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Public Transportation from Brussels

Hi All,

My wife and I are staying in Brussels for 3 days and then will go on to Paris using public transportation. Can someone give me some advice on:

  1. How to get from Brussels airport to the Grand Place? We've booked 9Hotel at Rue de Colonies. Bus or Train.
  2. How to get from Brussels by train to Paris.

Many thanks!


Posted by
1464 posts

If you mean Brussels (National) Airport with IATA code BRU, it’s quiet easy. There is a direct – every 15 min. - trainservice to the three main railway stations in Brussels. In the basement of the airport terminal is the trainstation and you have to go to Brussel-Centraal or Bruxelles-Central, it’s a bilingual city. When you walk out the main-entrance of the station go straight through the gate of the opposite building. Going a bit downhill cross the little square and turn the first street on your left and there it is! Actually folow the flow of tourists, it’s just a 200m walk.

For going to your hotel, turn right when walking out the main entrance of the station and immediately take the street (Putterie) right that runs along the stations entrance building. Actually keep following this street, but after the crossing it’s named Koloniënstraat or Rue des Colonies, running between the two classical buildings. 9Hotel is already at the beginning on the leftside of the street, a 5 minute walk from the station.

For highspeedtrains to Paris you have to go to the next main railwaystation (Station) Brussel-Zuid named in Dutch, (Gare du) Bruxelles-Midi in French, a few minutes by train from Brussels-Centraal.

Posted by
4656 posts

And you can book trains from Brussels to Paris at Booking in advance will save you significant money, but tie you to departing on one specific train.

Posted by
4 posts

Nigel, Wil and Philip:

Thank you so much for replying so promptly. You certainly have provided great directions to navigating the transportation system in Brussels. Wil - thanks for the detailed instructions! I am indeed flying into BRU (Brussels National Airport). Is there a floor plan or layout of the train station in Brussel-Centraal/ Bruxelles-Central and the train station in Brussels-Zuid/ Bruxelles-Midi? This will help me be familiar with both stations. Thanks again for your help. As I live in Los Angeles, I am not used to trains especially and actually find them intimidating as I normally do not ride them when I go to Europe.


Posted by
12040 posts

" Is there a floor plan or layout of the train station in Brussel-Centraal/ Bruxelles-Central and the train station in Brussels-Zuid/ Bruxelles-Midi?"

Probably, but the layouts are fairly simple. They're both through-and-through stations. Tracks run parallel to each other, and they run in numerical sequence. Unlike most train stations, the tracks at Centraal are on the lowest floor, and the concourse area where you walk between tracks is one floor above. The next floor above this contains the ticket windows, the walkway to the metro, and street-level exits.

At Brussel Zuid/Midi, the tracks are raised above the main concourse, but like most large city rail stations, it's basically the same layout. The tracks all run in parallel sequence, and you move below to go from one to another.

Both stations have plenty of monitors to indicate which train leaves from which track, and a screen by each track will also indicate the train's final destination and everywhere it stops.

Don't overthink this too much. If you can navigate an airport, train stations are much easier. Just look at the monitors and follow the signs.

Posted by
23748 posts

I dunno where to find floor plans for Centraal but it is a really simple urban station. A few parallel tracks under ground with the roof held up by many pillars, then up to the exit and you are out in the town just across from le Grand Place. What detailed information do you need? There are old fashioned TV type monitors which show the trains.

Brussel Zuid / Midi probably has a map somewhere, possibly a link off which provides a degree of information about the station. The station itself is one of the easiest to get around, well marked, escalators or moving sidewalks to every platform, plenty of shopping, plenty of food, toilets in the corner. It is extremely clear where everything is as soon as you step inside.

Posted by
1464 posts

I have nothing to add to the answers of Tom and Nigel. Just plan some extra 10 minutes or so, for navigating to the highspeedtrains in Brussel-Zuid, they have their own facilities in the station.