Brussels

 

Description of Brussels

Brussels is the largest city in Belgium and also its capital. In addition it is a capital of European Union (EU). The Region of Brussels (in French: "Région de Bruxelles-Capitale" and in Dutch: "Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest") is one of the three regions that make up Belgium. Its capital is the city of Brussels and consists of 18 other municipalities. The Region has an area of ​​161.38 km² and a population of approximately 1 185 800 inhabitants, representing 5% of the area and 8% of the Belgian population. This region, bilingual according to the municipal statutes, is inhabited by Belgians who belong to the two main linguistic communities of the country: the French community and the Flemish community. French is commonly used as a lingua franca and is the mother tongue of the majority of the population.

Because of the presence in its territory of numerous international institutions, it is also among the most important concentrations of inhabitants born in other countries of the European Union. To this are added many immigrants from the Maghreb (especially from Morocco), from Turkey, from America, from Africa (especially from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Belgian colony) and from Central Europe, making the Region a cosmopolitan and multicultural group .

 

Travel Destination in Brussels

Grand Place (Brussels)

Subway: Bourse, Gare Centrale
Bus: 29, 34, 47, 48, 71
Trolley: 52, 55, 56, 81
Musee de la Ville
Maison du Roi
Tel. 02- 279 4350
Open: 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun
Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Nov 1, 11, Dec 25

 

Hotel de Ville (Brussels)

Grand Palace
Tel. 02- 279 4365
Subway: Bourse, Gare Centrale
Trolley: 3, 52, 55, 56, 81

 

Cathedrale Sts Michel et Gudule (Brussels)

Musees Royaux des Beaux- Arts (Brussels) Royal Museum of Fine Arts

 

Manneken Pis
Rues de l'Etuve and du Chene
Subway Gare Centrale
Bus: 34, 48, 95, 96
Trolley: 3, 55, 81
 
Musee du Costume et de la Dentelle
Rue de Violette 12
Tel. 02- 213 4450
Subway: Gare Centrale
Bus: 34, 48, 95, 96
Open: 10am- 5pm Thu- Tue
 
European Parliament Quarter
Bus: 21, 27, 34, 38, 54, 60, 80, 95
Subway: Maelbeek, Trone, Schuman

 

Parc du Cinquantenaire

Avenue de Tervuren
Bus: 27, 28, 36, 80
Trolley: 81, 82
Subway: Schuman, Merode
Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire
Tel. 02- 741 7211
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: public holidays
www.kmkg-mrah.be,

 

Musee Royal de l'Armee et d'Histoire Militaire
Tel. 02- 737 7811
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25
www.klm-mra.be

 

Autoworld
Tel. 02- 736 4165
Open: 10am- 6pm daily
10am- 5pm winter daily
Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25

 

Palais Royal

Place des Palais
Tel. 02- 551 2020
Bus: 21, 27, 38, 60, 71, 95, 96
Trolley: 92, 94
Subway: Parc, Trone
Open: 10:30am- 5pm Tue- Sun
Closed: mid- Sept- mid- July
www.monarchie.be

 

Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee

20 Rue des Sables
Tel. 02- 219 1980
Bus: 29, 38, 58, 61, 63, 71
Trolley: 25, 55, 81, 90
Subway: Botanique, Rogier, Centrale
Open: 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun
Closed: Jan 1, Dec 25

 

Place du Grand Sablon

Bus: 27, 48, 95
Trolley: 92, 94
Subway: Centrale, Louise, Parc

 

Musee Horta

Rue Americaine 23- 25
Tel. 02- 543 0490
Bus: 54
Trolley: 81, 82, 92
Subway: Albert, Louise
Open: 2- 5:30pm Tue- Sun
Closed: public holidays
www.hortamuseum.be

 

Bruparck

Boulevard du Centenaire
Tel. 02- 474 8383
Bus: 84, 88, 89
Trolley: 51, 81
Subway: Heysel

 

Mini- Europe
Tel. 02- 474 8383
Open: daily
Closed: Jan- March

Oceade
Tel. 02- 478 4320
Open: weekends, holidays

 

Kinepolis
Tel. 02-474 2600

Atomium
Tel. 02- 475 4775
Open: daily
www.bruparck.com

 

 

Getting here

By plane
Brussels National Website of this institution (Brussels Airport, IATA: BRU). Tel .: +32 (0) 900 70 000 (Belgium), +32 (0) 2 753 77 53. Brussels-Zaventem Airport (Wikivoyage article about the airport) is just outside the urban area in the municipality of Zaventem and is the really important one and largest in Belgium. The fastest connection to the city center is by train: several trains per hour run from the train station in the basement of the airport to the city center. The Brussels Central Station (Gare Centrale / Centraal Station) can be reached in about 20 minutes. The express bus line 12 (runs on weekends and on weekdays after 8 p.m. under number 21!) Connects the airport with the EU quarter (final stop Luxembourg / Luxembourg at the European Parliament). The journey takes about 40 minutes, tickets cost € 4 from the machine and € 6 from the driver. The line also drives to NATO headquarters and the EU Commission (Schuman stop). Another option is bus route 272 operated by De Lijn; it runs every half hour and costs € 3 with a journey time of around 50 minutes. The journey by taxi or your own car to the center of Brussels takes 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the traffic. edit info

There is also Charleroi Airport. Sometimes called Brussels-South, this airport is actually about 70 km south of Brussels. There are shuttle buses between the airport and the south train station (Gare du Midi / Zuidstation - one-way ticket currently costs € 13, there and back € 22, can be bought in the airport at counter 1, in Brussels directly on the bus ). The journey time is just over an hour. Charleroi is mainly used by "low-cost airlines" such as Ryanair served. Depending on the connection, it can be financially worthwhile to choose this airport.
Traveling via the other Belgian airports (Antwerp, Lüttch, Ostend-Bruges) is not recommended due to the fragmented overland traffic with frequent, time-consuming transfers.

