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I'm planning on travelling to Belgium this winter. Flying into Brussels, spending the day there and then travelling to Bruges and spending a couple of days there before another day in Brussels on the way back.

I was planning on travelling to Bruges by train. Where is it best to buy train tickets for this kind of journey? Can I just buy them at the train station on the day of travel or am I best buying them in advance somewhere?

What kind of price am I looking at?

I'm based in the UK.

  • As an aside, if money is tight you might prefer Ghent. Personally I prefer it to Bruges, it is a bit less touristy and it's a fair bit nearer to Brussels. – Rich Sep 18 '18 at 12:06
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    @Rich Brussel-Gent is 40 min, Brussel-Brugge 60-70; hardly a big difference IMO. But I agree that Gent is nice too. – RHA Sep 19 '18 at 11:38
  • Actually we have found that hotels in Ghent roughly twice as expensive as that of Brugge. Both are very worthy of a visit, definitely. – alamar Sep 19 '18 at 13:10
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Between Brussels and Bruges, you've basically got one train every 30 minutes for most of the day, taking about an hour. There's no discount for buying these in advance. It's currently €14.80 for a single, double that for a return.

However, if you're doing a return over a weekend (out Friday night, Saturday or Sunday, back Saturday or Sunday), there is a weekend return for €15.80 valid on any train (no reservation / selection required). You can also buy these tickets right before travel.

Otherwise, there's some general information on the Seat 61 page on Belgium that might be handy for you.

Oh, and if you decide not to fly, buy a Eurostar ticket with the "Any Belgian Stations" special destination (it's a few quid more than just Brussels), and you'll be covered for any regular train (no Thalys/ICE high speed) from Brussels on to Bruges (Brugge).

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I stayed in Brussels and then used the train system to visit each city I could one by one, while returning to brussels at night for my place to stay. They have '10 fare cards'...it's basically a ticket that has 10 open slots for you to write in...when you get on the train, fill the one line out and the conductor will stamp it when he takes your ticket. It's relatively simple to buy them at the station as well...found they always spoke english for me at the counters as well (my french is so horrid that if I tried to ask a question in french, they'd respond in English).

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In Belgium buying tickets was never a problem, you show up at the station and interact with ticket vending machines until they dispose a ticket for a handful of Euros. We always bought on the spot.

As far as my understanding goes, Belgium is so small that intra-country tickets are essentially commuter, without expectation of planning in advance. This is true even for some over-the-border trains, such as Antwerp - Lille.

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