Practical Life in Brussels

Transport in Brussels

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > Belgium > Brussels


The metro in Brussels was set in 1976 (but trams - premetro - run in the city since 1968).

There are two metro lines in the city: the first one (lines 1A and 1B) crosses all the region from east to west; the second one (line 2) follows the circular line around the city. There are 68 stops in the metro system.

The company that manages the metro in Brussels is the STIB (Société des Transports Intercomunaux de Bruxelles) /MIVB. With a metro ticket, it is possible to use the train inside the city. A few fares:

  • Single ticket (1 journey card): €1.50
  • 1 day travelcard: €3.80
  • 5 day travelcard: €6.50



There are 3 Belgian companies in charge of the bus network:

  • STIB/MIVB: main network, it allows to take bus, metro and train in the city with the same ticket.
  • De Lijn especially used in the Flemish area.
  • TEC especially used in the French speaking areas.

It is possible to go to Belgium by coach with Eurolines, that offers journeys from London-Victoria in 8 hours for example.


The international train station of Brussels is linked to London with the high-speed train Eurostar and to Paris with Thalys (that links also the cities of Antwerp, la Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Liège, Aachen and Cologne).

The most important in terms of traffic are on the North-South Junction that links the international and national network. All the passengers from or to Brussels stop there. The main stations are:

  • Bruxelles Nord - Gare du Nord (Brussel-Noord)
  • Gare Centrale (Brussel-Centraal)
  • Gare du Midi ou Bruxelles-Midi (Brussel-Zuid) - main international station, with classical high-speed trains (French TGV), Eurostar and Thalys

There are also two other stations less important on this junction: Bruxelles-Chapelle and Bruxelles-Congres.

Two additional stations serve the European Institutions area:

  • Bruxelles Luxembourg
  • Bruxelles Schuman (the European area is called Schuman)

There are also:

  • Gare d'Etterbeek
  • Gare de Boitsfort
  • Gare de Watermael
  • Gare de l'Ouest
  • Gare de Schaerbeek

The company that manages the Belgian rail network is SNCB/NMBS



There are two airports in Brussels:

  • Bruxelles-National airport (BRU code) located at Zaventern in the Flandres where you find SN Bruxelles Airlines, Virgin Express and DHL Aviation. There is a train (2.60 €) each 15 minutes from the city centre (25 minutes), and the bus line 12 (3 €) each 20-30 minutes from the European Institutions area (Schuman).
  • Bruxelles Sud airport (CRL code) - Charleroi (50km from Brussels) where you find low-cost companies: Ryanair and Wizzair. You can go by bus, coach or train from Brussels.


A taxi from the airport costs about 45€ (2006).

  • Taxis bleus: 02 268 0000,
  • Taxi Brussels: 02 411 4142,
  • Taxis verts: 02 349 4343.

Boats (péniches)

Brussels port is called Willebroek and is located on the canal from Brussels to Rupel in the north of the city. This canal is very important for the economy of Brussels (and all the towns along: Willebroek, Kapelle-op-den-Bos, Vilvoorde) and is used to avoid flooding from the Senne.


Brussels is surrounded by three circular motorways:

  • An orbital motorway, R0, called also the Ring, around the greater suburb.
  • The city centre, sometimes known as the pentagon, is surrounded by the small ring (kleine ring) a sequence of boulevards formally numbered R20. These were built upon the site of the second set of city walls (XIVe century) and (XVe century) and that was only crossed in eight famous doors: Namur, Hal, Anderlecht, Flandre, Rivage, Laeken, Schaerbeek and Louvain.
  • the R21 (grande ceinture in French, grote ring in Dutch) is located on the eastern side of the city between the pentagon and the R0.

It is mandatory to insure your car as soon as it is in the public street.

City Map:
Road Map:

Update 23/08/2006


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers
International Movers in Brussels
Compare up to 5 quotes from our network of moving companies that can help you plan your international move and relocate your entire family.
Expatriate health insurance
Expatriate health insurance in Belgium
Apply online for free quotes on repatriation assistance and expatriate and foreign health insurance.
Hotels in Belgium
You will get discount hotel rates, last-minute deals, hot deals, special offers, with a real-time reservation and on-line booking.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about transport in Brussels, practical life.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).