Thursday, 1 November 2012

How to get around Brussels

On foot 

Spending your holiday around the city of Brussels, while doing a lot of walking is simple that gets you in every tourist attractions. You can also easily catch the public transportation such as metro, bus, tram or even a taxi for those attractions that are farther or perhaps quite impossible to get by on foot.  Riding the bus around the city, using the tram and tour bus along outside the city or town or even taking the train to other cities can be quickly, frequent, effective and inexpensive.  You'll surely require a road map in order to get where you're heading to and find your way around among the streets.    During late nights, it’s probably best to get a taxi to and from your destination for safety purposes.  It won’t cost you too much as the distances are so small in comparison to other places like London. 

Public transport

The trains and the systems are incorporated within the city, which is managed by Societe des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois (STIB).  A large number of metro stations highlight the entire work of local artists.  Together with enjoyable seats, the service is also satisfying even during peak hour.  The fastest way to travel is through the underground premetro Gare du Nord, Place de Brouchere, Bourse and the Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar terminal.

The city centre and suburbs of Brussels are being provided with bright yellow and blue trams.  You will be able to see the tram and bus stops that are shown in red and white coloured signs.  All the route numbers and destinations are exactly visible on the front of the vehicle which is all available on request stops.  Make sure that you get on the front entrance of buses and get off at the rear.  

To discover Brussels with one key you can book your Brussels Card via www.brusselscard.be in order to obtain an unlimited travel plus.  This also includes some discounts for 24, 28, 72 hours.  Obtain a one day group ticket that will offer an unlimited travel for up to five people traveling together. 

Metro 

There are approximately six lines of metro in Brussels, which is certainly not hard for beginner.  However, majority of the Metro are quite inaccessible for disabled passengers that are on wheelchair as there seems to be more stairs than elevators. Fortunately, they have made some changes on stations, which they are currently doing some refurbishment for easy access.  It’s fairly good though as the metro is still reliable and traveling times are not long even though it can get very crowded on some of the routes during peak hours.  The metro lines are easily identified with a signposts “M” numbered 1 to 6.  The trains are quite informative as their announcements have a display in multiple languages that tells you which stop.

Trams 

Trams also have“T” signposts and are also numbered with colour, which is similar to metro.  The trams are mostly on the road as it provides a better view of the city while touring.  However some of them are located in the metro stations underground.  There are different types of trams with different doors and style, which can be an issue for some people especially the disabled ones and some children. 

Buses

You can’t go wrong with buses in Brussels as they have a number along with a colour throughout the maps and signposts.  Timetables for the bus are available on STIB website.  Generally at each bus stop you can find a map and a timetable, which provides information of the bus routes. 

The airport line is one of the exceptions standard bus fare that travel out to the airport.  Unfortunately there is no metro or tram lines that provides transportation to the airport.  The tickets for this are quite expensive at 3.50 euro per person or if traveling in groups of 10 for 25 euros and it is still considered as cheaper that the train, so after all it is a good value. 

TEC and Delijn are the two different buses companies, which travels around the regions of South and North of the city instead of the inside the city itself.  However you can still take advantage of their routes if they are actually going to the right choice of destinations. 

Driving and parking
 
If you decide to rent a car and drive around Brussels while on holiday then it should not be much of a problem as many tourists have found it much easier to drive and park in Brussels compare to other European cities.  Just make sure that you invest a really good map of the city to help you navigate without any problems.  It might be possible to install the map on iPhone store.  Bear in mind that some traffic is restricted during special events.  Also, keep in mind that it is forbidden to drive around the middle of Brussels’ nearby Grand Place because of the streets being too narrow.  This also involves parking on that streets is not so easy due to the traffic.  

Photo by askthepixel

Photo by kevgibbo

23 comments:

Francesca Romana Capizzi said...

This post is very useful! I have been in brussels once and I want to visit it again!
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Thank you for sharing such an interesting post!
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Jenna Jenkins said...

I'd love to try out the Metro and the Trams if ever I'll visit Brussels, I heard, they are well-known for that apart from its famous destinations. I can imagine myself enjoy the whole trip.

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Vanessa said...

I live in Brussels and we locals mainly use the metro or our feet, never the train and rarely the bus.

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