Brussels metro is the most modern on the continent. Construction began in 1970 and the first line opened in 1976.
The Brussels metro is operated by the STIB, the Intercommunal Transport Company of Brussels.Currently, the subway system is composed of 6 different lines but actually they are four metro lines and two light rail (or trams), with 56 kms of tracks and 69 stops (including all subway and light rail).
Brussels Metro Lines
In the most central part of Brussels all lines go in pairs, ie, the same route is made by two different lines, so in the practice it is as if actually there are only three lines.
- Lines 1 and 5: run Brussels from east to west. Line 1 runs from Gare de l’Ouest station ( west of Brussels) to Stockel (at the eastern endl). Line 5 runs from Erasme (south-west of Brussels) to Herrmann-Debroux (south-east)
- Lines 2and 6: they are circular lines. Line 2 starts and ends at Simonis. Line 6 runs from Roi Baudouin / Koning Boudewijn (north-west Brussels) to Simonis.
- Lines 3 and 4: are tram lines.They run through the city via the north-south axis. Interesting to arrive from the train station Gare du Midi to downtown Brussels. Line 3 runs from Churchill (south of the city) to Esplanade in the north. Line 4 runs from Gare du Nord train station (in the north) to Stalle in the south.
Metro Opening Hours:
The subway schedule is:
From 05:30 a.m to 24:00. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the subway begins operating at 06:00 a.m in the morning. Some lines such as 3 and 4 begin to operate daily at 05:00 am.
The frequency is between 6 to 10 minutes during the day. Until 06:00 a.m and after 23:00 p.m frequency decreases to 20 minutes. Because as mentioned, the route of the lines is repeated the frequencies are reduced by half.
Fares and Tickets
All tickets we discussed here are valid for the metro, buses and trams.
Let´s see some fares:
- Single Ticket: 1,80€ (2€ with transshipment). This tickets are valid for an hour since they are validated. During that time, you can make line changes or conveyance.
- Return Ticket: 3,50€, (must return in the following 24 hours)
- 5 single tickets: 7,50€.
- 10 single tickets: 13.00€.
- 1 Day Pass: 6€, The validity is considered by complete day, not for 24-hour periods. That is, validating the ticket one day in the afternoon, that night expires. This ticket allows an unlimited number of journeys on the entire public transport network of trams, buses, trains and the underground within Brussels until the end of service (except for the NATO-Brussels Airport section of lines 12 and 21)
- Brussels Card is a tourist card that includes free access to over 30 museums and monuments and allows unlimited use of public transport in Brussels during its validity.
Maximum 4 children per adult travel for free. Every child under six can travel for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Each additional child pays for the journey.
Children aged 6-11 can travel for free at any time on the entire STIB network (except between NATO-Brussels Airport of lines 12 and 21) with the J-ticket. You only pay a refundable deposit of 5 euros.
Brussels Airport (Brussels International Airport) is in Zaventen, 14 kilometers from the city of Brussels.
To move from the Zaventem airport to the center of Brussels, the best option is to do it by train.
– Trains: From the airport train station (one level below the terminal) trains run every 10 minutes to Brussels Nord station, Brussels Midi and Brussels Sud. The first train leaves at 06:00 and the last one does at 00:00. The journey lasts between 15-20 minutes, depending on which station we head to. If we go to the center of Brussels the best is to go directly to Gare du Midi.
-Buses: Buses depart from the parking place in front of the Terminal (Level 0). They only stop in Brussels central station, Gare du Midi. From this station you can take the metro, tram or urban bus.They do not have intermediate stops and leave every 30 minutes.