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Train ticket help!

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Train ticket help!


My girlfriend and I are flying to Brussels and getting a train from Brussels airport to Gent. We will spend 1 night in Gent before getting another train to Bruges where we will spend 3 nights. We will then get a train straight back from Bruges to Brussels airport.

Does anybody know whether we can do this kind of trip all on 1 return ticket? Or would I have to get seperate tickets to Gent, Bruges, and then back to Brussels.

I've been unable to find out how long a return ticket lasts for, and whether you can hop off for a night on said ticket. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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1. Re: Train ticket help!

<Does anybody know whether we can do this kind of trip all on 1 return ticket?>

No you can't.

<would I have to get separate tickets to Gent, Bruges, and then back to Brussels>


<I've been unable to find out how long a return ticket lasts for>

Each half would be valid only for one specific day.

<whether you can hop off for a night on said ticket>

No you can't.

The only return ticket allowing you to return on a different day would be a "Weekend ticket" which is valid from 19.00 on Friday evening to the last train on Sunday of *the same* weekend.

<Any help would be greatly appreciated!>

You are very welcome.


From / To: Brussel-Nat-Luchthaven [NMBS/SNCB] / Gent-Sint-Pieters [NMBS/SNCB] / Brugge [NMBS/SNCB]

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: Train ticket help!

To clarify, you can buy a return ticket with the return on a different day from the outward journey, but you have to specify the return date at the time of purchase (whether online or at the ticket counter): if you don't specify a different date, it will be taken to be the same as that of the outward journey. A standard return ticket costs the same as 2 standard singles, so unlike in the UK (I believe), there is no advantage in purchasing a return ticket rather than 2 singles other than (as explained by Colin56) at weekends.

Strictly speaking, I guess the maximum validity of a return ticket is 1 month, given that you can only buy domestic tickets 1 month before departure: so if your outward journey is on the 1st of the month, you could buy a return ticket for return on any (specified) date up till the 30th (or possibly the 31st, I'm not sure whether Belgian Railways considers 1 month to be a calendar month or 30 days: the 3-month advance purchase limit for Thalys, for example, is in fact 90 days, and I think the 4-month advance purchase limit for Eurostar is actually 120 days).

As for "hopping off for the night" at C when you have a ticket from A to B - there is nothing to stop you getting off, but you can't get on again to travel from C to B on your original ticket. For one thing, your A-B ticket was for the day before, and for another, you can't interrupt your journey at all (which is not the same thing as merely changing trains, where required) on a through ticket. What you can do, other than buying 2 single tickets, is purchase a "VIA" ticket, which costs exactly the same as 2 singles. In other words, Brussels Airport to Ghent costs €14.40 and Ghent to Brugge, €6.30: and a VIA ticket Brussels Airport to Brugge VIA Gent St. Pieters costs €20.70 (whereas a through ticket from Brussels Airport to Brugge or vice versa costs €19.60).

These are standard prices, you unfortunately didn't mention WHEN you would be doing this journey but if it would be on a WEEKDAY in August, you can get a "summer deal" ticket for €12 to/from Brussels Airport and €7.50 between any other 2 stations in Belgium. As it costs less than that between Ghent and Brugge, in your case you would (each) pay €12 from BRU to Ghent, €6.30 from Ghent to Brugge and then €12 again from Brugge to BRU (IF travelling on weekdays, of course).

As for "train straight back from Bruges to Brussels Airport", there are of course no direct trains on this route, you have to change at either Gent St. Pieters or Bruxelles-Nord (at the latest, can also be Midi or Central). Apart from changing trains there, you are not actually going to Brussels: Brussels Airport is not in the city or region of Brussels but in Flanders.

3. Re: Train ticket help!

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