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pboyle
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Posted 6 months ago

I need two tickets to travel from Cologne to Brugge- December 1 and return to Cologne December 5 leaving about 10:30 am both trips. We are seniors. Thank you, Paul/Marti Boyle

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MisterSteve
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896 comments

replied 6 months ago

First thing to watch, a lot of Belgium is bi-lingual and Brugge (Flemish) can appear as Bruges (French). The station you need will be named simply one or the other! Brugge St-Pieters/ Bruges St. Pierre is further from the centre and a complication to the journey that you don't need. The main staion in Cologne is Köln Hbf (or Koeln Hbf)

There are three regular options, but none leave Cologne around 10:30.

Option 1 leaves around every two hours such as 09:42 or 11:42. It uses German railways ICE trains on the high speed line to Brussel Zuid/Bruxelles Midi) and a connection to Brugge.
Option 2 is less regular, nothing between 08:44 and 12:42. It uses exactly the same route as Option 1 but the trains are run by Eurostar (EST in timetables)- this is their new brand name, until a few weeks ago they were branded Thalys and almost every third party document currently on the internet will refer to them as Thalys!

both those options need early booking to get cheap prices.

Option 3 is slower and more complicated, and won't be cheaper than best early booking price (but could be cheaper on the day than the on the day price of the others). It's basically hourly. Take a regional express train to the broder at Aachen, then a cross border shuttle train to Welkenraedt and then an Intercity train to Brugge. Not really worth it unless you miss out on early booking prices (around 45-60 Euros per person/direction at present)

to check exact schedules of all options use www.bahn.com this site will also sell tickets for Option 1 - make sure you set up correct ages when asked.
For Option 2 use Belgian state railways' international site https://www.b-europe.com/EN you can also use this for option 1 but it may be slightly dearer

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nltrainer
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1334 comments

replied 6 months ago

#3: IF you are old enough senior >65: THEN you can use the quite cheap BElgian senior return tickets (not valid <9.00 mo-fr)< for less as 10€ from Aachen to Brugge (as it is in Flemish area they never use the french for it in official sites-and St. P is in fact the only main station there-with a frequent cheap small citybus into the old town.
BUT if you can preplan and do a fixed booking via bahn.de, then it is also quite possible you can still score the 19€ cheap SparPreis EUR singles via #1. Forget #2=Thalys, rebrand as €*: very expensive and mostly aimed at those going to paris.