Brussels to Bruges: Experience Two Iconic Belgian Cities by Train

brussels to bruges
Brussels to Bruges travel by train

Traveling by Train From Brussels to Bruges

Whether you are traveling to Belgium for the first time, or have visited this country before, a trip from Brussels to Bruges should be at the top of your itinerary! These Belgian delights truly offer something for everyone – aside from delectable chocolates! The comfortable Belgian train system makes travel between these two cities a breeze. With several departures per hour throughout the day, you won’t have to wait long to hop on the train once you’ve arrived at the station.

Enjoy a nice breakfast in Brussels, then set out for the medieval city of Bruges. Traveling by train will take you from the city center of Brussels direct to the center of Bruges – another added convenience of traveling by train. Travel time on the train between Brussels and Bruges is roughly an hour, depending on which train you take. Train ticket prices for this trip start at $25. Alternatively you can purchase a Eurail Benelux Pass and travel on the national rail networks of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This pass would allow you to get on the train from Brussels to Bruges. Keep in mind, if you choose to travel with a Eurail Benelux Pass, children ages 4-11 travel free with an adult (up to 2 children per each paying adult.) If you’re traveling with a family, this is a wonderful benefit to take advantage of!

Things to See & Do in Brussels and Bruges

Here’s a great list of must-see & do activities when you travel from Brussels to Bruges, do one or all, the choice is up to you!

10. Stop by the Royal Palace – You don’t want to leave Brussels without a visit to the Royal Palace! The highlight of the palace, many will agree, is the Mirror Room. This room is adorned from floor to ceiling in mirrors and outfitted with eleven luminous chandeliers. The Mirror Room might just give the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles a run for its money.

9. Pay a visit to the Church of Our Lady – While in Bruges, visit the Church of Our Lady – home to the 2nd tallest brickwork tower in the world.  The main draw to this church is a white marble sculpture, the Madonna and Child, sculpted by Michelangelo in 1504. Each year, thousands of travelers visit the church to pay homage to this sculpture. Exploring this church is time well-spent, you won’t be disappointed at the sites you’ll see. The outside of the church is full of picture perfect views as well!

atomium brussels
Iconic Atomium in Brussels. Some rights reserved by Giorgio Galeotti

8. What in the World is the Atomium? – If you’re in Brussels, you must stop by and see one of the craziest looking landmarks – the Atomium. So, what exactly is the Atomium? It is an iconic structure that was originally built for the 1958 World’s Fair, held in Brussels. The structure wasn’t expected to survive past the fair, however, it became a well-known landmark for the city of Brussels. There is public access to go inside the Atomium, you can get amazing panoramic views of the city from the top sphere. This is a really cool way to spend a few hours in Brussels, you don’t want to miss out on experiencing what CNN has referred to as ‘Europe’s most bizarre building’!

7. Fun at the Frietmuseum  -Have you ever visited a museum dedicated to french fries? Well, on your visit to Bruges you can cross this off your bucket-list! The Frietmuseum is the first and only museum of its kind in the world. Here you can get answers to some very common questions, such as ‘were fries invented in Belgium?’! You will be able to get a great tour at this museum covering the history of the potato and how fries came to be. In the medieval cellars in the basement, you can even get a chance to sample some of the tasty treats! Use your Bruges City Card to reach this delectable destination in the city!

6. Explore the Belgian Comic Strip Museum – This museum is not exactly your typical art museum, however, it is a big attraction for those visiting the city. The Belgian Comic Strip Museum covers a great deal of information including the history of comic strips, the techniques used by artists and writers, the many genres comics cover and even a room dedicated to “Boerke” a well-known Belgian comic. You can even learn about the restoration of the art nouveau building and how it was transformed into the comic museum. If you’re a comic book buff or not, this museum is a great experience.

5. Go Museum Hopping – Bruges is chock-full of museums, some more strange than others! With a Bruges City Card, you can take advantage of free admission to many of the city’s best museums – and there are a lot of them! Museums for everything from diamonds and lace, to hospital equipment and lamps! The Bruges City Card permits you entry into all of these fascinating museums so why not plan a day of museum hopping and enjoy learning about all of these great things that make Bruges so unique!

grand place brussels
A lovely day in the Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium

4. Visit the Grand-Place – This is Brussels’ version of a main square. The Grand Place is within the city center and is framed by four structures that represent the partially Gothic, partially classical architectural style that is found throughout the city. The Grand Place is a grand place to stop for lunch, or just just take a break from sightseeing and spend some quality time doing some ‘people watching’!

3. Make time for the Markt – The historic Markt in Bruges is known as the center of the city. It is a large open square surrounded by medieval-style buildings. Here you’ll find elaborate horse-drawn carriages, open-air restaurants and many opportunities for ‘people-watching’! Standing in the center of the Markt are several monuments. Of course, a must-see site is the amazing belfry. Spend an afternoon here in the Markt and enjoy a meal in one of the many open-air restaurants. Make some new friends as you stroll around the square. You won’t fall short of things to see and do around Bruges’ Markt!

2. Go in Search of Manneken-Pis – Manneken-Pis is a leading character in Brussels folklore. This little fella can be a little tricky to find, but well worth the hunt! Manneken Pis is probably the most photographed statue in Brussels. The statue was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy. The statue is typically naked but there are times where he dresses up – he has an impressive wardrobe of 600 outfits displayed in the Maison du Roi. With the Brussels City Sightseeing Tour, you won’t have to look very hard for this little guy, the statue is pointed out for you!

1. Travel by Train From Brussels to Bruges – After experiencing the city of Brussels, hop on-board the train to Bruges. You’ll arrive in the heart of the city ready to explore. The travel time is only about an hour, so you can enjoy the landscape pass by, or get a jump on planning your Bruges itinerary!

Belgium has many wonderful cities to visit, but typically at the top of most travelers’ lists are Brussels and Bruges. With all that these two cities have to offer, you won’t be disappointed in choosing both for your next trip to Belgium.

Don’t forget to share your Brussels and Bruges travel stories with us – and any additional items you think should be on a list of must sees!

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