Arrival in Brussels
- Money Exchange & ATM
- Area Codes & Calling
- Emergency Numbers
- Interesting Links
If you travel to Belgium by plane, depending on your airline company, you will arrive at the Brussels Airport or the Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
Brussels Airport is the main national airport in Belgium and hosts flights from all major airline companies. Some low cost airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair fly here (to and from countries like Italy, Ireland and Spain), but companies like Wizzair and Ryanair mostly fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Brussels Airport is located about twenty minutes outside of the city centre.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport is located in the southern city of Charleroi. It is located an hour south of Brussels. Mostly low-cost airlines, like Ryanair and Wizzair, use this airport.
From Brussels Airport to the city centre:
- By Train: From Brussels Airport, the best way to get to the city centre is to take the train. The railway station is located on the underground floor of the airport. A ticket to Brussels’ Central Train Station (Zone Brussels) will cost you €8,60, taking you there in merely 15 minutes. You can buy your ticket at one of the station’s ticket vending machines, which you will find located near the escalators leading to the platforms.
- By Taxi: A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs about €50.
From Brussels South Charleroi Airport to the city centre:
- By Bus (followed by metro/tram or taxi if needed): Take the shuttle bus to Brussels Midi Train Station (= ‘Brussel-Zuid’/’Bruxelles-Midi’). It costs €14 and takes about 1 hour. You can buy the ticket at the bus information desk inside the main airport building. From the Midi Train Station, you will find you have many possibilities to continue your route. The heart of the city, located by the ‘Bourse / Beurs’, is one short tram ride (line 3 or 4) away. A transit ticket (‘jump ticket’) for public transport costs €2,10 and gives you unlimited access to all the trams, buses and metros during one hour.
To find your way in Brussels after your first day, you can consult our Mobility page, which contains information on public transport, biking, walking and driving.
- Transit Housing: For students and scholars in need of transit housing (i.e. temporary accommodation until finding a short or long term housing solution), there are many youth hostels and hotels in Brussels. Visit the VUB’s Housing page for references.
- Students and scholars with friends or family in Belgium could try to contact those relatives or friends and set up a transit stay with them.
- If you start looking for long term accommodation, either before or after your arrival, you will find all the information you need on our Housing page.
Photo: Sarah Clamdi
Students and scholars must ensure having sufficient funds in cash in the local currency (€ / EUR) to cover the expenses during their first few days. Money exchange bureaus and cash dispensers are available within the Brussels International Airport premises, as well as in the main train station Brussel-Zuid/Bruxelles-Midi and in the city itself. There are numerous foreign exchange offices located around the Grand Place. ATMs will accept VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard and Maestro.
Belgium’s country code is +32 and Brussels’ city code is 2. When calling a Belgian number within Belgium always dial (0) + city code + number. For international information call 1304.
If you are planning to buy a Belgian SIM-card, there are many different mobile companies that offer their services at interesting rates. Don’t hesitate to compare prices before buying one.
If you encounter a serious problem after arriving, contact the national emergency services. Calls are free from any mobile phone or fixed-line telephone. The number 112 can be dialled to reach emergency services –medical, fire and police– from anywhere in Europe.
- Medical Service: 100
- Police: 101
- Fire Service: 100
- Pan-European emergency number: 112
For further questions about your stay, visit our Stay page or contact the International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO).