Bruges (Brugge) is the historic canal city in the northwest of Belgium which attracts many tourist visitors. Bruges is located around 250km south-west from Amsterdam.
Travel between Amsterdam and Bruges is possible by high speed and standard rail and competing coach services. Some people also decide to rent a car and drive.
As Belgium and the Netherlands are members of the Schengen Zone agreement you do not normally need to go through a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Bruges.
Amsterdam-Bruges by Train
Travelling by train is a comfortable way to get from Amsterdam to Bruges and can be easily booked at the NS International site with prices starting from €31 one-way.
The journey is split into the following components:
1. Travelling Amsterdam to Brussels or Amsterdam to Antwerp, which can be done either using the high speed Eurostar (formerly Thalys) train or by the Intercity Brussels train.
2. From Antwerp or Brussels you take a frequent Belgian Rail Intercity service to Brugge which goes via Gent (Ghent).
The high speed Eurostar service runs from Amsterdam Central station to Paris Gare du Nord via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam Central, Antwerp Central and Brussels Zuid/Midi.
Eurostar normally runs up to 15x daily and the Amsterdam-Antwerp journey takes just 1 hour 15 minutes; the Amsterdam-Brussels journey takes 1 hour 50 minutes.
There are 3 classes of travel on Eurostar: Standard, Comfort and Premium.
Standard has 2nd class seating (2-2 configuration) with free WiFi. Food/drink can be purchased at the bar carriage. Standard tickets are refundable and exchangeable up to 7 days before travel; thereafter there are no refunds, but changes are possible for a €15 fee plus the price difference.
Comfort has 1st class seating (2-1 configuration), free WiFi and food/drink can be purchased at the bar. Comfort tickets are also refundable and exchangeable up to 7 days before travel; thereafter there are no refunds, but changes are possible for a €15 fee plus the price difference.
Premium is a proper first class product with 1st class seating (2-1 configuration), free WiFi (with more data), complimentary food/drink served at your seat and and free access to an international press app. Premium tickets are fully refundable up to 1 hour before travel; changes are possible right up to departure time with any price difference applying.
Premium ticket holders can access the Eurostar lounges in Brussels as well as the NS International lounges at Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam.
All Eurostar seats have individual electric power outlets.
Eurostar permits 2 pieces of luggage (max 75 x 53 x 30cm, no weight limit) plus 1 item of hand luggage. There are overhead luggage racks and special racks at each end of the carriage for larger items.
Eurostar tickets are on sale up to 4 months out and are booked like an airline seat – with a specific seat reservation. Your ticket will have a carriage and seat number.
Alternatively, the up to 16x daily Intercity Brussels can get you to Antwerp in 1 hour 48 minutes or to Brussels Zuid/Midi in 2 hours 50 minutes. It is jointly operated by NS Dutch Railways and Belgian Rail.
Although this train does run along the high speed track, it is not a high speed train service and makes more stops than the Eurostar.
The stops are at Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Breda, Noorderkempen (Belgium), Antwerp Central, Antwerp Berchem, Mechelen, Brussels Airport, Brussels North and Brussels Central.
There are no seat reservations so passengers can simply board and sit in any free seat in their class. Seating is 2nd class (2-2 configuration) and 1st class (2-1 configuration). Some 1st class carriages can also have a couple of small 6 person (3-3) compartments.
Luggage racks can accommodate small and medium size bags. In 1st class there are larger luggage racks at the end of the carriage.
From Antwerp or Brussels you take a frequent Belgian Rail Intercity service to Brugge which goes via Gent St Pieters. If you are Bruges-bound from Antwerp you may have to change train at Gent.
The Brussels Zuid/Midi-Gent-Brugge Intercity runs up to 4x hourly. Travel time is about 1 hour to Bruges.
The Antwerp-Gent Intercity runs hourly – allow about 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Bruges.
Expect the total journey time from Amsterdam to Bruges to be around 3 hours if taking the Eurostar via Brussels and almost 4 hours if using Intercity trains to Belgium.
If taking the Intercity it’s really up to you whether you change in Brussels or Antwerp.
Standard distance-based prices are in effect for travel using intercity trains although cheaper online “early bird” fares are also available if booking at least 7 days in advance.
The standard ‘walk-up’ fare (2023) for Amsterdam-Bruges one-way costs €65.60 (2nd class) or €104.10 (1st class).
Early bird one-way fares start at €30.50 (2nd class) and €45 (1st class) Mon-Thu and €42 (2nd class) and €58.50 (1st class) each way Fri-Sun. Early bird fares are valid on any service on the ticket day.
Holders of Dutch Railways NS discount cards and free NS travel cards receive a fare reduction off the standard fare for the Netherlands segment of travel.
You can buy an Amsterdam-Bruges rail ticket which includes the Eurostar component but expect the price to be higher than the Intercity unless booking well in advance. Prices start from €36 one-way in Standard.
The main railways station in Brugge is about a 10-15 minute walk from the city centre.
How to book train tickets online: Amsterdam-Bruges rail tickets can be easily booked at the NS International site
Alternative routes Amsterdam-Bruges
We will give a couple of alternative routes although these can take significantly longer and are therefore not really recommended (and we have done all the routes mentioned!) If time/convenience is a factor then please stick with the above international trains.
There is is an hourly Belgian Rail stopping train between the Dutch border town of Roosendaal and Antwerp which uses the standard track rather than the high-speed line.
Another more adventurous and complex route is to travel via the south-western province of Zeeland. Take a Dutch Railways Intercity service from Amsterdam to Vlissingen which takes up to 3 hours.
You then take the Westerschelde passenger ferry service from Vlissingen to Breskens, a crossing which takes about 20 minutes – although you may have to wait for the next departing ferry.
Finally there is Connexxion bus line 42 which runs from Breskens harbour to Brugge station – this alone takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Amsterdam-Bruges by Coach
Flixbus runs a regular direct services from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Brugge taking 4 1/2 to 6 hours depending on the route. Book your Flixbus ticket here
In Bruges, the bus stop is located at the back side of Brugge station (Rijselstraat-Spoorwegstraat).
One way fares for Amsterdam-Brugge start from around €15.
If you wish to make a flying visit to Bruges and don’t want to travel by public transport then consider a full day guided coach excursion tour from Amsterdam to Bruges and back.
Amsterdam-Bruges by Car
Some travellers decide to rent a car and travel between the cities. In our experience the signs on the Belgian roads can sometimes be a little confusing – however, with navigation you should be ok!
The 250km Amsterdam-Bruges trip takes about 3 hours 20 minutes in total with just under 200km of motorways. From Amsterdam you would take the A2 south and then change onto the A27 – you then follow the directions to Antwerp and then onto Brugge.
You can book a rental car with Discover Cars here which checks all the main rental firms.
The nearest airport to Bruges is Ostend-Bruges (OST) about 25km from the city centre. This airport mainly deals with freight and holiday charter flights. There are no flights between Amsterdam and Bruges.
It is only possible to fly between Amsterdam Schiphol and Brussels Zaventem airports.
Looking for a convenient hotel near Amsterdam Central station? Check out the stylish Kimpton-De Witt which is a short walk from the station. For those on a budget the Ibis Amsterdam Centre is literally on top of the western edge of the station platforms.
The I Amsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam museums and attractions. It also includes a free public transport pass, a canal cruise and bike rental as well. You can order your I Amsterdam City Card online here
This article was originally published in 2015 and has continuously been updated. Last update 26 November 2023.
Links on AmsterdamTips.com may pay us an affiliate commission.