By train
Brussels has excellent rail connections. This is due to the city's location in the middle of Belgium, but also in the middle of the large metropolitan areas of Western Europe such as the Rhine-Ruhr area, Holland, Paris and London. The city is a hub in the trans-European rail traffic.

Brussels has three major train stations: the Nordbahnhof (Gare du Nord / Noordstation), the Zentralbahnhof (Gare Centrale / Centraal Station) and the Südbahnhof (Gare du Midi / Zuidstation). In contrast to Paris or London, there are no terminal stations, but Brussels is tunnelled over a large area, so that travelers can in principle reach all national and international destinations from any train station. There are also a number of smaller train stations, which are less relevant for tourists than for commuters (e.g. Gare du Luxembourg, Schuman, Schaerbeek).

International (high-speed) traffic is handled via the Südbahnhof (Bruxelles-Midi / Brussel-Zuid). From here there are direct connections to the largest cities in Western Europe:
by Thalys to Paris-Nordbahnhof, via Rotterdam to Amsterdam and via Cologne to Düsseldorf and to Dortmund,
with the TGV via Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to the French Mediterranean coast,
with the ICE via Cologne to Frankfurt am Main,
with the Eurostar to London,
with the Intercity to Amsterdam,
with the Eurocity via Luxembourg City and Strasbourg to Basel,
From Austria, ÖBB offers a connection with sleeping cars at night or during the day. The journey time is 13.5 or 10 hours (night or day).
National rail traffic is mainly handled via the central station (Gare Centrale / Centraal Station). Most of the major cities in Belgium can be reached without changing trains, e.g. Antwerp, Liège, Ghent or Bruges.

By bus
The most important stop for coaches is the Gare du Nord. Eurolines has an office there, but there are also many other companies from all over Europe. Another, less important stop is the Gare Central.

 

In the street
Brussels is easy to reach from all directions via the dense Belgian motorway network. It should be noted that, unlike in Germany or Austria, Belgium usually gives the European road number and not so much the national motorway designation. The journey from / to Cologne takes a little more than two hours via the E40 / A3 in the direction of Löwen (Louvain / Leuven) / Lüttich (Liège / Luik) / Aachen. Luxembourg can also be reached via the E411 / A4 in two hours, and Paris via the E19 / A7 towards Paris / Calais in just over three hours. The city itself is completely geared towards car traffic. Heavy traffic, idiosyncratic driving style and confusing traffic routes make driving a car very difficult for those with no knowledge. Parking spaces are scarce, and vehicles parked in side streets are not safe in many parts of the city, even during the day.

By boat
Brussels has the second largest inland port in Belgium, but it is mainly used for cargo handling. However, tours through the port and on canals are offered for tourists. The river - the Senne / Zenne - has been concreted over for a long time and serves as a sewer.
Brussels International Airport in Zavetem
Charleroi-Brussels South Airport

 

 

Around the city

Brussels is notorious for its heavy traffic, which regularly comes to a standstill at rush hour. Then nothing works on the Altstadtring, in the EU district and on the major arterial roads. Public transport is therefore the means of transport of choice. The Brussels local transport company (French STIB, Dutch MIVB) maintains a network of underground trains, trams and buses that can all be used with the same ticket. The transport network covers the entire city well. Buses are quite slow because of the congested streets, the tram is sometimes overcrowded at rush hour, but thanks to many separate routes it is relatively fast and offers a view in contrast to the metro. On Friday and Saturday nights there is also a night bus network (Noctis) that runs until around 3 a.m.

Single tickets (called JUMP) cost € 2.10 at the machine and € 2.50 if you buy them on the tram or bus. If you drive a lot, it is worth buying a day ticket (JUMP 1 Day) for € 7.50, a 2-day ticket for € 14 or a 3-day ticket for € 18. There are also 5 and 10 tickets that entitle you to five or ten single journeys (you can use them to change as often as you want within 60 minutes). There are machines at every underground station and at many larger tram stops. Larger train stations and some stops also have ticket offices. Tickets are valid for the entire network in all modes of transport. However, you should validate it every time you change the means of transport, even on the same route.

By bicycle
There is a bicycle rental company in Brussels and the surrounding suburbs under the name Villo. A bicycle can be rented at 180 automatic stations, which are approx. 450 m apart. A day ticket costs € 1.60, a week ticket € 7.50. This includes an unlimited number of loans of up to 30 minutes each. Longer journeys cost around 50 cts. every half hour, whereby the first half hour is always free. Bicycle lanes are painted on many main streets and one-way streets are open to two-way traffic with bicycles. Despite all these new measures, cycling is not recommended (by Dutch people) in this big city.

On foot
The center of the city can still be managed well. Crossing the so-called "pentagone / vijfhoek" takes about 25 minutes. Since June 2015, Brussels has a 50 hectare traffic-free zone around the Boulevard Anspach / Anspachlaan in front of the Boerse, next to Venice probably one of the largest in Europe.