Brussels is a temperate city with artistic buildings, impressive palaces and parks, where Belgian beer and chocolate are most popular.
- What is the official language of Brussels?
- When to go to Brussels?
- Where is Brussels?
- What is there to see around Brussels?
The city is roughly divided into lower town and upper town. Lower town includes the area we visited on the first day such as Manneken Pis and Grand Place. Upper town, on the other hand, has a view of Brussels old town from above. Place Royal, Brussels Museum of Fine Arts, Cinquentaire Park and its surroundings are in the upper town.
What is the official language of Brussels?
The official languages of Brussels are French, Dutch and German, but you will mainly hear French and Dutch spoken. Most of the people speak English, at least enough to understand what you mean. In businesses, you can easily speak and understand English.
When to go to Brussels?
Summer is the best season to visit Brussels. Winter in Brussels is in December, January and February, with shorter days and -0°C at night. In spring, such as March and April, temperatures range between 4°C – 8°C. Summer is the most active time in Brussels. Temperatures rise above 20°C and the days are long, allowing you to do more sightseeing during the daytime. It is a good idea to bring a raincoat in case of sudden rain showers.
Where is Brussels?
There are two airports close to Brussels. Brussels Airport (Zaventem Airport) is 20 minutes from the center of Brussels and the other one is Charleroi Airport which is 1h 30min away.
Getting from Brussels Airport to Brussels city center
The fastest and cheapest way to get from Brussels Airport to Brussels city center is by train. All trains run from Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi train stations. The train station at the airport is located one floor below the terminal.
Getting from Charleroi Airport to Brussels city center:
The company Flibco has a shuttle bus facility connecting Charleroi Airport and Brussels, leaving the airport every 30 minutes. The journey takes one hour and the bus stops at Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels-South train station).
Shuttle transportation from Charleroi Airport to Brussels
The Flibco company runs a shuttle service from the airport every 30 minutes and takes 1 hour to drop you off at Brussels-Midi station in Brussels. This is a central station and you can reach everywhere you want to go. You can buy your ticket online at brussels-city-shuttle.com. If you buy from the ticket office or ticket machines at the airport, the shuttle fee is more expensive as a service fee is added. You can reach the buses by exiting EXIT 4 at Charleroi Airport.
If you are not going to the center of Brussels, you should take the line A bus to Charleroi train station instead of using the shuttle service. Buses run every half hour from 05:30 to 22:30. You can depart from the train station to your destination.
Urban transportation in Brussels
You can get to the places you want to go in Brussels by bus, metro or tram. However, there are times when you have to walk 5 minutes – 10 minutes after getting off at the nearest stop. Although there is not a well-developed subway network, you can reach places outside the city center by subway. Even though the subways look dirty and old, they are the most preferred transportation option of the people.
Lines 1 and 5 provide transportation between the east and west of the city. This means that these lines are used to reach Brussels Park and Cinquantenaire. Lines 2 and 6 run in a circle. This line is used for Atomium and Mini Europe. Lines 3 and 4 provide transportation between the north and south of the city.
Tram transportation network is among the largest in the world. Lines 92 and 94 take you to the Parc de Bruxelles, Royal Palace, Royal Museums of Fine Arts and Palace of Justice. Lines 32 and 33 will take you to Grand Place, while tram line 51 will take you to Atomium and Mini Europe. While tram lines are preferred in the city, buses are used to go far from the city center. For detailed information, you can check the Brussels transportation map below.
In Brussels, it is cheaper to buy tickets for the metro, tram and bus lines at the metro stations or at the ticket vendors in the neighborhood instead of buying them from the drivers. If you prefer 5 or 10-use tickets, the prices can even be cheaper.
These tickets are daily, not 24-hour tickets. No matter when you start using these tickets, they will expire at the end of that day. Let us remind you that you are also obliged to read your tickets when boarding public transportation vehicles.
What is there to see around Brussels?
Belgium is a country sharing borders with Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg and France. Brussels, the capital of the European Union, has an air and train transportation network to many cities. It is so close to everywhere around it that you can be in the Netherlands, France or Germany in two hours. For example, Brussels to Paris takes 1h 40min, Brussels to Cologne takes 2 hours, Brussels to Amsterdam takes about 2 hours by train.
Or it is possible to be in Brugges or Gent after half an hour. If you are wondering where to visit in Brussels, let us take you to our places to visit in Brussels page where we examine the tourist attractions in Brussels.