Explore Brussels with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Brussels is an historic city with a selection of fascinating museums to visit, including the Musée du Cinquantenaire, featuring interesting historical artefacts from various eras and parts of the world, and the Musée des Sciences Naturelles, where you can see a family of fossilised iguanodons that was found in a coalmine after being covered by a mudslide and preserved. If you rent a car in Brussels, you'll also be able to enjoy a wealth of charming cafés and classic architecture that can be found around the city.
You can get to Brussels by flying into Brussels Airport, which is less than half an hour's drive from the city centre. Leuven is under 40 minutes away in a Brussels rental car. If you're into modern art, you'll enjoy a visit to M - Museum Leuven. Or if nature is more your thing, you might prefer to visit Kruidtuin, a botanical garden that showcases a range of indigenous and tropical plants.
Antwerp, around 55 minutes' drive from Brussels, is home to several museums that are as interesting for the buildings that house them as their contents. A Brussels hire car will allow you to take in the Plantin-Moretus Museum of printing, located in a 16th century house, and the Museum aan de Stroom, where you can learn about Antwerp's history in the setting of a building with ultra-modern design features. For a more active family day trip, Wavre is just under 40 minutes from Brussels, offering amusement and adventure parks including the Aqualibi water park and Walibi Belgium, where you can enjoy a selection of theme park rides.
Be aware that parking your Brussels rental car can be challenging at times, because on-street parking is limited and mainly reserved for residents. There are some car parks in the city centre that you can use though, and there are plenty of hotels that offer parking. You can rent a car from Brussels Airport or a selection of locations in the city centre.
If you want to rent a car in Brussels, the following companies are available:
Ghent is just under an hour's drive when you hire a car in Brussels. If you're a fan of architecture, Ghent offers a number of stunning churches and castles to feast your eyes on. The pick of the bunch is probably Gravensteen, a well-preserved 10th century castle that offers panoramic views of the city.
Drive on the right-hand side of the road in Belgium, and overtake on the left. The speed limit is 75mph on motorways. The driver is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt while travelling.
To start organising your trip to Brussels and other parts of Belgium, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
The airport serving Brussels is located in Zaventem, just outside of the Brussels-Capital Region (which comprises 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels). Passengers coming into the city via this airport will find it easy to pick up a car here; several agencies operate out of this travel hub, including Europcar and Sixt (you can browse the selection of agencies using the Expedia search tool). From the airport, the centre of Brussels can be reached in around 30 minutes by car.
If you are arriving in the city by train or bus, or you would simply rather pick up a vehicle in the city, rest assured that you’ll find plenty of hire agencies in the centre. Car hire companies such as Europcar, Thrifty and Sixt have branches dotted across the region, with most located in or just outside the City of Brussels. You’ll find a particular concentration of rental agencies next to the Brussels-South train station, which is also referred to as Midi-Zuid or Bruxelles-Midi.
You’ll find that Brussels has a superb public transport system in place. Hiring your own vehicle, though, will you that extra bit of flexibility to explore the city and the surrounding region in a way that suits your interests and budget. Regarding parking, you can make life more straightforward for yourself by booking accommodation that has parking available, or, if not that, you can familiarise yourself with parking on the outskirts instead of searching for a parking space.
It’s also useful to know that the Brussels region is ringed by three major motorways, which offer convenient connections to neighbouring towns and cities. If you have your own rental vehicle, you can head out of the city for day trips to Antwerp (1 hour north), Ghent (1 hour northwest), and Mons (1 hour 20 minutes south).
For many tourists, the historic centre of the City of Brussels is the main attraction. Here you’ll find the cobblestoned Grand Place, the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Magritte Museum, and beautiful Brussels Park.
Naturally, you can make the most of your hire vehicle to tour different areas of the region. There’s the bohemian quarter of Saint-Gilles, famous for its Art Nouveau buildings; affluent Uccle, which boasts plenty of green spaces; and Anderlecht, the home of the successful Belgian football team. Drive north from the centre and you’ll also find a water park, Océade, and Mini-Europe, an amusement park which has recreated European monuments in miniature form. Both attractions are perfect for families travelling with children.