How to Get From Brussels Airport to Bruges or Ghent by Train or Car

In Belgium, it is easy and cheap to get around and visit other cities

Medieval houses in Market Square (Brugge Markt) illuminated at night during Christmas, Bruges, Belgium

Andrea Thompson Photography/Getty Images

Brussels is a large city of over a million people with plenty of things to do, and a hub for visitors to Belgium. Many travelers plan trips to the smaller cities of Bruges, or Ghent, which is on the train line from Brussels Midi Train Station to Bruges. If you are driving, use the motorways, which are also an easy way to get around.

Distance From Brussels to Bruges and Other Nearby Cities

Getting around Belgium is a breeze, and the distances between cities are small.

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

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 go is using the 10-Journey 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:

  • You buy the rail pass from the ticket booth at any train station in Belgium. As of June 2019, it costs around 83€.
  • When you board a train, you write the details of the journey you are making in one of the ten spaces on the ticket.
  • One ticket can be used for several people.
  • When you have used the ticket 10 times, buy a new one.
  • Tickets are not sold online.

If you like to have your tickets in advance, so you don't have to buy them at the train station, Rail Europe does sell Point-to-Point European Rail tickets online.

Train Travel From Brussels Airport to Ghent and Bruges

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 station and then a train to Bruges. The train takes just over an hour.

Driving From Brussels Airport to Ghent and Bruges

To Ghent 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 usually is heavy traffic in stretches.)

From the Brussels city center to drive to Ghent, take the E40 in the direction of Ghent. Exit at the Bruges exit. The drive should take under an hour.

From Ghent to Bruges, continue on the E40, and it will take another 45 minutes.

You can rent a car at the airport or lease a car in advance if you are staying in Europe for three weeks or more.

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.

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