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Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

Crewe, United...
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Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

We are considering a 4 night break, flying into Brussels Int. and staying in Bruges (and possibly even including Brussels for one day ?) - though the exact details of our holiday plan are not yet decided.

We are a family of four, so car hire normally works better for us than trains, cost wise...plus we also like the independence it gives us.

We are thinking of renting an apartment in Bruges, but wondered if we would be mad to rent a car for the purpose of this trip ? is a car more likely to become a burden, than an aid to sightseeing and/or sensible option of transport ?

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Sluis, The...
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1. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

Hello,

In time it doesn't make much difference. From Brussels National Airport to Bruges by train it takes about an hour and a half, incl. one change at either Brussels North, Central or South station. The train station is below the airport. By car you would spend about 1h15m on the road, if there is a lot of traffic a bit longer. Driving to Bruges is very simple once you're on the ringroad. If you check Google Maps you'll see it's pretty much a straight line (direction: Oostende).

Once you're in Bruges you definitely don't need a car to discover the city and its highlights, attractions and parks. Bruges is a very walkable city and our size is actually one of our USP's.

If the only reason for renting a car is to make the transfer from Brussels to Bruges than I'd suggest taking the train instead. Belgium has a good railway network, and even if you decide to visit other cities (besides Bruges and Brussels) the train is a good option. Ghent, Antwerp and Oostende all have a direct train connection with Bruges.

To check time tables visit www.nmbs.be - the website of our train company, it's also available in English.

Kind regards,

Sabrina

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Crewe, United...
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2. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

Thanks for your reply - my other concern would be the ease of parking in Bruges (and Brussels if we visit) - can you comment on that ?

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Sluis, The...
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3. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

Hello,

I can't comment on Brussels, but in Bruges the cheapest parking is behind the train station. Oesterparking A and B are 2 euro per day. It's a full 20 minutes walking to the Market square or 5 minutes if you take a bus with CENTRUM. Buses depart from the front of the train station, so you have to walk through the train station to get to the buses. The price is 1,20 per person for a single ride.

In front of the train station is another cheap parking, 3,50 per day INCLUDING a free return bus ticket to the city center. Each person in the car will receive a free bus ticket, so it would be cheaper to park in front of the train station if you plan on taking the bus into town!

If you cross the street in front of the train station you can start sightseeing immediately. Walking to the heart of town is again about 20 minutes.

Underground parkings inside the tourist part of town - 't Zand, Zilverpand, Biekorf, Pandreitje and Katelijne - are more expensive. The price for one day is 8,70 euro.

Website of the parkings: www.interparking.com - Find a parking lot - Search for a particular parking - Belgium - Bruges - select one of the parkings above.

For some strange reason you have to select "Brugge" (written in Dutch) to get the info on the Oesterparking behind the train station. All other parkings are covered when you select "Bruges" (in English).

Best regards,

Sabrina

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Crewe, United...
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4. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

Sabrina thank you so much for your detailed reply.

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5. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

If this is your first trip to Bruges or Brussels I wouldn't bother with a car as you are unlikely to need to run out of things to do / see in 4 days.

If you do feel like going out and about there are plenty of places readily accessible by train at a lower cost than driving and parking (particularly when you factor in the hire cost).

Like most large cities the parking in Brussels itself is generally expensive and can be difficult to spot when you are driving in unfamiliar areas leading to stressful exchanges between driver and car park spotter which generally don't make for a fun day out (at least that is what happens in our car) so the aggravation outweighs any convenience.

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6. Re: Car Rental ? More trouble than its worth ?

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