Normally I arrive Brussels by train but on this occassion I was coming in from Berlin and being pushed for time flew into Brussels International with EasyJet from Berlin's Schoenfeld (a lovely airport BTW).
Before I go any further you should note that Brussels International (BRU) is a different airport from Brussels Charleroi (CRL).
My first impression of BRU was that it was huge - after the simplicity of departing Schoenfeld the walk from the EasyJet gate seemed to go on forever - not that it was unpleasant, there were plenty of moving walkways and bars and shops etc had I been inclined to allow myself such digresions, just long.
Eventually I escaped, had a quick cigarette, and found the train station to get into the city - this was much better. The train station is located in the underground level, is well-signposted and trains run into the city roughly every 15 minutes during the day with a journey time of between 11 mins (Gare du Nord) and 20 mins (into Midi) - it also stops at Central. As I wanted a "Jump carnet" for the Metro and trams I bought my ticket from the manned ticket office (the single fare into the city was 5.30 euros at the time of writing (Jan 2012)) and the journey was totally effortless - in fact it took me longer to escape the airport than the train took to get to Gare du Nord.
Not an airport I'd add to my favourites list but it certainly is easy to get to and from and if you want to check the connection times on the Belgian Railways website (other contact) use "Bruxelles Nat Aeroport" as your start/finish station.
With flights to about 49 European destinations as well as to 21 African destinations, the airline offers an excellent network to travel to, from and via Brussels. There are daily flights from Malaga to increase the frequency during summer time.
Con vuelos a unos 49 destinos europeos además de a 21 destinos africanos, la aerolínea ofrece una red excelente para viajar hacia, desde y vía Bruselas. Desde Málaga hay vuelos diarios aumentando la frecuencia durante el verano.
I arrived 2 hours and 45 minutes before my flight back to NYC. The two enormous lines that converged on the 2 Border officials took over 45 minutes to process. I arrived with barely 35 minutes before boarding began. Once processed, Security was very swift. However, if I had gone shopping in the general Airport area I might have missed my flight! As an aside: the shops after Security are AWEFUL. Arrive VERY early and shop!
We flew to Brussels from Aberdeen with KLM via Amsterdam. Schipol airport is one of the largest airports in Europe totally crowded with passengers. Trying to check in involves long queues and needs adequate time to change flights. We had three hours from landing in Amsterdam and needed every second. The good news for us anyway is Aberdeen now has direct daily flights to Brussels - so more Europe for me in the future
SN Brussels Airlines & British Airways code-shared this sector, operated by British Airways. The journey takes about 45 minutes. The moment you reach cruise altitude, it's time to descend.
Trawl the SN Brussels Airlines website - you can grab an early bird ticket of only 18GBP 1 way. That's a steal! (see website link below)
I believed the budget airlines all land at Brussels-Charleroi, an airport about 55km from Brussels itself.
TO GET FROM SINGAPORE TO BRUSSELS
There are no direct flights. You may choose to transit via Paris, London Heathrow or Amsterdam.
You don't need to go down to Charleroi (Ryanair) to get a resonable fare. Although I do use Charleroi from time to time, I still prefer using real airports to avoid landing in mere airfields in the middle of nowhere. Besides, if you are late, a taxi to Ryanair's airports will cost you 3 or 4 times more than a taxi to the main airport ... Virgin Express connects Brussels Zaventem with most of Europe at excellent prices and the service is fine, no meals or newspapers but at least you get numbered seats and avoid stampedes to get the best seats.
We flew with Ryanair from Dublin to Charleroi. It cost us 65 yoyos each, one way. You can get a much cheaper flight but it depends on the day and if they're having a deal or not. But on the hole - like Preparation H - Ryanair are not bad.
Brussels is well served by two airports but choose carefully as one is miles away. May as well be in Sydney!!! However I've never used the other one so I've no idea about it.
Aer Lingus fly into Brussels main airport and their prices are not bad at all.
