Crossing the middle of the city is the underground portion of the tram line (also called "pré-métro"), very useful and busy. The important stops: Gare du Nord (North Station), Rogier (for rue Neuve), de Brouckere (where you can catch the metro), Bourse (for the stock exchange and Grand'Place) and Gare du midi (Midi station).
But the above ground tram is really a great way to explore the city as it has its own space on the road and little affected by traffic. Amongst the interesting lines: Line 92 starting North at the Schaerbeek Train station, crossing the Upper-Town (stops at the Museums of Fine Arts, Royal Square, Petit Sablon, Palace of Justice, Avenue Louise (you can catch the Line 2 metro), Place Stephanie and crossing St-Gilles before reaching the affluent borough of Uccle and the end of the line at Fort-Jaco, close to the Foret de Soignes (Soignes Forest) where many Bruxellois spend their Sundays.
Line 93 has the same itinerary as Line 92 except it splits at Place Stephanie to go towards the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels's biggest university. Line 81 is a nice alternative to go to the Heysel if you don't want to spend your time underground. It is longer but will take you to different neighbourhoods. You can catch it in the underground tram lines stops. Line 44 is also important: it is located in the other underground portion of the tram system and you can catch it inside the Montgomery station (Line 1B) and it will take you through some fancy neighbourhoods all the way to suburban Tervueren and the Museum of Central Africa.
To be continued...
The city is well served by public transportation. Buses and trams goes almost everywhere in Brussels. The metro has only three lines, but it is useful to go to certain places far from the city center.
One single ticket is valid for multiple jouneys across the whole network for one hour. There are also various kinds of passes are on sale; for ten, five travels or for one day.
I think the easiest and cheapest way to get around Brussels is with the metro, we bought a ticket for 10,50euro that is valable for 10rides. If you pay per traject, it's 1,50euro. You can get a free metro map in any station.
Namely the tram line 3-4 between gare du Nord and gare du Midi (Bourse, Annessens, Rogier, etc). Also on the way to Heysel if you take the metro. If you look at the metro map, anything located west of De Brouckere is more dangerous than east. You will notice that the "east side" is mainly "white" whereas if you travel west you will encounter more foreigners. I'm not saying that they cause all the troubles (I'm a foreigner myself) but that's just how it is... Those are just facts. The probability that something happens to you grows bigger the more west you go. And be careful at gare du Midi (it's famous for pickpockets) although it's not as famous as let's say Barcelona(!). Unlike Barcelona the police is there on location and will look for thieves.
Overal, the city is not famous for being dangerous. I was born and live in Brussels, so you can trust me.
Since I only had a rental bike for one day, and couldn't access the CycloCity system, I actually took the # 71 bus several times between my hotel and the opera house.
This is obviously not a healthy way to travel (because you just sit there), but I must admit that the buses are fast and run often enough, even late at night.
Second photo: The Royal Palace, as seen late at night from the # 71 bus.
Third photo:I also took the Metro twice, once to get from the South Station to my hotel, and once to get back again.
The third transportation option is the bus.
There are a lot of lines so I'll only point out 1: the Line 71. A very famous "double-bus" line that crosses the most important area in the center of Brussels before reaching Ixelles and the University campuses.
Line 71 starts at Place de Brouckere and stops by the Galleries St-Hubert, Central station, Place Royale (for the museums of Fine Arts and the Music Instruments museums), Parc Royal and Royal Palace, and Porte de Namur (you can reach Avenue Louise with a short walk) before taking the Chaussee d'Ixelles (some good shopping to do there or you can visit Matonge, the Congolese neighborhood) as it gets deeper into Ixelles, you'll pass by l'Amour Fou (a very popular bar), La Maison de la Radio (Radio House) on Place Flagey, a recently renovated building that looks like an ocean liner and used to house the first years of the belgian National radio. It is now a cultural center where you can see concerts and the bar has become quite popular. Just after is the stop of les Etangs d'Ixelles (Ixelles Ponds), 2 ponds that are a little oasis (many students come here to relax, you'll also see families on Sundays and elderly ladies feeding the ducks). The tram carries on to the main University campus (or Campus Solbosch) then, to the Campus shared by the ULB and VUB (its Flemish counterpart) or Campus de La Plaine and finishing its run at Delta where you can catch the metro.
Line 71 is now famous because it is the first line in Brussels that has a night service: the N71. It only works on Friday night s though and until 3:00 am but for a city that never had night services, it's a start.
The best way to travel in Brussels is the public transportation.
There is a good network of metro, busses and trams. The most practical way is the metro because it is underground and the traffic has no influence on it. The use of the public transportation avoid the pollution, the traffic jams happening all day long, and the difficulty to find a place to park.
The stib (company in charge of the public transportation) has a website where you can calculate the time and the best itinerary from one place ton another.
going to Brussels is quite easy as it is in the middle of all popular European countries. you can even visit this small landscape while passing through,going from Holland to France,well,at least i did so:)) you can take the speed train and it takes less than 1,5 hours from Den Haag to Brussels,its safe,clean and you can see the nice fields and views of Holland and Belgium.
Also,when you come to the city centre,you can take busses,there are some economical tickets which you can use all day paying less.
also subway is another choice especially when you would like to see the Atomium park,as it is a bit far from the center. i must warn you that the subway is not as clean as it is in Turkey!!you can see homeless people pissing around. anyway,it wouldn't take too long not to put up with:)) enjoy it!!
Re-acqainted myself with the Metro this morning (16-5-8) on my way from Gare Centrale to Ave Louise.
I'd forgotten how easy it is!
€1.50 for a ticket to go anywhere on the system within an hour of purchase.
Don't forget to "cancel" your ticket before you board (look out for the cancellation machines) or you'll be in trouble.
It's a veryuseful card which allowed us to change every mean of transport we wanted without carrying many tickets with us. It worth if you want to go to different places and to change a lot of means of transport.
There are also a gret variety of tickets and tickets machines are in evey station.
Keep in mind that during weekends one card (1-day) isvalid for two people.
Great for first timers as it tours around the main attractions of Brussels. It's unlimited for the whole day. We took the first bus in the morning and followed one round. Then, we drop hop on and off from places to places. Short audio intro in different languages about different attractions. Cost about Euro 16 per adult.
The ticket needs to be validated in a small yellow machine, before boarding the train. What you need to know is that these machines will SWALLOW your ticket, stamp it inside and, after a while, return it to you. Trivial? Maybe not. It was so surprising (and funny) to see that even the Belgian people are not used to it! They would try to insert one end of the ticket into the machine slot, while holding the other end, in hope the machine would just stamp the inserted end. Nuthin would happen. Agitated people would just leave the machines without having their ticket validated. And so may travellers were stunned and fell in panic, when the machine "ate" their whole ticket. They thought they'd never get it back!.....
The metro is the quickest way to get around Brussels. The trains are frequent, quick (the trains run roughly every 7 min peak times) and easy to use. Tickets are relatively cheap (a Day-pass is only €4).
There are a few snags though:
-The metro drivers do not usually wait for you in case they are just about to go and see you running towards the metro train. You'll just have to wait for the next one.
-The trains get very packed during the rush hour.
-They stop running after midnight most days although the website says that it operates from 5am to 1am.
-You can only buy monthly tickets in a few designated offices.
Fares in 2007
Single tickets - EUR 1.50
5-ride ticket -EUR 6.70
10-ride ticket - EUR 11.00
Day-pass - EUR 4.00
Monthly pass EUR 40.50
Yearly pass EUR 405.00
All tickets are valid on metro, buses (STIB, De Lijn, TEC), trams or suburban trains (SNCB) and have to be validated each time you get on a bus, tram or metro.
How easy is this?
Yep even easier than the London Underground (well most things are!).
If you arrive by train you will find big Yellow ticket machines near the escalators down to the Metro (Blue on White 'M' sign). There is a whole range of tickets available: Single Journey (Euro $1.50), 1 Day Freedom Pass (About 14 hours), 5 Journey pass, 10 Journey Pass. They give you access to all Tram and Underground around the city for one price, it does not vary by zones.
Once you have bought your ticket and you are ready to travel you will need to validate the ticket for each journey, you will find little Orange machines dotted around the area and also on the Trams themselves, pop your ticket in, it will stamp it for one journey and return it to you.
Nice and easy, the hardest thing you will find will be trying to get your bags through the narrow tram doors!
There are some metro lines in Brussels. This is quite nice and comfortable way of transport. What is the most important, public transport in Brussels is cheap. A single ticket is 1,50 Euro. You may buy one day ticket for only 4 Euros. That's seems to be small for a capital of Belgium and Europe... Good for us, visitors.:)