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Brussels/Bruge One Day?

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Pittsburgh...
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Brussels/Bruge One Day?

We are planning a day trip from Paris to Belgium in May

I know in one day we really won't be able to do Brussels or Bruge justice.

Just wondering if it would be possible to arrive in Brussels in time for the HOP bus at 10. Spend time viewing lots of the sights from the bus and then catching a train to Bruge early in the afternoon and returning to Paris later in the evening.

We may never get back here again and we really want a small taste of each.

Is it doable?

Where is the closest HOP bus stop to the train station?

Thanks

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

Coming from Paris, you arrive on Thalys at Brussels' Gare du Midi and your ticket would cover you on a local train to Gare centrale (one stop on any train going North, e.g. all those going to the airport) which is where the HoHo buses start from, although now that they have dug up the street in front of the station, I'm not sure exactly where.

However, I would NOT in fact recommend taking a HoHo bus, if you really want to combine Bxl with Brugge I would suggest you stick to the main sights, in particular the Grand' Place, which the bus doesn't go into anyway and which is only 5 minutes' walk from Gare centrale. You can also visit in this area the Galeries St. Hubert and, if you must, the Mannekin Pis, spending no more than an hour or two in Bxl.

Then take the train from Gare centrale to Brugge (1 hr on IC trains going to Oostende or Knokke/Blankenberge), this one you will have to pay for if you didn't buy Thalys ABS ticket covering you to Brugge); you will need at least a couple of hours in Brugge to walk around. Then return to Bxl in time to connect with whichever Thalys you are taking back to Paris.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

I am planning to buy the ABS ticket. So would that cover me to the Central station and to Bruge?

Maybe we will pick a few sights we would like to see and stick with that.

I just thought at first that the buses would save time and you would get to see more.

Thanks

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

Thalys ABS ticket covers you to Brugge via Brussels, as long as you spend no more than 24 hrs in Brussels, and you would presumably be spending only a couple of hours.

The Paris-Brussels part of the trip can end at any Brussels station even if the train itself terminates at Midi, so you can travel to Gare centrale for free; and the Brussels-Brugge trip can start at any Brussels station so you can start from Central.

I think the full circuit of the HoHo buses takes quite some time even if you don't get off - they go all the way out to the Atomium - and it appears they sometimes dump people off in places to wait for the next bus, which may be some time in coming. If you want to try this, the blue ones are supposed to be the best, although the same company now also operates the red ones: avoid the green and yellow ones (from remarks on TA). However, unless you get here really early and leave really late, I do think you are trying to do a bit much.

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

I agree that for such a short visit, going to the Grand Place to wander around would be better than the HOP bus. You'll get a better feel for Brussels - and you'll pass some waffle, chocolate, and frits vendors along the way :) We did the HOP bus, which was fun, but it was a long ride and you go past everything so quickly that if that tour is all you do, you wont feel like you've actually been to Brussels.

For Bruges, I highly recommend a tour of the Halve Maan Brewery - it is between the train station and the main square. This is a really neat tour and was one of the highlights of our trip.

Cleveland, Ohio
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5. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

Is there a list somewhere of the top things to do in Brussels? I'm also planning a day trip (part of a larger Europe trip) this summer, so trying to figure out how to plan our day!

**Amber**

Pittsburgh...
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6. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

thank you all

Also thanks november moon for the brewery tip

7. Re: Brussels/Bruge One Day?

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