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How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

Tampa, Florida
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How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

Hey everyone! I'm trying to figure out the fastest/best way to get from Bruges to Amsterdam. From my understanding, Google is saying to take a bus from Bruges to Antwerpen then take the Thalys to Amsterdam? Does that sound right? Is there no direct train from Bruges to Amsterdam? Thanks in advance for any help! :)

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5 replies to this topic
Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

No there is no direct train from Brugge to Amsterdam. However, there are trains to both Antwerp (where you can change to either high-speed Thalys or non-high-speed IC trains) and Brussels (where you can also change to Thalys, although it is more expensive and takes slightly longer than via Antwerp).

Entering Brugge as departure point and Amsterdam-Centraal into www.b-europe.com/Travel (Belgian Railways) will give you all rail options, together with prices. The fastest route (2h45) is IC to Antwerp + Thalys to Amsterdam; then IC+Thalys via Brussels (3h10), then non-high-speed trains all the way (3h40) - which requires no reservation and for which the price is the same whenever you buy tickets (whereas for any route involving Thalys you must book up to 3 months in advance for best prices).

I know of no bus from Brugge to Antwerp, although there are buses from Brugge to Amsterdam (which take 5h50!).

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

Could it be a rail replacement bus due to engineering work?

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

No, and there is no way Belgian Railways would close the entire line from Brugge to Antwerp for engineering work anyway. If line closures were necessary, this would be done in sections, e.g. Brugge-Ghent, Ghent-St. Niklaas or St. Niklaas-Antwerpen-Berchem - or even shorter sections. And while there is indeed engineering work scheduled on the way to Amsterdam in February and March 2017 (we don't actually know when the OP is travelling), this is on the DUTCH side of the border (https://www.b-europe.com/Travel/Practical/Alerts - not affecting Thalys, which runs on its own line). So no explanation for proposing any bus on the Belgian side.

I don't know what exactly the OP selected when looking at google router, or even whether her interpretation of the results is correct (she might have interpreted IC train to Antwerp as a bus); but I was unable to get it to give me such a proposal! If asked for "best route", "any means of transport" at current local time (default setting, which can only be changed afterwards), which is almost 21:00 hrs, it suggests taking a bus to Breskens for the Westerschelde ferry to Vlissingen, and then train from there (which takes nearly 6 hours in total) ! If I then change the departure time to 10:00 hrs tomorrow, astonishingly it suggests IC train to Bruxelles-Midi and then Ouibus to Amsterdam, which is hardly the best route and I don't think it can even be the cheapest (which would either be train to Ghent and then Flixbus to Amsterdam, or Eurolines all the way from Brugge, IF booked early enough).

If people must use an online route planner, I find rome2rio better than google. But these systems are "told" by the programmer, for example, that company X runs a bus between A and B, without adding all the conditions that you would find when actually consulting the timetable. It will therefore include such a service when someone asks for a route to which it might apply, without "knowing", for example, that the service is only seasonal or sporadic (e.g. school buses) or part of an international route that is not available for booking on domestic sections. So the results can be "theoretical" to the point of unusability!

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4. Re: How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

I'm doing the same train trip in April,with my family of 5, just before Easter so I want to book ahead.

My concern is the lack of time to make the changes from one train to another e.g. at Ghent and Antwerp, just 6 or 7 minutes. What happens if you miss your connection? is the ticket transferable to the next train?

Do the trains usually run on time?

Is it far to get from Platform 11 to 3 at Ghent- St Pieters & from 1 to 22 at Antwerp?

Am I better to allow us time at each station - especially as several people on Trip Advisor have said what a beautiful building it is.

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: How to get from Bruges to Amsterdam?

1 "My concern is the lack of time to make the changes from one train to another e.g. at Ghent and Antwerp, just 6 or 7 minutes. What happens if you miss your connection? is the ticket transferable to the next train?"

Your ticket is valid on any train(s) between Brugge and Antwerp on the date of the ticket, but if changing at Gent St. Pieters (which isn't actually necessary, there are also direct trains between Brugge and Antwerp), you must catch the next possible connection, not interrupt your journey. If continuing by IC train from Antwerp, you can also use the ticket on any departure - but if taking Thalys, this is a fixed booking. The solution then would simply be to depart from Brugge earlier (in which case you can also select a direct train, avoiding the change at Ghent).

2. "Do the trains usually run on time?"

Yes and no. There can always be unforeseen circumstances.

3. "Is it far to get from Platform 11 to 3 at Ghent- St Pieters & from 1 to 22 at Antwerp?"

It depends on what you mean by far. At Sint Pieters you simply go down the steps from your platform of arrival, along 4 platform entrances (each covering 2 tracks), and up to the platform concerned. At Centraal Station, platform 1 is on the top level, you have to take escalators down to the bottom level (-3, I think) for platform 22 (and I would feel happier with 15 mins transit time). Just follow the signs/numbers, they are perfectly clear.

4. "Am I better to allow us time at each station - especially as several people on Trip Advisor have said what a beautiful building it is."

I wouldn't call Gent St. Pieters beautiful (and you must in any case take the next connection if changing there), but Centraal Station in Antwerp is certainly worth a look.

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