Airport Guide: Brussels

Brussels Airport Guide

Brussels Airport, sometimes called Brussels-National or Zaventem, is the largest airport that serves Brussels, the capital of Belgium, as well as being the biggest in the country. With Belgium being so central in Europe, the airport’s location is ideal for onward travel elsewhere in the continent, as well as providing long-haul routes internationally. Find out everything you need to know before you go in our Brussels Airport guide!

Brussels Airport shouldn’t be mistaken for Brussels South Charleroi Airport, the other airport that serves the city of Brussels. Charleroi has increased passenger traffic with the rise of budget airlines. Still, it is Brussels Airport that is where most people fly to or from. Brussels Airlines, the flag carrier of Belgium and Star Alliance member, has the airport as its home base providing flights to many global destinations.

The airport is 7.5km northeast of the city of Brussels itself and has excellent transport links into the city. It has a single terminal design allowing quick Schengen transfers if travellers are just connecting at the airport too. Despite only being the 24th busiest airport in Europe, Brussels Airport punches above its weight for passengers that fly through it.

Brussels Airport At-a-glance

Official Website:

Airport Code: BRU

Terminals: 1

Address: Leopoldlaan,
1930 Zaventem,

Gate Checker: – Enter your flight number or choose it from the search results list to see full details

Terminal Checker: The airport has a single terminal, but two concourses. Schengen flights depart from Concourse A (plus Brussels Airlines flights to Africa & New York), non-Schengen flights depart from Concourse B

Contact Number: +32 2753 7753

Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October

Lost Property Contact:

Map: The official website has no single page map and instead has separate isometric maps for each area:

Arrival Hall
Baggage Reclaim
Departures Floor
Departure Gates
Departure Shops

WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. The network name is ‘Brussels Airport free Wi-Fi’. 

Apps: Brussels Airport has a free app available on both Android and iOS.

Brussels Airport Facilities

Brussels Airport offers pretty much everything that a passenger would need when travelling. The design of the airport is as such that there are two airside (i.e. after security) zones split into Schengen area and non-Schengen area depending on the destination of the flight. As such, some shops and restaurants won’t be available to all passengers, but the airport caters well enough for all regardless of the concourse they are in. ATM’s, currency conversion, free WiFi access, luggage wrapping, free luggage trolleys (sadly not always the case in other airports these days), a children’s play area, a 24-hr Starbucks, water fountains, multi-faith rooms, and mobile device charging are all available. 

Brussels Airport Guide - Interior

For a business traveller, those in a rush, or perhaps just looking for a quicker airport experience, Brussels Airport does offer a FastLane service to halve the time it takes to make it through security. Each ‘ticket’ costs €11 and is simply a QR code shown to security personnel on the passenger’s phone allowing them access to the shorter queue.

Sleeping options aren’t exactly plentiful on the airport grounds with Sheraton providing the only on-premise sleeping option unless passengers are okay with sleeping on departure lounge chairs. There are no futuristic sleep pods or dedicated ‘pod’ hotels at Brussels Airport. The Sheraton Hotel’s website stated their building is ‘Perfectly situated within 39 steps of the terminal’ so is the only choice for travellers looking for the nearest option.

However, rival hotel chains are available a little further away. Novotel, Ibis Budget, Crowne Plaza, Hotel NH, and more are a short distance away. Many offer a free shuttle bus to and from the airport. A more extensive list is available on the Brussels Airport official website. If looking for a room nearby, it is best to check the best rates on or and search for Brussels airport.

Shower facilities are not freely available for travellers. Instead, lounge access is required. ‘The Loft’ lounge, a Brussels Airlines lounge is the option for Schengen passengers flying from Pier A. For passengers departing to a non-Schengen location in Pier B the ‘Diamond Lounge’ is the sole lounge with shower facilities. There are not any showers available landside (i.e. before security) so freshening up is reserved only for those flying out of Brussels Airport.

Luggage storage is possible for an unlimited time in the lockers on the ground floor of the airport (the level with buses and taxis). There is no price structure for luggage size, and each item incurs a €10 charge for every 24 hours of storage required. Instead, cheaper rates are available when storing more luggage with the fourth item being €2.50 per 24 hours instead. Passengers should note that credit/debit card is the only way to pay for luggage storage. If an oversized item is required to be stored, passengers must use the free phone situated at the luggage lockers or call +32 2 753 3013 to arrange storage.

Baggage Sign

Brussels Airport Terminal Layout

Although Brussels Airport uses a single terminal design, there is still a logical split of the airport into two terminals depending on where the destination airport is. The airport has two ‘piers’ or concourses for the gates. All Schengen destinations will depart from the newer Pier A, as well as Brussels Airlines flights to Africa & New York. All other non-Schengen destinations depart from Pier B.

The airport’s five levels each generally serve a specific purpose. Level -1 is where the train station is. Level 0, the ground floor, is for road connections. Level 1 homes the check-in desks, level 2, the departure gates, and level 3 is for arrivals.

There is also officially a Pier C, but its only use is for cargo and non-commercial flights.

