Do you need to know how to get from Bruges to Ghent? Or would you rather travel from Ghent to Bruges?
Putting both Bruges and Ghent in your itinerary is a great choice! Most travellers will only pick one for their journey and we’re glad you aren’t, because both cities are absolutely breathtaking. While Ghent is the fairytale student city with an edge, Bruges is the real-life Medieval town of your dreams. Both cities have similarities (the canals and the cobblestone/old architecture feeling) but are very different in their overall feeling.
Any Bruges – Ghent transport is pretty straightforward, whether you choose to drive or go from Bruges to Ghent by train or bus.
We’ll discuss each option so you can pick the one that is right for you!
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How to get from Bruges to Ghent
If you are looking for the most convenient way to reach Ghent when you’re coming from Brussels, we recommend catching the train. Both cities have a low traffic centre and parking is rather costly. Besides, the journey will only take about 26 minutes while driving should at least take an hour. Click here to book your train ticket! However, taking the bus is a very close second! The trip will take 90 minutes, but it’s a direct connection and will only cost you €1,60!
Option 1: Bruges to Ghent by car
Many people travel in their own car while in Belgium. In that case, you’ll obviously want to bring it along with you. And even if you’re flying in, if you prefer to have your own means of transport, renting a car is a pretty popular choice to travel around the country.
The distance from Bruges to Ghent is 57 km which should take you about 1 hour with regular traffic. The drive is pretty straightforward, as you only have to take the highway connecting both cities (E40 Brussels – Ostend in the direction of Brussels) and take the connecting highway E17 in the direction of Antwerp where you’ll find the Ghent city centre exit a couple of kilometres along the road.
Don’t forget that busy traffic is a common issue. Overall, the usual problematic zones are the highways around Brussels and Antwerp, so if you’re driving the distance between Ghent and Bruges you might get lucky and avoid being stuck. However, the E40 highway can get quite busy when you get in the vicinity of Ghent, so make sure to add at least half an hour to your schedule if you’re driving during rush hours.
If you don’t have a free parking space included in your accommodation, it might be a good idea to leave your car at one of the 7 park + ride parking zones. These free car parks on the edge of Ghent allow you to drop your car close to the highways and use public transport to get into the city. Keep in mind that these car parks are not secured/guarded (however, we’ve never had any issues). Read more about the different Park&Ride areas here.
Option 2: Train Bruges to Ghent
A lot of travellers will prefer to travel around Belgium by train because it’s such a convenient way of transportation. The Bruges – Ghent train connection is very straightforward with direct intercity trains between both cities.
Bruges is a small city with only one train station and it’s situated a little outside the city centre. You can walk the 2 km (from the market square with the Belfry), but with luggage, you’ll probably prefer to take a taxi or the bus (every 3 minutes, it takes between 18-22 minutes, € 1,5*).
Ghent has 2 train stations, with Gent-Sint-Pieters being the main hub but about 2,5km outside the city centre, while Gent-Dampoort is a lot smaller but a fairly short walking distance from all the main sights.
There are 5 direct Bruges to Ghent trains every hour, but all are within a 30-minute window (.00 to Eupen, .10 to Genk, .25 to Antwerp, .31 to Brussels Airport & a slow L-train at .33). Only the one to Antwerp will stop in Gent-Dampoort (it takes 36 minutes to reach the station from Bruges). There are many train connections between Gent-Sint-Pieters and Gent-Dampoort (more or less every 5 minutes). There’s also a tram in front of the Gent-Sint-Pieters station that will bring you straight to the city centre in 10 minutes, so this is by far the easiest option (#1, take it in the direction of Wommelgem, not Park & Ride).
The Bruges to Ghent train time is 26 minutes. The earliest train from Bruges to Ghent departs at 4.10 AM, while the last one is around 11.25 PM (on weekdays, weekends might be different). Always make sure to check the Bruges to Ghent train times, because trains are often less frequent in the early morning or late in the evening. You can check the trains Bruges to Ghent timetable here.
* The cheapest bus ticket is € 1,5 (when you buy a 10-card in the app). You can download the app here. You can’t buy a ticket directly in the bus (use a ticket store, sms or the app instead).
