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.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 from April to October).
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.
The Belgian currency is the Euro (EUR). 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.
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.
Emergencies: 101, or 112 from cell phones
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Easter Monday||6 Apr||28 Mar|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Ascension Day||14 May||5 May|
|Whit Monday||25 May||16 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|
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 (June to August) to 45°F (7°C) during winter (December to February). Snow is possible, but not frequent, in winter.
The train station is located on the basement 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.
Major car hire companies are represented at the airport, including Avis, Budget and Hertz; their desks are in the Arrivals hall.
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.
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, a travel agency, and luggage lockers.
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 €3.60 per hour respectively. The Economy Lot is good for long-term parking (up to a week), costing €18 per day.
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.