Car hire in Brussels
Hiring a car in Brussels
Brussels is known as the adminstrative capital of the European Union and home to delicious waffles. It is also a fascinating city that has numerous attractions and an appealing culture.
Its streets bustle with a vibrant cafe and bar lifestyle, and its manages to balance the old and new to create a laidback, but intriguing location.
As well as the usual museums, Brussels has numerous art galleries, a botanic garden and a model village. It is also within easy reach of a number of other European cities - making it an ideal base for anyone wanting to explore more of the continent.
What you need to know
Belgium’s main airport is Brussels Airport (BRU). The transport hub is around 11km to the northeast of the city and handles around 23 million passengers each year.
If you are arriving on one of the many international or domestic flights, then it may make sense to collect your hire car directly from the airport - that way as soon as you have sorted out the paperwork you can start to explore.
Our booking engine will help you find the best price and you can pre-book your car hire needs well in advance of jetting off.
Where to pick up your car
If you have booked a car at Brussels Airport then you will find the car rental desks in the arrivals hall on the second floor - the area after customs and baggage collection. There are plenty of signs to help you find the correct part of the airport.
Alternatively, you can collect your hire car from a number of other locations across Brussels, with many of the major car suppliers having offices in the city, as well as pick-up points close to Gare du Midi railway station.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Brussels has a great number of attractions, with plenty of quaint shopping streets, restaurants serving a mix of local and international cuisine, as well as many historic buildings that celebrate the varied history of the region.
During the winter months, Brussels hosts a popular Christmas market that is ideal for quirky gifts and appeals to those looking for a festive city break.
During the summer, the area is transformed with the annual Ommegang pageant and the city’s Grand Place hosts a staggering flower display every other year. The so-called Carpet of Flowers event involves an area measuring 77m by 24m being covered in blooming begonias.
Although the city of Brussels is packed with numerous ways of being entertained, there is plenty to be discovered within a short distance.
Head to Ghent to explore a small but inviting town that is home to an antiques market and a cathedral with 22 altars.
Ghent can be found within an hour’s drive from Brussels along the E40. If you time it right, then you could be lucky enough to visit when the market is taking place in the Bij Sint-Jacobs square. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, a whole host of traders can be found selling all sorts of flea market goods.
You should also try to fit in a visit to St Bavo’s Cathedral, which as well as its numerous altars, is also home to a work by Rubens and a painting by Hubert and Jan van Eyck that dates back to 1432.
If you want to take a longer drive then Brussels is well placed as it is almost in the centre of Belgium - offering a good place if you want to explore the other cities in the European country, such as Antwerp, Bruges and Liege.
However, you could leave Belgium behind and opt for a road trip to another country. Paris, the capital of France, is just over three hours drive away via the E19 and A1, while the Dutch city of Maastricht is around 90 minutes drive to the east.
If you do plan to head-off to another location, you can always pre-arrange for your hire car drop-off point to be in another country to make travelling even easier.
Top attractions in Brussels
With numerous museums and art galleries, Brussels is the ideal destination for culture fans - especially as a long day sightseeing can be ended with a local beer and even some exquisite Belgian chocolates.
The Grand Place is the central square in Brussels and believes to date back to the 12th century. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and has been classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its architectural significance.
One of the most important buildings in the square is the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). Built in the 15th century, the building has been subjected to a number of bombardments, but some of the original structure still stands and it has undergone a number of restoration projects in recent times.
Art & Design Atomium Museum
The Art & Design Atomium Museum (ADAM) can be found in the Heysel Exhibition Park and is home to a strange, but engaging, collection of plastic objects.
Covering a period from 1960 to 2000, the 5000m2 space will appeal to anyone interested in vintage art and reflects the thriving modern art scene in Brussels.
As well as the permanent exhibition, ADAM also hosts regular temporary shows that highlight different artists and topics.
It is also possible to purchase a ticket to ADAM that includes a visit to the Atomium - one of the city’s most famous outdoor art pieces.
The Musee du Cinquantenaire
The Musee du Cinquantenaire is part of the Royal Museums for Art and History and is one of Europe’s largest museums.
Luckily, it is divided into separate areas to make it easier to navigate. The first section focuses on collections from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. There is even a large scale model of Rome during the 4th century.
The museum also houses a collection of non-European civilisation artefacts that focus on China, Japan, Korea, Oceania and the Americas.