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Best Train Options: Paris CDG to Bruges

Best Train Options: Paris CDG to Bruges

Old Jan 19, 19, 3:59 pm
  #1  
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Best Train Options: Paris CDG to Bruges

Iím traveling with a group of six people from CDG-Bruges at the end of March. We land at 17:20 on BA from London with HBO and US passports. Our trip is originating at LAX, so we will be tired and would like to get there as quickly as possible. We are considering :

1. Taking the 18:48 TGV from CDG-Lille and then having a driver pick us up at the train station and drop us off at our hotel in Bruges. (1 hour train, 1 hour drive, Ä51 per person) Arrive @ ~ 20:48

2. Having a driver pick us up at CDG and drive us to our hotel in Bruges.
(~ 2hours/ 45 minutes, Ä71 per person). Arrive @ ~ 20:30

3. The 19:07 TGV from CDG-Brussels-Bruges. (2 hours/55 minutes, Ä81 per person) Arrive @ ~ 22:02

I think that #1 would be the least painful. Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Will there be traffic if we drive?

Last edited by sbgmiles; Jan 19, 19 at 4:07 pm
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Old Jan 20, 19, 4:39 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by sbgmiles
We land at 17:20 on BA from London with HBO and US passports. Our trip is originating at LAX, so we will be tired and would like to get there as quickly as possible. We are considering :

1. Taking the 18:48 TGV from CDG-Lille and then having a driver pick us up at the train station and drop us off at our hotel in Bruges. (1 hour train, 1 hour drive, €51 per person) Arrive @ ~ 20:48
What if your BA flight is late and you miss the the train. Are you budgeted to buy new tickets on the TGV on the spot?

3. The 19:07 TGV from CDG-Brussels-Bruges. (2 hours/55 minutes, €81 per person) Arrive @ ~ 22:02
The train leaves only 19 minutes later than option 1. Again, are you budgeted to buy new tickets?

The above two are a risk; do you feel lucky?

2. Having a driver pick us up at CDG and drive us to our hotel in Bruges.
(~ 2hours/ 45 minutes, €71 per person). Arrive @ ~ 20:30
The issue here is traffic and perhaps the cost difference. in addition, will you be charged by the car service company if the driver must wait longer than the agreed upon time? That says, this seems the least risky.

Have you considered taking Thalys from CDG to Brussels and then a local commuter train to Bruges?
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:15 am
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There are multiple routes you can take. Note that the 19:07 is not a direct service, but rather requires a change in Brussels (the service from Brussels to Bruges is very frequent).

Your main complexity for rail travel is how flexible your ticket is, in the case of your flight being delayed (or indeed your luggage, or immigration delays, etc, etc.) So it depends how much risk you're willing to take vs the price. A fully flexible ticket to Lille is €54, and this can be exchanged, via app, up to an hour after your original departure. From Lille, there's also a decent local service to Ghent, which is only 20 minutes from Bruges. Of course, a restricted ticket is far cheaper.

A full flex ticket to Brussels is rather more, at €79, but the service from Brussels to Bruges is easy and very regular.

Is there any flexibility in your flight tickets that would allow you to fly from London to Brussels? It's a much easier journey from Brussels Airport to Bruges - an hourly direct train with no need to pre-book.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:22 am
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Number 2 is a no brainer given the minor difference in cost and travelling time, plus the tiredness and hassle factor
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Old Jan 21, 19, 7:24 am
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Even as lifelong fan of European high speed rail, and i have even done the CDG-Brussels TGV - I would take the car service. Especially if you have luggage. Especially if you are tired. Especially seeing at that time of night there will be little traffic.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 4:59 pm
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Please do not post the same question at multiple places. This was also posted here: Best Train Options: Paris CDG to Bruges
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Old Jan 23, 19, 11:35 am
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I thought that I deleted the other post, sorry. Thank you for all of your insight. I went ahead and booked the TGV at 18:48, but I have not booked the driver yet. I was afraid that traffic could be bad when we land at 17:25 and the thought of spending 3+ hours sitting in a van was too much. After reading the comments, I realize that I may have made a mistake. We will be traveling with HBO, so I hope 1 hour 20 minutes will be enough time even if we are a little delayed at LHR. The TGV tickets were only 22 Euro/each, so I guess that we can just eat the cost and book the driver from CDG.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 4:18 am
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It's tight, but doable if your flight is on time and immigration isn't too bad.

One word of warning - the current date for Brexit is 29th March. If it's on or after that date, it's very difficult to predict what will happen. Worst case scenario, you may see flight cancellations and severe immigration delays. But it's still very much up in the air.

If things are normal, then it all depends on what the non-EU immigration lines are like at CDG T2A, which BA uses for arrivals. You are signposted to a shuttle bus for the TGV station but, in reality, it's a pretty easy walk - go out past T2C and into the station. There's no need to check in for the train, you just get on board. Hopefully you've got e-tickets!

Note that there are two major stations at Lille: Lille Flandres and Lille Europe. Your train will arrive at Lille Flandres (at 19:46). There are onward, local trains to Belgium from here. At xx:08, the Antwerpen/Anvers train takes you to Kortrijk/Courtrai, from where there is a cross-platform connection (the trains pull in simultaneously) to Brugge/Bruges (dest: Oostende/Ostende).

I suppose one other thing to consider is food. I don't know if you'll eat during your transfer at LHR, or get something to take on board, but you may not have time to pick anything up at CDG. TGVs do have a buffet, but the offering is fairly snack-like: http://medias.sncf.com/sncfcom/pdf/r...te_Bar_TGV.pdf.

Depending on timing and your level of tiredness, you will be arriving at Lille at peak dining time. The station is right in the city centre, and Lillois food tends to be rather good (and the Grand'Place is rather an impressive place to see).

Good luck!
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