Belgium a very densely populated country. It means that public transport well developed in every city, including Brussels. Residents of cities prefer to move by public transport, and not suffer in traffic jams and spend a lot of time looking for a free parking space. The population of Brussels with its suburbs only 2 million people. But all types of public transport represented here. Metro, buses, tram networks, a network of commuter trains, and many train stations in different parts of the city. In this article, a guide to public transport in Brussels, I will try to be as clear as possible about how to use Brussels transport, how much it costs and where you can buy tickets.

Brussels Public Transport Official Website

The public intercommunal transport company of Brussels (Société des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois) abbreviated as STIB or MIVB in Dutch.

The company serves the Brussels Metro (4 lines, 56 km); tram network (17 routes, 217 km), city bus network (52 routes, 440 km), 1 lift (refers to the city’s public transport). Some of the tram and bus routes go beyond Brussels.

The official website of the Stib-mivb.be company contains all the relevant information about public transport in Brussels: fare, travel benefits, where to buy tickets, metro, tram and trolleybus cards, transport timetables, news, and a route planner. Thanks to this planner, you will be able to plan a route from point A to point B, you will be shown information on how to get there, where to change trains, and the exact departure and arrival times of the necessary routes.

Fares in Brussels

If you are going to use public transport in Brussels intensively, then you need to purchase a MOBIB card for travel at a price of € 5 . The card is valid for 5 years. There is a named and unnamed card. You will need to upload tickets to this card.

 Below are the prices for travel in Brussels, current for 2020.

  • 1 ticket for the trip (Single fare JUMP): €2,10. This ticket can purchase on a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card, or as a separate ticket. The ticket is valid for 1 trip within 60 minutes after the 1st validation (composting). The ticket is not valid for the Brussels Airport section.
  • Ticket for 2 trips (Return trip JUMP): € 4,20. Purchase conditions and validity are the same as for the previous ticket. This type of ticket entitles you to 2 trips. Moreover, the 2nd trip must complete within 24 hours after the 1st validation of the ticket.
  • 24-hour pass (Jump 24H): € 7.50, can be load onto a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card.
  • 48 Hour Pass (Jump 48H): €14.00, can load onto a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card.
  • 72-Hour Pass (Jump 72H): €18.00, can download onto a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card.
  • 5 Journeys Ticket: €8.00, can load onto a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card.
  • 10 Journeys JUMP ticket: € 14.00, can load onto a MOBIB or MOBIB Basic card.
  • Ticket from the airport (BUS Airport For 1 journey): € 4.50, the ticket purchased from the machine.
  • A ticket from the airport (BUS Airport For 1 journey): € 6,00, a ticket bought from the driver.
  • 10 tickets from the airport (BUS Airport For 10 journeys): € 32.00. All tickets from the airport are valid only on public transport.
  • 1-month pass for STIB-MIVB: € 49.00
  • 1-Year Pass for STIB-MIVB: € 499.00
  • 1-month Airport Pass (Airport Line): € 60.00
  • Travel for people aged 65+ : free, you need to issue a MOBIB card for € 5.
  • Travel for children under 6 years old : free when accompanied by adults.

Where can I top up MOBIB or MOBIB Basic cards?

  • Go Easy ;
  • 340 GO vending machines ;
  • 14 Kiosks (14 KIOSK) ;
  • 6 BOOTIK ;
  • SHOP stores (official sales outlets).

How to use the ticket? In buses, trams, at metro and railway stations, validators (electronic punching machines) installed. So a ticket must validated before traveling by public transport. Even if you have a travel card, you still have to get a ticket every time before traveling to transport, otherwise, you will face a fine. By the way, the entrance to the metro at some stations through turnstiles. Only they installed at some metro stations in the central part of Brussels.

Validating a ticket is very simple: you need to bring your travel card to the validator, it will scan it, validate it, and if everything went well, you will hear a beep, a green light will turn on and the √ icon will appear.

Penalty for travel without a ticket. Note that there are controllers in public transport. When contacting you, you must present a validated valid ticket. If you have a damaged ticket, you have purchased the wrong type of ticket, forgot to validate it, then you will be charged a fine. The fine for travel without a ticket is € 107.

Brussels Metro

Here are some data on the Brussels metro, which is one of the most important modes of transport in the city.

  • Metro opening date: 1976
  • Today there are 4 Lines (1, 2, 5, 6)
  • Metro length: 39.9 km
  • Number of stations: 59
  • Maximum train speed: 72 km / h
  • The Brussels metro is mostly underground.
  • Metro hours: approximately 05:30 to 00:05. The opening hours for different lines are different, and the working hours of the metro on weekends and weekdays are different.
  • Subway intervals: 5-20 minutes, depending on the time of day and day of the week. On weekdays during rush hours, the shortest intervals of rolling stock movement.
  • The entrance to the metro is through turnstiles. The travel ticket must applied to the red reader in front of the turnstiles.

