When we booked our weeklong trip to Paris, we decided that we wanted to spend a night outside the city experiencing another culture and taking in a different view. We decided on Bruges, Belgium. The adorable, picture-perfect canal city is just a couple hours’ train ride from Paris. It did not disappoint!
I did a ton of research on how to get from Paris to Bruges. We had not done much train travel before and I wanted everything to go smoothly. I hope our tips help you have a smooth trip too!
You can read about our itinerary once we arrived in Bruges here.
We purchased our Thalys train tickets to Bruges from Paris 90 days in advance from www.b-europe.com. The website is in English and easy to understand. You can set up an alert to notify you when the tickets go on sale. We did so and bought them the first day available so that we could to get the lowest price. The price increases as the travel date approaches. It cost us approximately €72 each roundtrip. You will need to print your tickets in advance on A4 size paper. We had printed ours in the US prior to leaving and did not notice that our standard paper size is an inch shorter and had cut off the barcode. Luckily, we noticed and our hotel in Paris was willing to reprint them for us.
We departed our Paris hotel around noon on a Saturday afternoon. We took the metro from our hotel in St. Germain to Gare du Nord. Hold on to your metro tickets because you will need them a few times to exit the metro area of the train station. Head up to main street level part of the station to locate your track. Now that we have been to Gare du Nord, the layout feels “easy,” however when we first arrived there, we weren’t sure what we were looking for and it took us much longer than we expected to get from the metro to our Thalys train. So allow a time buffer if you are unfamiliar with the station.
The ride was comfy, we had free Wi-Fi and plenty of room for luggage. After an hour and 20 minutes, we arrived at Brussels-Midi/Zuid station.
It is necessary to change trains in Brussels, and the ticket is labeled ABS (any Belgian station) meaning that you can take any connecting train to another Belgian station. It was tricky for us to figure out where to catch our connecting train. The trains to Bruges typically leave from tracks 9-16. Trains to Ostend, Knokke, and Zeebrugge typically all stop in Bruges. However, you will need to go up the escalators to one of the tracks to read the train schedule and find which one will get you to Bruges the fastest. You will not see “Bruges/Brugge” on any of the monitors downstairs. Keep your eye on the signs at the track once you find it, as trains seem to frequently change tracks and require a quick hustle back down the escalator and up another.
After a brief train delay, we arrived in at the Bruges station at about 4:00pm. You can walk to your accommodations across the cobblestones (about 15 minutes for us to our Airbnb) or you can take a taxi (about 12 euro). You can read about the rest of our wonderful stay here. We loved our time in Bruges and hope that you will too!
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