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    CHEAP CAR RENTAL IN BRUSSELS

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    Car rental in Brussels at the Best Prices

    Home to the European Union (EU) Commission, EU Council and EU Parliament, the city of Brussels plays an important role in European affairs. A multilingual city, its population exceeds over 1.8 million inhabitants. The city itself is a mixture of old and new, from its gothic style town hall to the royal palace and the modern Madou Plaza Tower. With a car rental from Brussels you can drive through the city and stop-off at key locations, such as the 1958 Expo area.

    Auto Europe has over 60 years’ experience in providing car rental worldwide. Having partnered with local, national and international car rental suppliers has allowed us to provide great quotes, with a large car fleet to choose from. