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Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
5 posts
34 reviews
Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges


After hearing so many good things about Bruges, I am really considering spending maybe half a day there just to see what's it about. Most of my itinerary has been planned and I need your help to figure out if adding Bruges will make sense.

We are a family of 4 arriving in Antwerp from Paris at noon. We leave Antwerp the next day at 5 pm for Amsterdam.


1. If we were to decide to go to Bruges, would it make more sense to do it on the first day or the 2nd?

Pro for 1st day: We won't feel as rushed/stressed to get back to Antwerp on time to catch our bus to Amsterdam

2. Say, we do visit on the 1st day, we will probably get to Bruges around 4 pm. Will we still have enough time to enjoy the sights considering daytime is shorter?

3. Buying train tickets for 4 is expensive. Will it make more sense to rent a car and drive? If so, how easy is it to find parking in Bruges?

Thanks so much in advance for your replies.

4 replies to this topic
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
1,358 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges

As you don't have much time, you could consider a much closer alternative to Bruges:

Lier is a beautiful historic canal town, only 15-20 minutes by train from/to Antwerp


Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
253 posts
116 reviews
2. Re: Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges

Seeing your itinerary, you will have to choose between visiting Antwerpen or Brugge. Arriving at 4PM in winter wil leave you with too little time to see Brugge. So the best option would be to visit Brugge on the second day. The train takes 1,5 hour one way, it is a bit faster by car, but then the traffic jams around Antwerp will slow you down, and make your travel time unpredictable. Train travel is expensive, but if you are with four you can buy an railpass, which gives you 10 trips for 77 euro, or 7,7 euro per person per ticket, you are allowed to share the railpass. (For the 4 x 2 , this would cost you 9,5 x 2= 19 euro round trip per person) hiring a car + gas would be more expensive)

Travel time would thus be 3 hours (not counting the time needed to get to and from the train station) for a day trip to Brugge which leaves you with very little time to actually visit Brugge. My advise would be to visit Antwerpen which is a beautiful city with great sights, great shopping, great bars and restaurants...

Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
253 posts
116 reviews
3. Re: Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges

Train tickets for under 26 years old are also cheaper: 6 euro per ticket to any Belgian station= 12 euro return trip.

Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: Family day trip from Antwerp to Bruges

I agree with Neil-Vera. Lots of historic buildings in Antwerp too and a nice atmosphere, but it's up to you ofcourse. Check out https://www.visitantwerpen.be/en/home

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