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Brussels

Grand Place, Brussels

Practical Info about Brussels

Getting around the city

The modern and well-organised public transport system of Brussels consists of metro, tram and bus networks. The system is user-friendly with route diagrams and timetables posted at most stops, and there are free maps available from the tourist office. Trams provide an ideal way to get around and are faster than buses, especially when they travel underground in the city centre to become the prémétro. Both tram and bus stops are by request only. There is a separate system of local trains linking the inner city to the outskirts, although they are of minimal use to tourists, except for getting to and from the airport. Tickets are valid for any form of public transport except local trains, and once validated can be used for multiple transfers within an hour. Taxis can be hailed from any of the taxi stands around the city; they are metered and expensive, and taxes and tips are included in the price. The city is relatively easy to negotiate by car, though renting a vehicle is generally unnecessary.

Time

GMT +1 (GMT +2 from March to October).

Electricity

Electrical current in Belgium is 230 volts, 50Hz. Standard European-style two-pin plugs will work. Three-pin plugs, with a male grounding pin, can also be used.

Currency

The Belgian currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Most international credit cards are accepted. ATMs are available in all towns and cities. Banks are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm, and are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Some banks close for an hour during lunch. There are, however, some foreign exchange offices that trade on Sundays.

Communication

The international access code for Belgium is +32. Mobile coverage is extensive, with mobile phones operating on GSM networks. There are many internet cafes and plenty of coffee shops and bars offer free wifi.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 101, or 112 from cell phones

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Ascension Day 29 May 14 May
Whit Monday 9 Jun 25 May
National Day 21 Jul 21 Jul
Assumption of the Virgin Mary 15 Aug 15 Aug
All Saints Day 1 Nov 1 Nov
Armistice Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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Brussels has a maritime temperate climate, characterised by warm summers and mild winters. The city has a high average annual rainfall, and visitors can expect a downpour any time of year. Temperatures range from highs of around 80°F (27°C) in summer to 45°F (7°C) during the middle of winter. Snow is possible, but not frequent, in winter.

Brussels International Airport

www.brusselsairport.be

Getting to the city

The train station is located on the lower level. There is a train shuttle service from the airport to the North, South, and Central stations of Brussels. The shuttle runs every 15-20 minutes and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. It operates between 5:30am and 12:20am from the airport. A bus station is below the Arrivals hall. The number 12 bus on weekdays before 8pm, and the number 21 at all other times, takes passengers to the European Quarter of the city . There are also buses that serve Brussels Airport to Antwerp. An airport bus link also operates between the Brussels railway lines and the airport. There are licensed, metered taxis available outside the Arrivals hall; the 30-minute journey to Brussels costs around €45.

Car rental

Major car hire companies are represented at the airport, including Avis, Budget and Hertz; their desks are in the Arrivals hall.

Airport taxi's

From Brussels International Airport metered taxis are available outside the Arrivals hall. The drive to Brussels city centre takes about 30-minutes and costs around €45. Licensed Taxis are recommended and can be recognized by a blue and yellow sign.

Facilities

Airport facilities include ATMs and bureaux de change, a post office, duty-free shops, cafes/restaurants, a beauty shop, a Communications Centre with internet access, religious services, train information and reservation, travel agencies, and luggage lockers. There is also a mobile phone rental office.

Parking

The Express Parking Lot is immediately across from the terminal building. The charge is €5 per hour, and you're limited to three hours. The short-term P1 and P2 Lots charge €4 and €3.50 per hour respectively. The Economy Lot is good for long-term parking (up to a week), costing €17 per day.

Internet

There is wifi internet access available throughout the airport, via rent2connect or any of these service providers: Boingo, Quiconnect, iPass, Telenet, T-Systems, Trustive or WeRoam. Free wifi is available at the attached Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel.