The best solution in Zebrugge, Belgium is to be prepared.Click here for the tourist information website
The cruise port in Zebrugge is a massive commercial pier. Guests must take the shuttle bus provided, from the ship to the gate at the pier entrance. Unlike so many other locations, there is no visitor information booth at the pier or even nearby, so you must make your plans in advance. The building at the piers entrance does not have information, but it does have rest rooms if you need them. Most importantly, do not expect to find taxi’s here waiting to pick up passengers. When we arrived, all the taxis had been pre-booked, and there were no other transportation options.
Here is a simple explanation on how to get to Brugge by tram & train.
First exit through the gates and turn right, along the sidewalk. Follow the main road, total walking time will be around 10- 15 minutes. You will see this church ahead on your left, so you know you are headed in the right direction. Remember you will be looking for this church when you exit the tram on your return trip to be sure you are at the correct stop.
As you near the church, you will pass a market on the right. Stop in here and purchase your tram tickets to Blankenberge. Currently 1,2 euro each, purchase 2 per person for round trip transfers. If for some reason the market is not open you can purchase tickets on the tram for 2 euros each.
Now with tickets in hand, continue past the grocery store to the first red light, and cross to the middle of the road, where the tram stops. You will catch the tram from the side closest to the market. There is a schedule posted on the lamp post, or find a schedule here
You will be boarding the tram at the “KIRK” stop (Dutch for Church), and alighting at “BLANKENBERGE.” When you board the train, look for the ticket validation machine adjacent to the door. Insert one ticket in to the machine and press #2 to validate it. Now find a seat, and enjoy the ride. Be sure to keep your validated ticket, in the event a conductor comes by to check them.
You will be getting off at the “Blankenberge Station” stop. Alight the tram, and cross the main road to the large train station. Once inside the ticket windows will be to your right. They accept both cash and credit cards. Purchase your roundtrip tickets to “BRUGGE.” On a Sunday ours were 4euro each, roundtrip. Walk through the train station, and out to the gates. This small station has only a few gates, but ask when you purchase your ticket which gate the train will leave from. You can see 2 of the 4 gates in this photo.
When you arrive in Brugge, you will walk through the station. Be sure to double check the schedule posted on the wall for the return times from Brugge to Blankenberge. Notice on the schedule there is a Zebrugge train, but this in not what you are looking for. Instead check the time for the return to Blankenberge. If you need a restroom here, follow the signs, there is only one so expect long lines, and a charge of ,50 euro. Immediately adjacent to the exit doors is a visitor information center, look for the “i” signs. They can provide you with a Brugge map, and answer any questions. Also if you arrive early enough there is a walking for that departs from this location.
Exit the train station, and cross the road. Head toward the church tower in the distance, and enjoy your tour of Brugge.
Do allow plenty of time to walk back to catch your return train. Trains here are punctual, and usually depart for Blankenberge only once an hour .
When you return to the train station, take note of which gate the train is leaving from, and follow the overhead signs to the appropriate gate. Go up the stairs to the train platform. On our trip there was an “A” and “B” gate listed. If this is the case walk further down the platform away from the stairs for the “B” end of the platform. Get off at the Blankenberge stop, exit the train station, and cross the road.
You will catch the tram from the opposite side that you debarked earlier. Enter the tram from the side of the stop closest to the traffic. Once again validate your ticket in the machine by pushing the #2 button. Watch for the church to come up on your right, your stop will be “Kirk.” Exit the tram and return to the pier entrance, where a shuttle will return you to your ship.
Hopefully you will have enjoyed the charming city of Brugge.