Car Rental Brussels
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Why rent a car in Brussels?
Brussels is a great place to explore. Much more than just a diplomatic and political hub, the city has plenty to offer such as the medieval Flemish Old Town, French-inspired Renaissance architecture, ambitiously futuristic neighborhoods, and great cuisine and nightlife. Brussels is located right between the Dutch and the French-speaking parts of Belgium. If you rent a car, the city can serve as a base for seeing the rest of the country and even traveling to Belgium’s neighbors like the Netherlands, France, or Germany.
Top ways to enter Brussels
- Brussels Zaventem Airport: The largest in the country and among the 25 busiest in Europe, Brussels Airport handles more than 25 million passengers every year. The airport is a large hub for Brussels Airlines and a focus city for a number of other airlines. There are flights to and from nearly all other countries in Europe, as well as many destinations in other continents of the world. The airport is located 16 km (10 mi) northeast of the city center and can be reached in about 20-30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
- Charleroi Airport. Often called Brussels-South, this airport is served by a number of low-cost airlines, thus often offering a cheaper way to reach Brussels than flying to its main airport. The airport has been growing at a steady pace and served more than 8 million travelers in 2018. Serving the Wallon city of Charleroi, the airport is about 68 km (42 mi) south of Brussels and can be reached in about one hour.
- Antwerp Airport. A small international airport serving the city of the same name, Antwerp Airport has flights to and from countries like the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. Located just 52km (32 miles) north of Brussels, it takes about 45-50 minutes drive from Antwerp to Belgium’s capital city.
- Liege Airport. A small airport near the border with the Netherlands, Liege Airport is better known as a large air cargo traffic center but also serves passengers flights by TUI fly Belgium, connecting the city to beach resorts in Spain, Greece, Tunisia, and other countries. The airport is located 91km (56 miles) east of Brussels, and you can reach the capital city in one hour by car.
- By rail. If you arrive in Brussels by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Brussels Central Station or Brussels Zuid Station.
Useful city facts
- Thanks to its proximity to the North Sea and a number of large wetland areas, Brussels has an oceanic climate. Its summers are warm (and can get very hot on individual days) while winters are cool to mild. The average temperature is 18°C (65°F) in July, the warmest month, and 3°C (38°F) in January. Brussels is one of the rainiest capitals of Europe, experiencing around 200 rainy days per year.
- Brussels is a multicultural and multilingual city. French and Flemish Dutch are the native languages of Belgium and both are spoken by many city inhabitants. There are also many diaspora languages that can be frequently heard in the city, including Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, different varieties of Arabic and Berber, and many others. Knowledge of English is very high and many city inhabitants, especially those working in one of its many international institutions, use it as their primary language on a daily basis.
Top destinations and activities
- Grand Place. Also known as Grote Markt, the central square of Brussels is surrounded by beautiful 16th and 17th Century buildings. Famous landmarks like the Brussels Town Hall, the House of the Dukes of Brabant, and the Museum of the City of Brussels are located in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to many, it’s the most picturesque place in the Low Countries, and it’s easy to see why.
- The Royal Theater of the Mint. Called de Munt in Dutch and La Monnaie in French, the impressive opera house was first built in 1700 then significantly rebuilt in the19th century. The building is heavily located to the Belgian Independence movement and the Belgian Revolution of the 19th century, but even if you don’t care about history, it’s simply a stunning building to look at.
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. With many exhibitions of both classic and contemporary works, it is one of the greatest art museum complexes in Europe. Works by world-famous artists like Rubens, Dalí, van Gogh, Magritte, and Matisse are located here. It’s a must-visit if you’re in Brussels.
Traffic and parking tips
- Belgium drives on the right hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120 km/h (75 mph) on freeways and on roads with at least two two-lane roadways separated by a median strip, 90 km/h (56 mph) outside built-up areas in the Brussels-Capital Region and the Wallonia Region, 70 km/h (4 mph) outside built-up areas in the Flemish Region, and 50 km/h (31 mph) within urban and built-up areas.
