How to Get From Brussels to Bruges, Ghent or Antwerp by Train and Car

Belgium is so small, it's easy and cheap to get around

Bruges at Christmas time. A convenient day trip from Brussels
Ricardo Samaniego/Creative Commons

Brussels is a large city of over a million people and a hub for visitors to Belgium, many of whom are planning a trip to the smaller Bruges--or Ghent, which is on the train line (and motorway) from Brussels Midi Train Station to Bruges.

See also: Interactive Rail Map of Belgium Plan your itinerary and see journey times and prices.

Distance from Brussels to Bruges and Other Nearby Cities

Getting around Belgium is a breeze; distances are small.

  • Brussels to Bruges: 63 miles or 101 kilometers.
  • Brussels to Ghent: 37 miles or 60 kilometers
  • Brussels to Antwerp: 32 miles or 53 kilometers 
  • Bruges to Ghent: 31 miles or 51 kilometers
  • Bruges to Antwerp: 57 miles or 92 kilometers (via Ghent) 
  • Ghent to Antwerp: 37 miles or 60 kilometers 

Save Lots of Money When Taking the Train in Belgium

If you are planning a vacation by train to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, you may save money by purchasing a Benelux Rail Pass.

However, if you're only traveling in Belgium, the cheapest way to travel is using the Belgian Rail Pass, offered by the Belgian national rail company. It makes all train journeys cost around 8€, which is a bargain. The ticket works like this:

  1. You buy the ticket from the ticket booth at any train station in Belgium. It costs around 80€.
  2. When you board a train, you write the details of the journey you are making in one of the ten spaces on the ticket.
  1. One ticket can be used for several people.
  2. When you have used the ticket 10 times, buy a new one! 

If you like to have tickets in your possession so that you don't have to buy them at the train station, Rail Europe will sell them to you: Point to Point European Rail Tickets.

Guided Tours of Bruges

Bruges is well connected, not only to Brussels but other cities too.

Check out these guided tours of Bruges, which all include air conditioned bus and a tour guide to show you the city's sights.

Travel from Brussels Airport

Many travelers enter Belgium through Brussels Airport. If you are planning to skip Brussels and go on to Bruges, you can take the train right from the airport train station. But why not stay a while, and see the city?

The airport train station is located below the terminal (basement level-1). Frequent trains connect the airport to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi stations.

If you are planning to visit Ghent, there are direct trains from the airport which take about 54 minutes to arrive in Ghent. There are no direct trains to Bruges from the airport, although you can change trains in Ghent to go on to Bruges.

Otherwise, take the airport train to Brussels Midi and then a train to Bruges. The train takes just over an hour.

At time of writing, the estimated price of travel between the two cities is $20 for either train to car travel. Of course, the more people you cram in your car, the more economical the trip will be.

Driving from Brussels Airport

From the airport follow signs to the A201 to the R0/E40 direction Ghent, exiting at the Bruges exit. (the R0 is the Brussels ring road and there is normally heavy traffic in stretches.)

From the Brussels city center, take the E40 in the direction of Ghent. Exit at the Bruges exit.

The drive should take around 1 hour and 14 minutes.

You can rent a car at the airport or lease a car in advance (if you are staying in Europe three weeks or more. Read more about renting or leasing a car.)