There are many day trippers who come to Bruges from other cities with their tour operators, and although there are a couple of UK operators who run limited ‘package deals’ to Bruges - The overwhelming percentage of visitors who stay in Bruges do so independently.
On this page we explore the different methods and provide handy links for companies, to enable you to choose and book immediately your desired method of travel. We also offer tips on parking and getting around the city during your stay.
P & O, operate a service between Hull and Zeebrugge. Crossing time 13 hours. This route is for both vehicles and foot passengers. For foot passengers there is a connection bus between the ferry terminal and Bruges railway station. It’s about half an hour drive or coach transfer.
Norfolk Line (DFDS Seaways), operate from Dover to Dunkirk, this service is limited to vehicles, motorcycles only. Crossing time is 2 hours. Driving time from Dunkirk is around 1 hour.
Eurotunnel - le shuttle, operate between Folkestone and Calais. Allowing for check-in the ‘crossing’ time is around 1 hour and then driving time also 1 hour to Bruges. Vehicles and motorcycles only.
Please note that P & O ferries also operate a service between Dover and Calais, which does cater for foot passengers, as well as vehicles. Crossing time 1.45 hours and driving time to Bruges around 1 hour. However, we do not advise this route for foot passengers - as getting from Calais to Bruges by train/s is a long and complicated journey.
For those without cars who wish to travel from London or the south east, then we recommend Eurolines - coach service from London with pick-up point in Dover, then direct to Bruges. Or by rail, Eurostar (SNBC Europe) from London St. Pancras via Brussels to Bruges.
Eurolines also operate a very affordable link between many destinations in the UK and Bruges, or in the winter months to Gent. On all services now there is free WiFi available.
Travelling from Brussels Airports by train and coach links to Bruges
If you are flying to Brussels South Airport - Charleroi
Then the best option by far is to use the coach shuttle operated by Flibco.
This service can be booked online very cheaply or alternatively you just pay the driver at the airport. There are up to nine services a day.
Do bear in mind that Charleroi airport is a large hub for Ryanair and currently the only flights to Charleroi are from Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester - Operated by Ryanair.
Travelling by train is difficult, as you first have to get a shuttle bus into the actual town of Charleroi to the main line railway station.
If you are flying to Brussels National Airport - Zaventem
There is a direct train link, situated under the main airport terminal,into the three major stations of Brussels, a journey of about 20 minutes. The best and most modern station to change at is Brussels South (Midi). For real time info’ & prices of trains between Brussels and Bruges please see NMBS - BELGIAN RAIL From Brussels there are four trains an hour to Bruges and the journey time is around one hour.
Once in Bruges, it really does depend on how much luggage you have with you and what time of day you arrive, and indeed on your budget - as to how you choose to get to your hotel.
The buses are very frequent up until around 8pm in the evening, but the public transport system in Belgium is generally very well patronised and as a consequence they can be busy and with luggage it can be difficult, to say the least. The bus stop and ticket office is situated right outside the station. There are always taxis outside the station and to be quite honest they are not as expensive as you would imagine for such a tourist destination.
Bruges is in fact quite a small city and journeys by taxis are generally quite short. But to be sure you can of course always ask the driver for a quote before getting into the taxi.
Bruges Train Station Info
Bruges Station is a modern decent sized station on a busy route. So there are good facilities on hand for rail travellers.
Ticket offices Open from 06:00 - 22:00 outside of these hours tickets can be purchased on the train with no extra charge or 'fine' Restaurant / Food There are restaurants and bars inside the station if you want to sit and have a meal. A take away sandwich bar - 'Panos' 'Starbucks' and 'AMT' Coffee outlets Shopping includes Chocolate, clothing and two international newsagents. Baggage and lost property Bruges concierge and lost property Staffed Left Luggage Service 06:00 - 21:30 Daily Tel: 0032 (0)50 30 23 28 .Plus there are automatic luggage lockers. Communications Telephone Location: Inside the station Wifi Internet access Location: A hotspot in the station
For the younger traveller to Bruges, there is an excellent bus service that actually connects with the Bauhaus Youth Hostel.
Youth hostels can be found on our accommodation page