Charleroi Airport is located just south of Brussels and offers a lower-cost alternative to the big city International airports of Europe.
I drove to Charleroi from Germany for the cheap flight to Dublin, Ireland. RyanAir has direct flights from here to Dublin (and about 8 other cities in Europe) for as low as $80 per person, round trip! From Dublin (and/or London Stansted) RyanAir flies throughout Europe.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport is directly linked to the capital of Europe with more than 20 daily shuttles. Most cheap airlines fly to the airport. However, it is located quite far from Brussels and you need to go minimum half an hour by car to the border of the city of Brussels.
I would say that the airport is small but quite "cosy"...;)
The main international airport is Zaventem, 14km north-east of Brussels.
The Brussels Airport Express runs up to 4 times an hour to and from the Brussels North, Central and South Stations. Every hour 1train goes through to De Panne, 1 to Ghent and 1 to Mons/Quevy. Trains run from just before 5a.m. until about midnight. A trip to Brussels takes 15 to 30 minutes.
A bus station's located on the ground level. There's a direct connection with Antwerp and Eindhoven, too.
Car rental companies are located in the arrivals hall and are open from 6.30a.m. to 11p.m.
Zaventem Airport - a modern airport in Europe and gateway to many cities in the world. The most interesting airports - logistic wise - you will find in Asia (Hong Kong, Nagoya)
BXL airport is number ONE for selling the famous Belgian chocolate
Is possible get to the Brussels Airport also by train, it will take less than twenty minutes from the city centre.From 06:00 till nearly midnight, the Airport City Express links the airport with Brussels Midi, Central and North four times an hour.
A one-way ticket: 2,60 € second class/4.10 € first class.
The train station it's in the basement (level -1) of the terminal building itself.
Other trains to/from Brussels Airport
As well as the shuttle service to and from Brussels, there are now direct links with the west and south of Belgium:
Timetable information for the whole of Belgium (and international trains) is available in Dutch, English, French and German on the Belgian Railways website.
You can get to the Airport also by bus,the bus station it's below the Arrivals Hall, and can be reached by escalators and lifts through the Diamond Area.
Local buses from the airport (De Lijn) +32 (0)70 220 200
Trams, metro and buses in Brussels (STIB/MIVB) +32 (0)2 515 20 00
The Brussels bus company MIVB/STIB operates a bus link between the railway station Brussels-Luxemburg and the Brussels Airport. This line operates on work days between 7.00 a.m. .and 8.00 p.m., three times per hour.
A single ticket is 3 € (validity 1 hour on MIVB/STIB network).
Obviously is possible to get there also by car,from the Brussels Ring Road following the signs for Airport or Zaventem
I'm not sure how old the airport is, but it does look very new.
A bright, open airport, its great for the people like me who enjoy sitting for hours watching the planes go by (I am a bit of a sad cookie like that!!)
The train station is in the basement and there are frequent trains which make the short (10 minutes or so) journey in to Brussels itself. Stopping at the 3 major stations in the city.
Baggage collection and check in where both very quick but this may have been due to how quiet the airport was when I travelled.
It seems also that you can check in at any time. I arrived at the airport about 3 hours before the flight and could drop the cases off
One word of warning, I didn't see any shops in departures which sold snacks and bottles of drinks (although there were some soft drinks machines by the gates). You can however buy sushi and oysters!
The website does have a good page providing information on arivals and departures. Worth checking the times out
For those arriving at Brussels Airport (Zaventum) - if you've travelled to Charleroi (prob Ryannair) you've a nice long journey ahead of you and the note below won't apply!
If you need to take a taxi (e.g. have shed loads of lugguage you can't be bothered to take on the bus or it's late) cross the road from the exit and go up the the arrivals drop-off to catch a taxi dropping someone off rather than taking one of those waiting outside departures. The local council has tied up the airport taxi rank which is very much a closed Flemmish shop. You'll save yourself a fair few quid catching a taxi dropping people off instead (but still more than the bus).
En 2003, en moyenne, plus de 20.000 passagers ont embarqué à l'aéroport de Bruxelles chaque jour. Certains jours sont bien sûr plus chargés que d'autres, et tenant compte des vols réguliers et des réservations de billet, nous pouvons évaluer l'occupation de l'aéroport à différentes dates.