The Bruges to Ghent train cost is €6,70 for a single ticket, while a return is €13,40 . If you’re under 26, a single ticket (Go pass 1) is €6,60 and a return € 13,20. For every paying adult, 4 children under 12 travel for free. Should you travel during the weekend (from friday at 7PM to sunday), you can buy a return ticket at the reduced price of €7,80. It is convenient to book your train ticket online, this way you don’t have to wait in line. Click here to book your tickets.
Option 3: Bruges to Ghent bus
The bus connection between Bruges and Ghent is the only direct bus line between 2 major tourist cities in Belgium (This was my childhood bus as I used to live in one of the towns on this route, wave hi when you pass through Maldegem!).
To get from Bruges to Ghent take bus #58 from Bruges station, Katelijnepoort, Gentpoort or Kruispoort (whichever is closest to your accommodation) and prepare to sit back and enjoy the view. The closest stop to the historical centre of Ghent is Gent St Jacobs. This trip will take about 1h30. You can use this website to plan your trip.
Belgian buses are not convenient to transport luggage. I’m not saying it isn’t possible (because it is, we’ve done it a lot of times), but there is no room to store your suitcase, you should put it in the middle section of the bus and stay there to keep it from falling. Especially during school rush hours, the bus from Bruges to Ghent tends to get busy.
Usually, the cheapest bus tickets are the ones you can buy in the app. Buying a 10-card is the cheapest way to go as this will cost you €15. A regular m-ticket is €1,8. A €2,5 (+ cost) sms-ticket is an option too. All these tickets are valid for 60 minutes, which means you’ll need to use 2 for the Bruges to Ghent distance. Since this is a long but direct line, it’s actually cheaper to buy a regular ticket (€ 2,5) or a 10-card (€ 16) in a presale store (83 selling points in Bruges, the big supermarkets, the train station and a vending machine on ‘t Zand amongst others – find them here) because they’re valid for an hour and you can finish your ride. You can no longer buy tickets from the driver.
Option 4: Brussels to Ghent by taxi
A taxi from Bruges to Ghent will definitely be the most expensive way to travel. However, if you do not wish to rent a car and prefer to have a private means of transport, a taxi or private transport company might be the best choice for you. Also if you wish to do Bruges and Ghent in one day, a private transfer is a good option.
A 4-person standard car will cost you about €74 for this trip, while an 8-person minivan is €93. Click here to book your private transfer.
How to get from Ghent to Bruges
If you’d like to take this trip the other way around, the same options as above are available.
For travellers with their own car or a rental, driving from Ghent to Bruges is pretty straightforward. The distance from Ghent to Brussels is 57 km and should take you about an hour in regular traffic. If you prefer private transport but don’t want to drive yourself, you could travel by taxi. This will cost you € 74 for a regular car (4p) or €93 for a minivan (8p). Click here to book your private transport.
The third and best option is to take the Ghent – Bruges train. The trip from Gent-St-Pieters to Bruges Station will take between 26 minutes, but you’ll have to catch an additional tram (in Ghent) and bus (in Bruges) to reach your accommodation or the historical centre. The Ghent to Bruges train cost is €6,70 for a regular single ticket. Click here to book your ticket online.
The last option is taking the Ghent to Bruges bus which is not that bad because you can get on and off close to the city centres. However, it will take a bit lot longer than the train (about 90 minutes) and it’s not very convenient with luggage. Plan your trip here.
When deciding your way of transportation between Bruges and Ghent, consider your preferences. Do you like to reach your destination as quickly as possible or would it be nice to be able to stop along the way? Do you mind travelling with others, possibly having to stand up if you’re travelling during rush hour? Is the budget important or do you not mind spending a little extra for more comfort?
Although travelling by car is easy and convenient, parking in the cities can be quite a hassle. If you don’t need the freedom of your own car, we’d recommend taking the train to travel from Ghent to Bruges or vice versa. Trains in Belgium are convenient, fast and not overly expensive. The connection between Bruges and Ghent is a great one.
If you’re looking for a good budget option, take the bus. It will take a little longer, but it’s very easy.
If you prefer your own transport and don’t mind spending a little extra, hiring a private driver or taxi is a good idea. Especially for people travelling in a bigger group, this might be an interesting option.
No matter which option you utilise, you’ll be sure to have an amazing time in Ghent and in Bruges!