Travelling to Brussels? Check out our comprehensive guidebook and learn what to do when landing in Zaventem. Find out how to get from the Brussels airport to the center or what to do if you want to reach other cities, like Amsterdam, Paris, Charleroi, Brugge, Leuven or Antwerp.
Table of contents
1. Buses from the airport
1.1. Transfer to Brussels center
1.2. Buses to other cities
2. Trains from the airport
2.1. Trains to downtown
2.2. Trains to other cities
3. Taking a taxi
4. Renting a car
5. Practical tips and tricks
Public buses constitute the best way to get to the city center. They shuttle regularly all day long, providing a seamless transportation to the heart of Brussels. The bus station is located at level 0, one floor down from the Arrivals Hall. The escalator or elevator provides easy access to the bus station. Source: https://www.brusselsairport.be/uploads/media/default/0001/18/1a1d6e81adecf86299d52f1eb9cc81f6239801e5.png
There are two main operators: De Lijn and STIB Airport Line, offering several lines to transfer passengers to Brussels and other cities.
Being the heart of European and worldwide politics, Brussels’ public communication is designed to provide the highest quality and convenience. Therefore there are several direct buses, planned to reach the capital’s most important spots. Below you can find the list of lines and schedules, provided by De Lijn and STIB.
Lines 272 and 471: Airport – Brussels North Station Lines 272 and 471 go to Brussels North station. Bus no. 272 goes a little bit longer, having more stops on its route. The journey takes about 45-50 minutes, while the bus no. 471 reaches the Northern Train Station in about 35 minutes.
Lines 272, 471 and 620: Airport – NATO
Line 620 shuttles directly from the airport to NATO center. You can also reach it, taking the buses no. 272 or 471 mentioned before.
Lines 359 and 659: Airport – Roodebeek station
The lines 359 and 659 are designed to take you straightly to Roodebeek metro station. They both reach it within 20 minutes.
Line 820: Airport - Brussels Expo
The line 820 shuttles from the Zaventem airport to Brussels Expo center. The journey takes about 45-50 minutes.
The price of the ticket depends on the way you buy it. You can purchase it on the bus for €3 or do it cheaper, buying an SMS-ticket €2 (text DL to 4884, available with Belgian SIM-card only, €0.15 provider charge) or an M-ticket for €1,80(download the De Lijn app (iOS or Android), register and purchase an M-ticket.
Line 12: Airport -Luxemburg station
Operating as an express line, buses on line 12 shuttles between the Airport and Luxemburg quarter. They reach the very center of the capital in around 25 minutes. Please have in mind, that it stops only at one metro station (Schuman).
Line 21: Airport - Hertog/Ducale
Having more stops on its route, line 21 is a bit slower than line no. 12. On the other hand, you have two metro stations on its way (Schuman and Trone).
The buses depart from Platform C. It is cheaper to get the tickets in the vending machines than on the bus.
De Lijn provides also a wide choice of regional buses, shuttling between Brussels airport (Zaventem) and the cities nearby. Check out its website to find detailed timetables for buses to Mechelen, Leuven, Vilvoorde, Jette, Merchtem, Brussels Expo, Haacht, Diegem, Roodebeek and Groenendaal.
If you are travelling further, you can use one of the carriers, going to Antwerp, Brugge, Charleroi, Lille, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Hague and more. Antwerp Express has even its own platform (platform E). The buses depart from 4am until midnight. If you want to transfer from Brussels airport to Netherlands, France or Germany,check out the Busfor offer. The operator provides tours to Amsterdam, Maasticht, Hague, Lille, Paris, Dortmund, Aachen and Cologne/Bonn. You can choose also Ouibus, which runs from Zaventem to Lille via Brussel-Zuid.
Taking a train from the airport will be also a good idea, as the railway infrastructure is designed very well.The Zaventem train station is located at Level -1 in the terminal. You can access it through the Arrivals hall, second level, and the Departures hall, third level.
Brussels Airport is linked to the center by both national and international trains which depart from and arrive at Brussels Airport – Zaventem station, located at the basement level of the airport. It enables the passengers to reach Brussels Central (main railway station) in 17 minutes. The trains are available 24/7, departing 6 times per hour.
If you want to have some city break in Belgium, check out the fast and convenient train links with all major Belgian cities. Below you will find a list of direct connections from the airport with the approx. time of journey (via the Brussels airport’s website).
You may purchase your ticket in advance through SNCB website, or at Brussels Airport – Zaventem station ticket machines.The ride takes 17 minutes and costs €12,70.
Brussels Airport is served with licensed and metered taxis that is why we recommend passengers to board only the official taxis. Easy to recognize, they have a characteristic blue paint with a yellow logo. Be careful and watch out for tricksters – avoid boarding unofficial taxis. The taxis are available outside and facing the Arrivals Hall 24/7. Please have in mind that you have to prepare around €45.00 for a trip downtown.
If you don’t like to be dependent upon public transportation, you can rent a car and cover the distance yourself. Here you can find a list of car rental companies available at the airport. Due to its central location, Brussels is within driving distance of all major cities in Belgium. The longest trip you may have from Bruges (around 70 minutes). The shortest will be of course from Brussels (18 minutes). Of course, it depends on the part of the day and weather conditions.
The airport in Zaventem is open 24 hours a day. Therefore don’t worry if your flight is scheduled at night. You can also count on some coffee and sandwiches in the local Starbucks. If you need to exchange money, you will find Travelex points in the arrivals hall and baggage reclaim area, as well as in the departures hall. They are open from 6am to 10pm and from 6am to 9pm respectively. If you want to withdraw money from your account, there are some ATMs located in the departures hall along the street, as well as opposite to the check-in row 7 and in baggage reclaim area. The airport also aims to help passengers with reduced mobility, providing a special assistance (once requested) to help them move about the airport and take care they will board the plane on time. It also cares about the blind people, welcoming any dog assistants.
Zaventem airport is the main airport for Brussels and the biggest in Belgium
The Brussels Airport (also known as Zaventem Airport is located 12km northeast of Belgium’s capital, in Zaventem.
The bus station is located one floor down from the Arrivals Hall, at level 0. The escalator or elevator provides an easy access to the bus station.
Yes, it is open 24 hours, just like some of its amenities, e.g. Starbucks.
Brussels is very well communicated. The buses and trains between the airport and the center shuttle 24/7. Check out the STIB Airport Lineor Belgian Railfor the detailed timetables.
Being an international airport, Zaventem features all the high-quality amenities, offering its guests a wide range of shops, a multitude of restaurants and coffee bars, as well as the most popular services.
Check Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel or try to find nearby hotels here.
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