The best ways to commute from Brussels airport to the city centre

When planning a business trip to Belgium and provided that your final destination is the capital city –Brussels-, you will need to find out the best options to travel from the airport to the centre in the shortest period of time. In the same manner, when visiting the Belgian capital as a tourist, it will be equally important to know which the most efficient and cheapest way to go from Brussels airport to the centre is before you arrive in order to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

There are only 11 kilometres between the terminal and central Brussels, and travelling times range from 17 to 30 minutes depending on the chosen transportation means. The recommendations below suit all kinds of travellers and preferences, so continue reading and decide how you will reach the downtown after landing in Brussels International Airport in Belgium, regardless of the purpose of your visit and whether you are a thrifty backpacker or an extremely busy business traveller.

The cheapest way to get to Brussels in Belgium from the airport

Although a bus journey from Brussels airport to the centre may take up to forty minutes, the low price of a single-ticket makes it worth it, as it is in fact the cheapest option to commute to the city. Buses run by the De Lijn company connect the terminal building with several key areas in Brussels like the North train station (lines 272 and 471), Brussels Expo (line 820), Roodebeek metro station (lines 359 and 659) and the city centre. A one-way ride costs only 3 euros and entitles you to use the service for a maximum period of 60 minutes; therefore, since they expire one hour after the purchase, you are advised not to get your tickets until you are about to get on the bus. Self-service automated kiosks can be found by the stands of the airport.

The fastest way to go from Brussels airport to the city centre

The SNCB railway company runs frequent services (several per hour) that link Brussels airport with Brussels Central in the downtown. For a single fare of 12 euros, this is by far the fastest way to commute to the city centre from the airport, as trains cover the distance between the two points in less than 18 minutes. This direct service is operated around the clock every day of the week. To catch your train, use the escalators or a lift towards the train station on floor -1.

The most convenient way to commute to Brussels with several pieces of luggage

If your stay is going to be a long one, you will probably be carrying heavy luggage when arriving in Belgium. In such case, we recommend that you confirm beforehand whether your hotel in Brussels city centre provides pick-up and drop-off services at the terminal, which is not an uncommon practice, especially if you are staying in the surrounding areas. The hotel vans and buses normally wait outside the terminal on level 0.

Taking a taxi from Brussels airport

Authorised taxis displaying a yellow and blue license card are permanently waiting outside the main terminal of Brussels airport in Belgium. Sometimes, arriving passengers may find it easier to simply collect their bags and get into a taxi cab to travel quickly to the city centre. This journey takes about thirty minutes and it costs 45 euros approximately. It is possible to book a wheelchair-adapted taxi as well.

Driving from Brussels airport to the city

Due to the proximity of the downtown, hiring a vehicle upon arrival to commute to the city and also to get around Brussels during your trip will give you greater independence while saving you precious time. The car rental offices in Brussels airport are located in the Arrivals Hall and most stay open between 6:30 am and 23:00 daily; Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt are among them.

In the unexpected event of a flight delay or cancellation, or when you have to make a connection out of BRU of catch an early morning flight, we recommend you book a hotel close to Brussels airport in Belgium instead.