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Travel to Brussels

Flying to Brussels

Airlines offering flights to Brussels from the UK include British Airways, Brussels Airlines and easyJet. Brussels Airlines, Delta, Jet Airways and United operate direct flights from the USA. The cheapest time to fly to Brussels is in the winter between November and March.

Flight times

From London - 1 hour 10 minutes; New York - 7 hours 15 minutes; Los Angeles - 13 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 7 hours 20 minutes; Sydney - 25 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years. Speed limits in Brussels are 120kph (75mph) on motorways and dual carriageways, 90kph (56mph) on single carriageways outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas. A valid national driving licence is required. Although not compulsory for travellers within the EU, it can be a good idea to obtain a Green Card if you're taking your own car into Belgium.

The main motoring organisations in Brussels are the Royal Automobile Club de Belgique (tel: +32 2 287 0911; www.racb.com), Touring (tel: +32 2 233 2202; www.touring.be) and VAB (tel: +32 3 253 6130; www.vab.be).

Emergency breakdown services

Touring (tel: 070 344 777, in Belgium only).

Routes

The extensive motorway ring road around Brussels offers easy access into the city centre. Routes E19 and A12 lead north to Antwerp - from there, the E19 continues over the border toward Rotterdam and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Route E19 also extends south to Paris, becoming E15. Route E40 links Brussels with Ghent - from there, Ostend is reachable via route E17. Route E411 links Brussels to Namur and route E40 to Liège, continuing east over the border toward Cologne, from where the E35 heads toward Frankfurt.

Coaches

De Lijn (tel: +32 70 220 200; www.delijn.be) operates buses between Brussels and Flanders, while TEC (tel: +32 10 235 353; www.infotec.be) provides a similar service to French-speaking Wallonia. Most buses depart from Gare du Nord, in the Espace Nord, although some depart from place Rouppe, in the Marolles district. 

Eurolines (tel: +32 2 274 1350; www.eurolines.be) operates international services to major European destinations. It has direct routes to Cologne, Munich and Luxembourg from Noord I, CCN Noordstation, rue du Progrès - Vooruitgangstraat 80, and services to certain destinations in France, Portugal and Spain from Zuid/Midi, place de la Constitution 10.

Time to city

From London - 4 hours 40 minutes; Amsterdam - 2 hours 25 minutes; Paris - 3 hours 15 minutes; Cologne - 2 hours 15 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Belgian trains are fast and very efficient. There are three major railway stations in Brussels: Bruxelles-Central, located in the heart of the city, Bruxelles-Nord, to the north of the main ring road, and Bruxelles-Midi, to the south. Domestic trains stop at all three stations, while international trains stop at Bruxelles-Midi.

Operators

Belgian National Railways - SNCB/NMBS (tel: +32 2 528 2828; www.belgianrail.be) is the national rail operator in Belgium.

Eurostar (tel: +44 (0)3 432 186 186; www.eurostar.com) runs frequent daily services from London St Pancras to Bruxelles-Midi.

Thalys express trains (tel: +32 70 667 788; www.thalys.com) run from Aachen, Amsterdam, Cologne, The Hague, Rotterdam and Paris  to Bruxelles-Midi.

Journey times

From Paris - 1 hour 25 minutes; London - 2 hours; Amsterdam - 1 hour 50 minutes.

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

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NH Stephanie

With crisply decorated, modern rooms, this hotel is excellent value for money for those who don't mind staying a little over 1km (0.6 miles) outside of the city centre. A good breakfast is included and the superior rooms feature thoughtful extras such as free, Wi-Fi, coffee making machines and a choice of pillows.

Mozart

This 50-room hotel occupies a 17th-century building in a lively area just off the Grand-Place, amid a plethora of bars and small eating places. For a budget option with simple rooms and facilities, its lobby is surprisingly grandiose, elaborately decked out in marble, patterned tiles and baroque furniture. There's more cheerfully florid décor in the small courtyard garden.

The Dominican

Part of the Carlton hotel group, The Dominican is the place to come if you want to be pampered while on a break in Brussels. It takes its name from the Dominican abbey which was originally built on this site in the 1400s. Its design is first rate, taking on the hushed feel of the abbey’s cloisters. Rooms are huge, the beds vast and the breakfast top notch.

Hotel Metropole Brussels

The 19th-century Hotel Metropole, with its grand art nouveau interior, is the first choice for those wishing to combine a lust for nostalgia with a need for modern comfort. A stone's throw from the Grand-Place, this palatial hotel offers a truly grand entrance hall and an Italian baroque style restaurant, L'Alban Chambon. There are 283 comfortable rooms and 15 suites, many decorated with drapes, swags and chandeliers.

Hotel Amigo Brussels

Although within short walking distance of the bustling Grand-Place, the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is a haven of calm and comfort. The building served as a prison in the 16th century and opened as a luxury hotel in 1957. Furnished with rich tapestries and antiques, it offers a friendly welcome and has a restaurant and cocktail bar, meeting rooms and a banqueting suite. The décor of the 176 rooms and suites blends contemporary elegance with dashes of colour and humour - Hergé characters and Magritte graphics appear here and there.