Brussels Layover Guide (BRU)
Brussels Airport (BRU) is an international airport found in the municipality of Zaventem in the Province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The airport is situated 12.0 km (7.5 mi) northeast of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The airport serves as a hub for a couple of European airlines. The civilian airport was inaugurated on 5 July 1958 and has since had international flights. The City of Brussels is the capital of Belgium serving as its administrative and financial heart. The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, its history and its comics, as well as architectural landmarks that registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Can you leave Brussels Airport (BRU) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to visit Brussels during a layover. However, certain travelers may require a visa in advance. (more info).
Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing
Belgium Organized Tours
Brussels: Day Tour to Bruges with 4-Hour Guided Walk
Explore one of Europe’s most intact medieval cities on a 7-hour day trip from Brussels to Bruges, and take a 4-hour guided walking tour on arrival. See the dazzling architecture in the Grote Markt and also marvel at the Bruges Belfry and St. Salvator’s Cathedral. Take the train across the country to discover the canals and architecture of the “Venice of the North.” On this tour, you will be able to discover hidden gems known only to locals, learn the impressive trade and cultural history of a quaint medieval town. » book this tour
Brussels Autoworld Museum
Visit the Autoworld Museum in Brussels to learn about the automobile industry and the evolution of motor vehicles over the years. This is the perfect place to learn about the history of cars, motorcycles, and coaches. There are over 250 vehicles on permanent display and the museum mounts temporary exhibitions on a variety of themes as well. » book this tour
From Brussels: Ghent and Bruges Day-Tour
Discover some of Belgium’s most beautiful historic buildings on this full-day tour to Ghent and Bruges. From the stunning Our Lady’s Church and Michelangelo’s Madonna to the serene Lake of Love, you will walk away with memorable impressions of these gorgeous Flemish cities. See the majestic beauty of Saint Bavo Cathedral, explore a relic of the Middle Ages, St. Nicholas’ Church, and even imagine what it was like to live like a king at Earl’s Castle, all available in this tour. » book this tour
Belgium Things to do / Sightseeing
Also known as the Grand Place the UNESCO World Heritage site is a very significant landmark and tourist attraction of the city of Brussels. The gratifying historic square marks the center of the city and is surrounded by several other buildings such as guildhalls, restaurants, cafes, chocolates, Brussels City Museum and the magnificent Hotel de Ville which is hard to miss as it’s the most enchanting building in the square, a middle-age gothic building considered a Babranthine Gothic masterpiece was completed in 1420, it features a string of luxurious halls and rooms adorned with tapestries, paintings, and sculptures of historical significance. An overwhelming beauty of the square and surrounding buildings is sure to sweep you when you enter.
Time required: 3 hours.
Airport to here: 22 minutes via taxi and 32 minutes via public transport.
Comic Strip Route
Take a walk through the inner city of Brussels to discover large comic-strip murals on several buildings along the paths. It features popular comic scenes from comics such as The Adventures Of Tintin, The Smurfs, and several others. As of recently, there are more than 50 murals painted in celebration of the city’s comic heritage. There’s a bike tour that can take you through the pathways to discover the exquisite murals. A haven for comic and street art lovers.
Time required: 2 hours.
Airport to here: 24 minutes via taxi and an hour via public transport.
Experience The Parlamentarium
The Parlamentarium is a visitor center that conducts a permanent in-depth multimedia exhibition that educates you on the World Wars, European War Eras, and the history of the European Union’s emergence and its importance. The exhibition employs the use of films and audio through in-ear devices available in 24 European languages provided as part of the visitors’ Personal Multimedia Guide. Tours are made available to children, blind and deaf visitors too. The entry here is free.
Time required: 2-3 hours.
Airport to here: 18 minutes via taxi and 44 minutes via public transport.
Mont Des Arts
‘Hill Of The Arts’ as it translates lives up to its name as a cultural center of the city where you can catch every art-oriented activity. Its environs are occupied by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Magritte Museum, the Musical Instrument Museum and Cinematek. If you’re seeking to enjoy a movie, art exhibitions, concerts and a lot more you should take a cultural walk down here. It has an amazing view of the city and a green space for lounging.
Time required: 1-2 hours.
Airport to here: 22 minutes via taxi and 35 minutes via public transport.
Certainly, the best spot to accommodate your leisure activities. It features a large green area of which the Royal Museum Of The Armed Forces And Military History which is dominated by several collections of military equipment and collectibles from the Great War is also located. You can find a vintage car museum called Autoworld here that exhibits old cars for your auto lovers to check out and also a Drive-in Cinema is located here. If you’re looking to picnic, there are open spaces where you can picnic amongst other visitors.
Time required: 2 hours.
Airport to here: 12 minutes via taxi and 42 minutes via public transport.
Brussels Notre Dame Du Sablon
Visit the famous Madonna statue believed to possess healing powers within the 14th Century gothic-style cathedral which attracts a large congregation of pilgrims. Alleged to have been stolen by a married couple in a rowing boat, the statue has never been proclaimed but a life-sized model has been used as a replacement to commemorate the story. The exterior and interior of the cathedral building is made of rich with Babranthine Gothic architecture, an awe-striking exploration
Time required: An hour.
Airport to here: 21 minutes via taxi and 56 minutes via public transport.
Take A Chocolate Tour
Find out why Belgians pride themselves as the chocolate center of the world by taking a chocolate tasting walk-tour through the city to some of the best chocolate spots and enjoy the sweet taste of Belgian chocolates alongside the learning of the history of their origins. A recommended agency that offers tours is the Groovy Brussels Chocolate tour
Time required: 2 hours.
Airport to here: 23 minutes via taxi and 29 minutes via public transport.
Things to Do in Brussels Airport (BRU)
Relaxing and Sleeping
Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are numerous lounges in each terminal. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online
Hotel and Sleeping
There are many hotel options less than a mile away. » view all or book an airport hotel online
Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no designated rest areas within the airport.
WIFI/Internet and SIM Card
WIFI/Internet: Connect to the “Brussels Airport free Wi-Fi” network.
SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Belgium, Brussels that you can use for other countries as well!
Transportation to/from airport
Taxi: There are always licensed taxis with a time meter in front of the arrivals hall.
Train: The train station is located directly under the departures and arrivals halls, at level -1. From there you can travel from Brussels Airport to various Belgian cities or to our neighbors. (more info).
Bus: Local bus lines link the airport with the rest of Belgium. (more info).
Shuttle: Most hotels in the airport’s vicinity provide free shuttle service.
Car rentals: The service desks of major car rental companies are located in the Arrivals Hall. » view available cars or rent a car now online
Parking: The parking lots are found close to each terminal and there is information online about the availability of booking and reservation.
Luggage Storage & Lockers
There are storage rooms found on the ground floor of the airport and it is possible to keep a wide range of items there. » book a luggage storage or locker at Brussels Airport (BRU) online (subject to availability).