Smart Travel Tips
The major airport serving Brussels is
Brussels National Airport (BRU) (Zaventem,
PHONE: 02/753-3913; flight
information 0900-70000, www.brusselsairport.be) at Zaventem
(sometimes called simply Zaventem), 15 km (9 mi) northeast
of the city center. Brussels National Airport has nonstop
flights from the United States and Canada. It also has a
wide range of amenities such as airport hotels, rental car
agencies, and travel agencies.
Flying time to Brussels is about 7 hours
from New York and 8½ hours from Chicago. Depending upon your
routing and transit time, flights from Dallas last
approximately 13 hours; flights from Los Angeles,
approximately 17 hours; and flights from Sydney,
approximately 24 hours.
Air Canada (PHONE:
Air France (PHONE:
800/237-2747 in the U.S.; 0845/084-5111 in the U.K.,
www.airfrance.com). Air New Zealand (PHONE:
09/3362-4242; 0800/737-000 in New Zealand;
020/8741-2299 in the U.K., www.airnewzealand.com).
800/433-7300 in the U.S.; 0345/789-789 in the U.K.,
(PHONE: 800/247-9297 in the U.S.;
0345/222-111 in the U.K., www.british-airways.com).
800/525-0280 in the U.S.; 0800/776-464 in the U.K.,
800/221-1212 in the U.S.; 0800/414-767 in the U.K.,
800/645-3880 in the U.S.; 0345/737-747 in the U.K.,
800/538-2929 in the U.S.; 0845/844-4777 in the U.K.,
US Airways (PHONE:
800/428-4322 in the U.S.; 0800/783-5556 in the U.K.,
(PHONE: 800/862-8621 in the U.S.;
0129/3747-747 in the U.K., www.virgin-atlantic.com).
From the U.K.
(156 Regent St., London W1R 5TA, PHONE:
( PHONE: 0800/891-199,
the Airport and Town
Courtesy shuttle buses serve airport
hotels and a few downtown hotels: inquire when making
Local bus services (De Lijn and STIB/MIVB)
operate between the airport and the city.
To get to the city center from the
airport, take the Brussels Ring Road; exits to the city are
Taxis are plentiful. A taxi to the city
center takes about half an hour and costs about EUR30.
Beware freelance taxi drivers who hawk their services in the
Shuttle trains run between Brussels
National Airport and all three main railway stations in
Brussels: South (Midi), Central (Central), and North (Nord).
The Airport City Express runs four times per hour,
from about 6 AM to midnight, seven days a week. The journey
takes 18 minutes. A one-way ticket costs EUR3.80 (1st class)
or EUR2.50 (2nd class).
By Boat & Ferry
44/870-5240241 in the U.K., www.hoverspeed.com)
operates a Hovercraft catamaran service between Dover and
Calais, carrying cars and foot passengers. Travel time is 35
minutes. Hoverspeed also offers pedestrian-only "SeaCat"
service between Dover and Oostende, with travel time just
under two hours. Trains at either end connect with London
(Pl. de Brouckère 50, PHONE:
02/217-0025, www.eurolines.com) operates up to three daily
express services from and to Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt,
Paris, and London.
The Eurolines Coach Station (Rue du
Progrès 80, PHONE: 02/203-0707)
in Brussels adjoins the Gare du Nord.
Brussels is 204 km (122 mi) from Amsterdam
on E19; 222 km (138 mi) from Düsseldorf on E40; 219 km (133
mi) from Luxembourg City on E411; and 308 km (185 mi) from
If you use Le Shuttle under the English
Channel or a ferry to Calais, note that the E40 (via
Oostende and Brugge) connects with the French highway,
cutting driving time from Calais to Brussels to under two
hours. If you take the ferry to Oostende, the distance is
115 km (69 mi) to Brussels on the six-lane E40.
Brussels is surrounded by a beltway,
marked Ring. Exits to the city are marked Center. Among
several large underground parking facilities, the one close
to the Grand'Place is particularly convenient if you're
staying in a downtown hotel.
Road signs are written in the language of
the region, so you need to know that Brussels is Bruxelles
in French and Brussel in Dutch. On the Brussels-Liège/Luik
motorway, signs change language with alarming frequency as
you crisscross the Wallonia-Flanders border. Finally,
Uitrit is Dutch for exit.
Ten Eurostar (PHONE:
0900-10366 information; 0900/10-177 telephone sales,
www.eurostar.com) passenger trains a day link Brussels's
Gare du Midi with London's Waterloo station via the Channel
Tunnel in two hours, 40 minutes. A one-way trip costs EUR242
in business class and from EUR124 in economy; rail pass
holders qualify for 50% discounts. Reservations are
required. Check-in is 20 minutes before departure.
All rail services between Brussels and
Paris are on Thalys (PHONE:
070/667788 information; 0900/10366 reservations,
www.thalys.be) high-speed trains (1 hr, 25 mins). A one-way
trip costs EUR106 ("Confort 1"), EUR65.50 ("Confort 2").
Reservations are required.
. Belgian National Railways (SNCB, PHONE:
02/555-2525) is the national rail line. Fast and frequent
trains connect all main towns and cities within Belgium.