Description of metro lines.

  • Line 1: Route from Gare de l’Ouest / Weststation to Stockel / Stokkel in the east of the city. The line automated, the control of rolling stock automatic without the participation of drivers.
  • Line 2: circular line with Simonis key station.
  • Line 5: from Erasme / Erasmus station to Herrmann-Debroux station. The line automated, the control of rolling stock is automatic without the participation of drivers.
  • Line 6 : Route from Roi Baudouin / Koning Boudewijn Station to Simonis.

Brussels tram

The Brussels tram system is an important part of Brussels public transport. It the 16th largest tram system in the world with a passenger turnover of more than 130 million people a year. It commissioned in the late 19th century (1869). The tram line is 141.1 km long. A number of stops: 291. Today the tram network consists of 17 routes that cover the entire city.

The Brussels tram system also has a number of interesting features, for example, some tram sections pass underground, and you can switch to the metro (pre- metro trams) , there are trams running along dedicated lanes.

Tram routes operated by rolling stock of various eras: from old PCC trams to modern low-floor Tram 4000, created on the Bombardier platform. There are 396 trams in total.

Tram stops have route numbers and timetables. Some stops equipped with an electronic scoreboard that displays the arrival time of the next tram. Entry and exit are carried out through any door; to open the door, you must press the button.

Tram timetable: from about 5:00 to 1:00, the working hours of each tram line are different; on weekends and holidays, the tram runs on a different schedule. Tram service intervals: 4 to 20 minutes.

Buses in Brussels

Brussels bus routes are laid out where there is no possibility to organize the movement of metro or trams. The bus route network launched in 1907 and today it consists of 50 day and 11-night routes. Daytime routes run from about 5 am to midnight with driving intervals of 10 to 30 minutes. Night buses operate on Fridays and Saturdays from 0:15 to 3:00 on the main routes at 30-minute intervals.

Bus stops, like tram stops, equipped with timetables and route numbers.

If you suddenly do not have a travel ticket, you can purchase one from the driver. However, you will not give change over 5 Euros.

Railway transport

Brussels one of the main railway hubs in Belgium, so it is not surprising that the city has at least 6 train stations. Brussel’s main railway station (Bruxelles-Central); Brussels South (Brussel-Zuid) and Brussels North (Brussel-Noord) are the main train stations of the capital.

High-speed international trains mainly arrive at the central station, because the station consists of only 3 platforms. The North Station is noticeably larger and has 12 platforms, from which both regional trains to the northern part of the country and some high-speed trains depart. The South Station also has 12 platforms from which both regional trains and international high-speed trains depart, for example TGV to Nice, Thalys to Paris, ICE to Frankfurt.

Train tickets and timetables can found on the official website of Belgian railways: Belgian rail.

Car rental in Brussels

Do you like independent travel and your Belgium itinerary goes beyond Brussels? Then you need a car. For example, by car, you can quickly visit key Belgian cities in 2-3 days: Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, the seaside resort of Ostend, Dinan, Leuven.

Car rental in Belgium will help you to save a lot on transport because trains and public transport in the country are quite expensive. The world’s major car rental companies operate in Belgium: Europcar, Alamo, Sixt, Avis. Their car rental prices can compare on the Rentalcars website, where you can also book a car. Rental prices start from € 15 per day for the simplest car with mechanics.

When renting a car, you will have typical expenses: fuel and parking. Petrol and diesel in Belgium cost € 1.39 on average. Paid parking in the city center will cost about € 2.6 per hour. Travel on roads in Belgium is free.

Taxi in Brussels

I think you don’t need to tell that taxi the most convenient mode of transport. But due to the high salaries in Belgium. It very expensive. These prices are valid for taxis in Brussels: boarding from 6:00 to 22:00 – € 2.40; from 22:00 to 6:00 – € 4.4; fare for 1 km – € 1.8 in the city, € 2.7 outside the city; waiting for time (idle in traffic jams) – € 30. When the vehicle moving at a speed below 20 km / h, € 0.5 per minute automatically added to the bill. Taxis can take at special stands and call by phone.

At a certain time, with a 100% guarantee, do you need to get to another city or airport? Then you can order a taxi transfer from a reliable company. The fare will fixed. The driver will meet you at the specified address at the appointed time and comfortably take you and your luggage.