Les jours d'affluence, vous pouvez rencontrer des retards dans le trafic et nécessiter plus de temps pour trouver une place de parking convenable. L'enregistrement des bagages et le contrôle des passeports peuvent également être plus chargés...
In 2003, on average, more than 20.000 passengers embarked to the Brussels airport every day. Some days are of course more loaded than of others, and taking into account the regular flights and the bookings of ticket, we can value the occupation of the airport at different dates.
The days of affluence, you can meet some delays in the traffic and can require more time to find an appropriate parking space. The registration of the luggages and the control of the passports can be charged also more...
I took the plane from Arlanda, Stockholm to Brussel airport. From the airport you have plenty of choices to continue your journey to the city center; by rental car, by taxi, by bus & by train. I choosed by train. Brussels Airport is less than twenty minutes from the city centre. From 06:00 till nearly midnight, the Airport City Express links the airport with Brussels Midi, Central and North four times an hour. A one-way ticket costs 2,60 € second class and 3,90 € first class.
...on your flight to or from Brussels. If you're on the 767, 1st class is not the bedsuite you love so much. These seats do not recline fully. Look at them! (as seen from first row of the business class immediately behind...grrrr....) Seriously, as long as you're ON the plane and you're heading towards Brussels, that's a good thing. Be happy! ;-P
When your decided route is btwn Brussels and the US East Coast, you cannot go wrong with United Airlines. A straight shot from BRU to Washington Dulles, then if you must, make an easy connection to nearly any other town or village. By whatever means is available to you, try to secure a seat in at least Business Class. Westbound flights may not be overnighters, but they are always at least an hour longer than their eastbound counterparts, so the extra comfort is sooo appreciated.
Two useful websites for Last minute holidays are
The websites are not updated daily so it's best to have a look and then call them
For the ebay types amongst you, Nouvelle Frontiers have holiday auctions for a few hours once a week.
Sites below are from Belgium and France.
When I look at the Belgium site today, I see destinations via Orly, rather than Brussels, hmmm ???
Using the Brussels Airport is much easier than some of the other major airports in Europe. Plus you can buy chocolate :)
As you can see the Zurich-Chicago-Las Vegas cows have made it to Brussels.
My one negative comment is the segregation of flights on US airlines at the end of one of the fingers. There is additional thorough and very public security at the entrance to this area and there is no food stand once you are in the US "sector".
Charleroi Airport is 37 miles away from Brussels. It is a small airport but not overcrowded. Usual facilities including a large cafe.
There are two ways of travelling to Brussels via public transport.
BUS AND TRAIN FROM AIRPORT
Firstly, there is a local bus, number 68, from the airport to Charleroi South Station Interchange. It runs hourly, and is timed to meet flights and trains.
Inter City Trains run from Charlerio South to Brussels stations including Central Station.
Trains leave Brussels CENTRAL at Mon to Fri, 36 mins past the hour and Sat and Sun 41 mins past the hour. The Inter City Train takes approx 50 minutes.
The second class single fare is only 6.80Euro
Get off at Charleroi Sud, walk along the subway and turn left up to the tram and bus interchange. Look left to avoid being run over by a tram.
The 68 bus will arrive at stand ( Quai ) number 3 in about ten mins.
Journey time to the airport is about ten mins and the fare is just 1.65Euro
Fares from the airport may be a bit more as it takes a slightly longer route, but a return train ticket may be cheeper than two singles.
ALTERNATIVE COACH TO BRUSSELS
Secondly, there is the Coach to Brussels Midi Station. It is claimed by tourist info that the fare is 6.20E, it is not. You will be charged 10.00E.
Don't use this rip off service !
The service is arranged with ryanair but there is a note on their web site about the problem.
Also, being dumped at Brussels South station at night is not recommended.
Hope this is useful.
Flying from London to Stansted to Charleroi(55 km from the city centre) cost us 0.35p each plus tax for a return flight with Ryanair - total £16! not bad at all!
Walk or take the subway to get around...walking means you get to see more of the architecture, unless its raining in which case take the subway!