Pier A

When passing through security, the A gates are to the left. Travellers will find most of the retail and eating services closes to the security checkpoint. Gates A20-39 are down the escalators in this area while the elevators up to the lounges are also situated here. Gates A40-A59 are down the concourse for Schengen flights. Non-Schengen flights depart at the end of the pier and past immigration. There is a limited amount of amenities at this end of Pier A so passengers should be sure to have stocked up before passing through border control. The exception to this is passengers who can utilise the ‘Sunrise Lounge’ by Brussels Airlines which is only accessible to those travelling to a non-Schengen destination from Pier A. 

Pier B

Pier B is to the right when exiting security. Unlike Pier A, all flights in Pier B are non-Schengen, so the entire concourse is available for passengers to access once they are clear of passport control. Again, all retail and eating options are situated nearby to the security checkpoints while the gates are further down the pier. Access to the lounges is up the elevator nearby gates B4 and B17. Gates B18-B25 are shuttle gates with boarding done by bus. Access to these is by an escalator halfway down the pier. 

Brussels Airport Connections

Brussels Airport is 12km away from the city centre of Brussels. It offers several different modes of transport for travellers to reach the city. There is even a bicycle path allowing pedestrians and cyclists a route to the airport from the Brussels-Leuven ‘Bike Highway’. Although already well connected to the city itself, Brussels Airport will allow even more transport options soon with the opening of a tram line too.

Bus: Four bus companies operate at Brussels Airport, with local, regional, and international travel routes, as well as hotel shuttles. De Lijn buses provide services to the local area and into Brussels city from as little as €1.80 depending on where your final stop is. The company has an app where tickets may be purchased. For an express service, the STIB-MIVB Airport Line offers a 30-minute journey to the European District from €7 for tickets purchased before boarding.

For longer distances, Flixbus and BlaBlaBus have bus services to other Belgian cities, as well as internationally to France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Check their websites for further information.

Train: The quickest way to reach the centre of Brussels city from the airport is via train. The SNCB, the national rail company of Belgium, operates train services to the main train stations of Brussels allowing onward travel nationally and internationally. It takes just 17 minutes to reach Brussels Central with trains departing every 10 minutes or so during the day. Train ticket costs can vary, but travellers can expect to pay at least €9 for a single journey. It is best to check the website and input the desired route to get an idea of cost.

Car: Five of the major players in car rental operate out of Brussels Airport. Travellers looking for a vehicle to rent when arriving at the airport will find the rental desks in the arrivals hall. Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt are the companies which have a presence. There is an on-site petrol station on the approach to Brussels Airport allowing a last-minute fill-up of fuel when passengers are looking to return the car. However, prices may be lower when opting to use a petrol station in the city. The airport is within close proximity of the Brussels Ring Road which links to the major highways of Belgium.

Taxi: All road transport, including taxis, is on the ground floor. Follow the clearly marked signs for taxis when leaving the arrivals hall and the taxi rank will be found on the road in front. It will cost approximately €45 for a journey into central Brussels with a journey time of 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic conditions. All taxis run by meter. A blue and yellow taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle indicated which are officially licenced.


Passengers who are flying on a ticket that was issued directly by an airline or travel agency will have any connection time already accounted for and should not worry about transfer time. If a flight had a delay and arrived late, the airline is obliged to provide alternative transport options. However, if a passenger is ‘self-transferring’ due to travelling on two (or more) separate flight tickets, they should allow more time to connect. 

Officially, the minimum connection time at Brussels Airport is 55 minutes. Passengers can complete all standard transfers airside (i.e. after security) and walk between gates with the single building design.

If transferring on the same ticket, simply follow directions for transfers when disembarking. Travellers who are self-transferring and are travelling with no checked baggage can also follow these signs. If self-transferring with checked luggage, then doubling this time to around 2 hours should be done to allow baggage claim, checking in, and possibly passport control depending on your origin or destination airport. If you instead have a long layover and want an idea of things to do, our Long Layover Guide will give you lots of options!

Brussels Airport Lounges

EU Parliament

With Brussels being the home of the European Union as well as NATO, it should come as no surprise that the airport looks after business travellers well with a decent selection of lounges for an airport relatively small in size compared with others in Europe.

All conventional lounges are airside (i.e. after security). However, the Regus lounge which targets business travellers looking for office facilities is available before security and is accessible without a plane ticket.

Pier A Lounges

Diamond Lounge
Located up the escalators opposite Gate A42 on level 2

The Loft by Brussels Airlines (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located up the escalators opposite Gate A42 on level 2

Brussels Airlines Sunrise Lounge (for Non-Schengen flights only)
Located near Gate A72

Pier B Lounges

Diamond Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located up the elevator opposite Gate B1/stairs at Gate B4

British Airways Galleries Club Lounge
Located up the elevator opposite Gate B1/stairs at Gate B4

The Suite by Brussels Airlines
Located up the elevator opposite Gate B1/stairs at Gate B4

Landside Lounges

Regus Business Lounge
Located on the fourth floor of the departure hall

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