How to get from Brussels airport to downtown


This guide on how to get from Brussels airport to downtown, will show you the fastest and cheapest options to make this transfer to your hotel or to the city.

If you arrive in Brussels by plane, you will do so at Brussels Zaventem Airport, located 15 kilometers away, or at Charleroi Airport, located 55 kilometers south of the capital, both with good connection by public and private transport to the city center.

Based on the experience of the two times we have traveled to this Belgian city, the first combining Brussels and Bruges and the second knowing Ghent, Leuven and Antwerp, we explain all the ways of doing the transfer from the airport to the center of Brussels, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. We start!

How to get from Zaventem Airport to Brussels

Zaventem Airport, the operating base of the local company Brussels Airlines, is the busiest in Belgium and one of the most modern in Europe.
To go from this Brussels airport to downtown or to your hotel you have all these options:

  • Train: From the station below the airport, a train leaves every 10 minutes 24 hours a day, which will take you to the Central, South (Midi) or North Brussels Station. The total price of the journey is about 9 euros and the total time is less than 20 minutes. From this station trains also depart to the most visited cities in Belgium such as Bruges and Ghent.
  • Bus: lines 12 and 21 are the cheapest way to go from the airport to Brussels, in this case to the European quarter. The ticket on these buses, which leave every 25 minutes, costs 4.5 euros if you buy it in the automatic machines or 6 euros from the driver. The best stop in Brussels to get off is Schuman, which has a metro connection to the center.
    The De Lijn company also carries out the transfer and will take you to the North Station with lines 272 and 471, and to the Roodebeek metro stop with lines 359 and 659.
  • Private transfer: When booking this comfortable private transfer, a driver will take you from the arrivals terminal to the hotel door in less than half an hour, depending on traffic.
  • Cab: the price of a taxi from Brussels airport to the center is about 45 euros.

How to get from Charleroi Airport to Brussels

Charleroi Airport, located in the town of the same name, is preferred by low-cost companies such as Ryanair.
To go from Charleroi to Brussels you have all these means of transport:

  • Bus: The FlibCo company line, which operates from 08h to 01h with a frequency of 30 minutes, will take you to the South Station in less than an hour for 17 euros (cheaper if you buy it in advance online).
  • Train: To catch the train you first have to go on the Airport Express bus to the Charleroi train station, which takes 20 minutes. From this station trains leave every 30 minutes in the direction of Antwerp that will leave you at the three main stations in Brussels in one hour. The total price is about 14 euros.
  • Private transport: it is the most comfortable and quick way to go from this Brussels airport to the center. When booking this service here, a driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals terminal to take you directly to the hotel in less than an hour.
  • Cab: having a price of about 90 euros is the most expensive option to make the transfer from Charleroi Airport to Brussels.


A good option to stay in Brussels, with good communication with the airport, is the Hotel Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi, located just in front of the South Station (Midi). In addition to having a good connection by subway to the center and by train to the most famous Belgian cities, this hotel offers spacious and comfortable rooms, breakfast and 24-hour reception.

Once the issue of transfer from Brussels airport to downtown or to your hotel, you can prepare your city tours with these guides optimized according to the days you have: