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Car rental Brussels Midi train station

We’re going to be in Brussels and want to visit Brasserie DuPont, famous brewery in Tourpes which is about an hour south of Brussels. We’re thinking of renting a car at the train station as it’s towards the southern end of the city and avoid city traffic. Our tour would be on a Saturday morning.
There is a train to Leuze-en-Hainaut but the necessary bus connection (86A) only runs Mon-Fri.
Have seen comments that’s it not easy to navigate from the MIDI station but hoping someone could comment who has done something similar to what we propose.
We’ll be staying in central Brussels and can easily get public transportation to/from the MIDI station.

Posted by
104 posts

The zone around Brussels Midi is indeed one of the most complicated from where to get out from the city. It is not at all easy to reach the motorway from there. To go to the E19 (direction south) you have to drive through some very busy city streets and then an ugly industrial zone. Directions can be found on Google Maps. Maybe using GPS it might be easier, I have never tried that.
If you want to rent a car, I feel tempted to say just go back to the airport and take the Ring from there, going around Brussels on the north. It sounds counterintuitive, but apart from heavy traffic, it is relarively easy.
You could also take the train to Leuze-en-Hainaut, and then a taxi from there. Maybe the brewery could advise you on a local car service.

Posted by
6668 posts

I agree that if the bus from Leuze-en-Hainaut isn't running, a taxi sounds like a much better option than renting a car.

Posted by
7569 posts

Month of year?

I agree that renting a car in downtown Brussels is not a good idea. A car is to be avoided in this prosperous, built-up part of Belgium. Can you drive a standard transmission if they don't come through with an automatic? Are you returning the car the same day? Do check the office hours very, very carefully, and find out if you can return after hours. You'll need an (unattended? ) gas station to get gas/diesel nearby, of course.

I see that there are lots of Saturday trains to Leuze, requiring a change in Halle, and taking 1:14 or so to get there, with no car headaches. The question is whether there are any taxis or ride shares in Leuze? Here is the TI website for Leuze, which has a phone number. I see Brasserie Dupont listed on their attractions page. Another approach would be to call the brewery.

https://www.leuze-en-hainaut.be/associations-et-services/404/office-du-tourisme

Posted by
268 posts

And whenever Rick does a tasting in some rural area on his shows, he always makes a point of saying how strict the European DUI laws are, and that his producer will be doing any subsequent driving.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all for your replies!
We will be visiting Belgium in March and will likely skip the car. We both drive manual transmission cars and had figured one would be designated driver and have to skip tastings. We use a map app and sometimes also have a physical map but if it's busy or complicated we know how easy it is to get lost or delayed. When we have rented cars in Europe it is usually at an airport or train station - somewhere out of town or in a very small town.

I haven't found anything very positive about either taxis or ride shares but will get back in touch with the brewery to see their suggestions. The train part seems easy so hopefully we can find something for the second part of the trip.

Thanks again for sharing the information about driving near the Midi station - that is the critical piece.

Posted by
128 posts

I've rented a car at Brussels Midi and found it pretty easy to get out of town from there. You're not in the center of the city--after all it's Brussels' "South" station. As I recall, there's a direct route to the motorway and this road (N266) is a divided highway. If you're familiar with driving in Europe, you might consider it after all.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for your reply! I think we are going to pass on the idea of renting a car - more reasons to skip it than just the busy area. But I will look at the N266 on Google Maps to see how it would work.