How to get to Brussels
There are excellent train connections to Brussels with Eurostar and Thalys from across the border: from London 2 hours, from Paris 1h15, from Köln 1h45! Check the B-Europe website or capitainetrain.com and book as early as possible for cheap fares. The main train station is Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel Zuid from which several metro, tram and bus lines bring anywhere in the city. Some international trains also stop at Bruxelles-Nord.
Eurolines, IDBUS and Megabus have busses coming to Brussels from all around Europe. Busses are cheaper than trains, but also slower. Most international bus lines stop at Brussels-Nord train station.
Belgium has two main airports. Brussels "National" Airport, the main airport, is located in Zaventem, quite close to Brussels. Charleroi Airport (aka "Brussels South"), 50km south of the city, is mainly used by budget airlines like Ryanair, Wizzair and Jetairfly.
- From Brussels National Airport you can get to Brussels centre by train in mere 20 minutes. Trains are running nearly every 20 minutes. Inside the airport, make your way to the train station on level -1. Buy a ticket to Brussels for around 9 euros at a vending machine. Brussels has several train stations, the most central one is called Brussel-Centraal/Bruxelles-Central. Brussel Zuid/ Bruxelles Midi is also really convenient.
- You can also come to Brussels by bus, especially if you are staying around the European neighborhood. The bus stop is located at the ground floor. Look for STIB/MIVB bus, line 21 or 12.
Charleroi Airport (Brussels South)
There are several options to get from Charleroi Airport to Brussels:
- You can take a shuttle bus that takes you directly to Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid train station. From there you have access to metro, train or bus. The journey takes about 50min. Busses are leaving every 30 minutes. Prices are around 17 euros. It's a bit cheaper if you buy your ticket in advance on the website. All info click here.
- You can also take the bus that goes to the Charleroi-Sud train station and take a train to Brussels from there. The bus to the train station is a TEC bus, line A, it costs 5 euro and takes about 20 min. There are about 2 trains per hour, that take 54min. and a single fare costs about 9.40 euro.
- Obviously there is also a way to get a taxi but that will cost you quite a bit. However, there are usually taxi drivers with 9 seater mini-vans which offer a ride to Brussels-South train station for 15 euros per person (provided that the taxi gets filled up). The taxi is substantially faster than the bus.
Here's the link to the 'access' tab of the Charleroi airport.
Getting around in Brussels
Brussels is best experienced by foot, but you can easily take a bus, tram, metro or grab a Villo bike! The best way to plan your itinerary is Google Maps, covering and combining the public transportation services provided by Brussels Region (STIB/MIVB), Flanders (De Lijn) and Wallonia (TEC).
Visit www.google.be/maps or download the App.
Metro, Bus, Tram
A single ticket is between 2,10€ and 2,50€: buy it before getting on the vehicle for the cheapest fare. A "Jump" ticket for 5 or 10 trips will cost you respectively 1,60€ or 1,40€ per trip and it can be shared between people, but you first need to buy a MOBIB card that costs 5 euros and that you can recharge as often as you want. The ticket is valid for 1 hour with connections between all transportation companies within Brussels City/Region limit (STIB/ MIVB, De lijn, TEC and SCNB/NMBS).
Night busses ("Noctis") run on Friday and Saturday night from 12:00am to 3:00am: departures are every 30 minutes and day fares apply. They all start/go to the city center in a radial manner.
Visit www.stib-mivb.be or download the App.
You can rent a "Villo" bike all over the city. The bike rental system is similar to Paris or London. But be aware that Brussels is quite hilly in the Eastern neighborhoods!
Subscription fees vary from 1,60€ for a day to 7,65€ for a week. The first 30 minutes of use of an unlimited number of rentals are for free: past the 30mins, a fee is charged. The idea is to use the bike for a short trip and return it to a station when you have reached your destination. You could of course keep the bike for the whole day, but then it's getting quite expensive!
Villo docking stations are located all over town, so it's likely you will find a station near you. Renting a bike for the first time will require a docking station with a bank card reader, you can drop it off at any station afterwards.
To find out whether a docking station has a card reader or available bikes, visit en.villo.be or download the App. We highly recommend you to download the App as it helps you locating the docking stations and checking the availability of bikes.
For an individual taxi, call Taxi Bleu at +32 2 268 00 00 or Taxi Vert at +32 2 349 49 49. Taxis in Brussels are not cheap, but if you share it with your fellow dancers, it's the best option to get around during the night.
Shared taxis called "Collecto" drive every night between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. It picks you up at a predefined pickup points (basically all bus stops and some other places) and drops you off at your destination in Brussels, for 6€ per person. Pick-ups are possible every 30mins at every full or half hour (e.g. 1:00 am or 1:30 am). Reserve least 20 minutes beforehand by phone on +32 2 800 36 36. Be at the stop on time, the taxi arrives 10min after the agreed time at the latest. Inforrmation in French and in Dutch.
Use-it has some great maps with tips for young travellers. Here you find the one for Brussels.
Where to Sleep
You would love to make this a true exchange, so you wouldn't mind crashing on a spare sofa or bed and meet local lindy hoppers? Tick the appropriate boxes in the registration form and we'll try to find you a spot! If you have any question, contact email@example.com
Alternatively, check out Brussels' youth hostels (Sleep Well Youth Hostel and the Gîte-auberge J.Brel are recommended in terms of location, close to downtown) or other hostels (those close to Saint Catherine are well located), Bed & Breakfast or AirBnB.
And hotels? Well, a very nice Art Deco hotel is le Berger (rue du Berger 24, 1050 Ixelles), a bit expensive though. Closer to the Saturday party location in the Saint Gilles neighborhood is the modern Pantone hotel and the charming little Bluets. Also keep in mind that many business oriented hotels situated in the European neighborhood (which isn't that beautiful but conveniently located) often offer very low rates on week-ends.
Sleep tight! ;-)