- It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for both experienced and novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a licence ban, and even imprisonment.
- Speed cameras are in use.
- Proof of insurance and documentation of the car need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the European Union, is 112.
As of June 2019, there are no toll roads in Belgium. There is a toll tunnel, Liefkenshoektunnel, that connects Antwerp and Beveren. Located in the northern part of the country near the border with the Netherlands, it is about 70km (43 miles) north of Brussels. The toll is € 6.00 for vehicles with a height of 2.75 m or lower and € 19.00 for larger vehicles. You can pay either in cash or by credit card.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Bruges. Once the commercial center of Belgium and the region, Bruges is nowadays one of the most scenic cities in the country. It’s narrow old town streets, opulent churches, and network of canals give it the feel of a fairy tale. Located about 98km (61 miles) northwest of Brussels, Bruges can be reached in one to two hours, depending on traffic. After seeing Bruges, you can travel further to the nearby North Sea coast.
- Spa. Not just any spa, but the first of them, this small city near Liege was so famous for its healing hot springs and mineral waters that it gave name to the rest of them. Some of the older baths have now closed and are open only as museums, while new ones have been opened, some of them in the pleasant setting of the nearby forests. About 14 km (87 miles) southeast of Brussels, the town of Spa can be reached in about two hours.
- Ghent. Home to classic architecture and many religious buildings, Ghent is a city of great history. But it’s also one of the university cities of Belgium, with a youthful population, plenty of cultural events, festivals, and interactive museums. It’s easy to visit, too - located just 60 km (37 miles) northwest of Brussels, it can be reached in about one hour.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Brussels is the Mini with three doors, although the Citroen DS3 and the VW Polo are also in high demand. The most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and standard.
- Paris. With more famous landmarks than it’s possible to name and an atmosphere that’s unrivaled anywhere else, the City of Light can be explored for days. With a rental car, you’ll also have the freedom to travel to other nearby places of interest like Versailles and Chartres. Paris is just 312km (194 miles) south of Brussels and can be reached in about four hours. You’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
- Amsterdam. As famous for its hedonistic nightlife as it is for its classic architecture, scenic canals, and world-class museums, the capital of the neighboring Netherlands truly has something for every traveler. Located just 205km (127 miles) north of Brussels, Amsterdam can be reached in less than three hours. To travel from Belgium to the Netherlands by car, you’ll have to cross an international border, so first make sure if your rental car provider permit it.
- Luxembourg. Known as one of the smallest countries in the EU (and also the richest), Luxembourg doesn’t feature on too many travel lists, but that’s a shame - it’s capital, Luxembourg city, with its UNESCO World Heritage old town and Gothic Cathedral, river valleys, industrial museums, and winemaking domains is more than enough reason to visit.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Follow these tips to get a great rental car in the Belgian capital:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Brussels is the cheapest in July when renting a car is about 40% cheaper than the yearly average. Come visit Brussels in the middle of summer!
Top 5 Cities near Brussels
Top 8 Locations near Brussels
Brussels Railway Station Car Rentals from $31.45 per day
Brussels South Station Car Rentals from $34.34 per day
Brussels Airport Car Rentals from $29.67 per day12.7 km / 7.9 miles away
Antwerp Airport Car Rentals from $37.86 per day40.2 km / 25.0 miles away
Charleroi Airport Car Rentals from $27.88 per day42.5 km / 26.4 miles away
Antwerp Railway Station Car Rentals from $30.87 per day42.6 km / 26.5 miles away
Ghent-Saint-Pieters Railway Station Car Rentals from $24.41 per day49.0 km / 30.5 miles away
Liege, Liège Airport Car Rentals from $30.87 per day81.1 km / 50.4 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Brussels?
What’s the usual rental length in Brussels?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Brussels?
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