges isn't a great visit. It's the distance from Amsterdam that's the problem. And you're missing out on Antwerp, Gent, Leuven, Brussels, Lier, and more. This is a section of Belgium that's as thick with great towns as the west coast of the Netherlands. Have you looked at the NMBS website, as well as the Thalys website? You can view many journeys without having to proceed to buy a ticket.

Another idea. If you haven't bought your air ticket yet, home-AMS/BRU-home may be the same prices as a round-trip.