Why bother with the stress of driving when the SNCB trains can whisk you from Brussels to Bruges in less than an hour? Whether you’re visiting this fairytale-like city to go to the bustling Markt, climb the Belfort tower or just indulge in beers and chocolates, travelling by train is a popular option with locals and tourists alike.
Fancy a bit of peace and quiet during your journey? Upgrade to First Class and enjoy more comfortable seating and a peaceful carriage. Once you arrive in Bruges, it’s just a 15-minute stroll along cobbled streets lined with beautiful architecture to the city centre. Want to find out more? Keep reading to discover train times, ticket prices and FAQs.
SNCB is the national railway company of Belgium, with services that include national (Intercity) and regional (Local) express trains. All SNCB trains come with both First Class and Second Class carriages. Belgium has one of the densest rail networks in the world. Seat reservations aren’t possible for any of the company's trains.
Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) by booking early.§
Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.
On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!
Take a look at treni in Europa Low Cost to check when European train operators release their special deals and offers to see if you can find cheap tickets for your journey.
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Brussels and Bruges (Brugge) is 59 minutes, with around 72 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) is 54 minutes.
Train tickets from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) can start from as little as €16.10 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) without having to change trains. There are 56 direct trains from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge). Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) leaves at 00:31. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) leaves at 23:32. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge) cover a distance of around 88km during the journey.
Bruxelles-Midi/Zuid (Brussels South) Station
Trains from Brussels to Bruges depart from a few main train stations across Brussels as the mainline interconnecting track runs right through the city. These are Bruxelles-Nord (Brussels North), Bruxelles-Central (Brussels Central), and Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels South). I departed from Bruxelles-Midi as it was a 15-minute walk from my hotel on the south side of the city centre, which is the same station that the Eurostar trains from Brussels to London depart from. The station has entrances on both sides that lead into a large ground-level concourse situated beneath the platforms that’s filled with plenty of food and coffee shops and a large departure board. There are toilet facilities that cost 50c to use (in both Brussels and Bruges stations), so if you can wait until the train arrives you can use the toilets on there for free. Bruxelles-Midi railway station is also connected to the Brussels Metro station called Gare du Midi/Zuidstation, so don’t get confused by going down any stairs or escalators like I did!
The small departure boards on the platforms only show the final destination of the train, not the stops, so you’ll have to float around the central departure board to check the ticker that shows all the stops of the journey. Trainline doesn't currently support real-time train times for SNCB trains in Belgium, so always check the departure boards at the station, or if in doubt, ask someone at the information desk. In most major destinations the information staff usually understand basic English.
The trip from Brussels to Bruges (Brugge)
Our double-decker yellow and white SNCB train bound for Blankenberge rolled into the platform. We hopped on the train onto one of the second-class carriages, where you can choose to sit anywhere on the upper or lower deck as you can’t reserve a seat on SNCB trains. The carriages were fairly basic, but very clean and spacious. There were toilets in every second carriage, but not a lot of room for luggage. The seats are in a 2-2 configuration and all had pull-down tray tables, and there are also a few compartment-style seats split by a central table which are great for families or small groups.
As the train pulled out of the platform, we passed through the city outskirts for around 10 minutes until we reached the beautiful green countryside and a load of large barns and cottages. As the train reaches top-speed, we made our way past a load of fields laden with wind farms before passing a small town called Melle, where you can see a large church spire and water tower. A few minutes later we pulled into Ghent (Gent), the second-largest city in Belgium. As you’re pulling in to the famous Gent Sint Pieters station, look out to the right of the train for a large round red brick clock tower at the front of the station and some amazing castle-like buildings. As you pull out of the Ghent station, look into the distance, also on the right side of the train, where you can see the multiple church spires including the famous Belfry of Ghent.
A short while after pulling out of Ghent, my phone reception faded out, so I stared out the window at the rolling green fields which had some snow left over beside the tracks after some recent early-December snowfall. I kept checking the LED displays inside the carriages to see where we were, but the writing was all in Dutch as this is more commonly spoken in the North of Belgium. The screen kept flashing things like “Bestemming: Blankenberge” (which means Destination: Blankenberge), “De volgende halte is…” (which means The next stop is…) and “We komen aan in…” (which means We arrive in…) as you pull into stations. Frustratingly these screens didn’t show the rest of the stops on the line, so at one point I had no idea whether I was still on the right train as I had no phone reception to check where we were on the map.
After just one hour on the train, we pulled into Brugge station (Bruges station) which is situated on the west-side of the town. The walk from the station to the town centre is a brisk 15-20-minute stroll down some long cobble streets that make you feel like you’re walking through a fairy-tale village. The architecture in Bruges in spectacular along the walk into town so don’t bother taking the taxi – It’ll save you a few bucks and it’s definitely worth the walk!
Making the trip from Brussels to Bruges by train on our weekend Belgian trip was definitely an amazing idea. Bruges is an incredible place that resembles every fairy-tail you’ve ever watched, and you can very easily see it all in a day as the train trip only takes around an hour each-way. The second-class carriages are comfortable, had plenty of seats and clean toilets, which is all you need for an hour-long trip. You can also catch the bus from Brussels to Bruges too which takes around double the time (around two hours each-way), but the trains got us straight back to Bruxelles-Midi station where we had to go to catch our Eurostar back to London which was very convenient. The only reason for not giving this five-stars is the fact the train LED displays and platforms don’t show the stops each train calls at until you get there, but apart from that, it was excellent.
Michael is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on his own genuine experience of the journey.