In a world where airports are full of ripoffs (see phone warning tip for Brussels) or at least very high prices, I was surprised to see that there was what was called a "Supermarket" on the arrival level of the Brussels airport with reasonable prices. It is on level and down a corridor about 50 yards from the main area. This may explain why the small typical airport convenience store on the same level had prices that would be considered reasonable compared to those found in other airports. Still, the prices were better at the "supermarket".
The "Supermarket" is not large, but it seems to have a selection of just about everything you would expect to find. It opens at 7 AM with fresh bread available.
Brussels Airport being located 14 km north-northeast of the center of Brussels, is convenient and most of the time easy to travel through, mainly served flights between EU and other European countries.
"A" for Schengen zone countries (i.e. no passport controls) and "B" for non-Schengen (including the UK and Ireland). The departure hall is more pleasant than the arrival hall, which is sometimes chaotic. Passengers travelling through area "B" have a far shorter walk to/from the 'planes. Flights occasionally arrive at area "A" from non-Schengen.
Bright and airy the Shengen terminal is much better than the older one and also offers more opportunities for shopping. Especially the second floor, where you have a smoking area, which gives you a great view over the leaving aircraft. The cafes are good and not too expensive when compared with places like Heathrow.
The airport train station is located below the terminal (basement level-1). Up to 4 trains an hour connect the airport to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi stations. Tickets are cheap and are sold at the kiosk in the baggage claim area. The train service should be improved.
When buying a budget plane ticket in Brussels...
YOU CAN`T BUY FOR CASH A BUDGET AIRLINE TICKET
FROM ANY TRAVEL AGENTS AS I KNOW!
ONLY ONLINE WITH A CREDIT CARD............
Wizzair has a cash desk at Charleroi where you can use cash
and credit cards.
Ryanair don`t accept CASH ...
So if you don`t have a credit card and want to buy a cheap ticket..
first browse www.wizzair.com for availability then travel out
to Charleroi to purchase a ticket.
DON`t LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE!
From Belgium only: 090 341 405 (calls charged at EUR 1.12 per minute.
Calls from mobile networks may be charged at a higher rate)
Taxis are available all the time outside the terminal.
Tariffs of the three taxis companies are: € 12,50 to go
from the airport to the Charleroi centre and € 90 to go from
the airport to Brussels. Tariffs are the same if you depart from
Charleroi centre or Brussels to the airport.
You can find more information and tariffs below.
Or shop around outside and maybe if you are several you
can get a deal. I couldn`t get on the shuttle going to the airport
and there a taxi driver approached us to drive us for the same price
as the shuttle bus. So he got 65 euro for the trip.
I travelled from Lisbon to Brussels with Brussels Airlines. The flight was direct and I liked the airline.
Flights were on time, planes were modern and new and service was good. and attentive.
They use the main Brussels airport as their hub in Brussels. Fares are good and so are their schedules.
I would definetly fly with them again!
Opening hours (Brussels local times)
Weekdays: 09:00 - 19:00
A note on the Belgian airline “SN Brussels”: Except for the self induced ‘excess kilo’ issue, of all the flights we have had, this airline surprisingly was the best! I had big leather seats, wider & with more leg room than any other flights. After the meal service, they served chocolates (no surprise), and they had large textured napkins, and of course the prettiest / most polite and blonde flight attendants of them all.
A bus from Charleroi leaves for Brussels every 30 minutes. Cost is 11 Euro's and the total trip time is 45 minutes.
The bus is a regular coach bus. It drops you off at Gare du Midi train station. From there you can use Trams of Metro to get around the city.
We flew from Brussels back to Chicago about a month after the gel ban went into effect and it was the longest time I've ever spent checking in at any airport. Maybe they've perfected the system since then but I would still recommend getting to the airport 3 hours in advance to be safe, we had to first go through the security line at American Airlines and then another equally long line at American to check in, through passport control and then yet another security check where they examined our carryon luggage, this seemed to only be flights to the US that were experiencing this level of delays.