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While many people see the Belgian capital as a hub for diplomats and business professionals, Brussels has recently become of the most chic cities in Europe. Brussels' cobbled alleys are lined with elegant restaurants, stylish boutiques and numerous beer bars that are often hundreds of years old. Travelers in Belgium can also walk through the streets and discover the architectural diversity of Brussels including famous examples of modern, Art Déco, Art Nouveau style.
Quick Guide to Brussels
- Must Know: Brussels is both the capital of Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union
- Must See: The famous Manneken Pis, or "Little man Pee" in Dutch is a famous statue located in the city center
- Must Do: Try some of Belgium's world-famous Moules Frites (mussels and french fries) while in Brussels
How to Get to Brussels
Brussels Airport is the principal airport in Belgium and offers most of its flights to European and International destinations including North America and North Africa. The Airport has its own train station, and national trains from the Brussels city center call at this station regularly. By bus, the De Lijn company offers services to the Airport from Brussels-North railway station and Roodebeek metro station. STIB also provides buses to the airport from the European District. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport as well as in the city, and a journey from the city center to the airports costs around €45.
Brussels South Charleroi is the second largest airport in the country. The Brussels City Shuttle offers regular and low cost bus journeys from the Brussels-South railway station to the airport.
Brussels-South, also known as Brussels-Midi station, Gare du Midi or Zuidstation, is located in the south of the city. Good connections can be found from here to European destinations as well as other cities in Belgium. Major rail providers and trains serving this station include Thalys, TGV, Eurocity, Eurostar, ICE, and Intercity. The train station is linked by the metro lines 2 and 6. The closest tramway and bus stop is "Gare du Midi" on tram lines 31 and 81, and bus line 78. Buses 116, 117, 118, 141, 142, 170 and 171 also service the train station by stopping at the "Brussel Zuid".
Brussels-North is one of the three biggest stations in the capital. It welcomes trains from all over Europe and is well connected to the Brussels Public transports network. The main rail provider for the station is SNCB. The station is part of the "Centre des Communications Nord" or North Communications Center which links it to: tramways 3, 4, 25,31,32, and 55, buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61, Eurolines and De Lijn bus terminals, and a taxi station.
This major bus station is located at the Brussels-North Railway Station, and provides numerous connections for local buses as well as long distance national and international coach services. The station is connected to the local transport network via trams 3, 4, 25,31,32, and 55. Local city buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61 will also stop here.
Getting Around Brussels
The public transport system in Brussels is provided by the STIB. Since the public transport system is well developed and driving in the city can be challenging, it is very common and practical to use the STIB network. Public transport in Brussels is open from 05:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. during the week, and until 03:00 a.m. on the weekend.
Cycling is still not so common in Brussels, however, with the introduction of over 23 km of bike lanes and a municipal bike share program, it is becoming more popular.
Taxis are readily available in Brussels, and can be hailed all over the city directly from the street. Because of the traffic it is not advised to drive within Brussels usually. Parking the car in a car park outside of the city and using public transport can be a quick and cost effective way to visit the city.
Brussels is a beautiful city to walk through, and exploring it on foot is one of the best ways to take in the architecture. On foot, the city center can be crossed in about 40 minutes.
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