Rent a Car at Brussels Airport
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.
Rent a Car in the Centre of Brussels
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.
Driving in Brussels
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).
Activities and Attractions in Brussels
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.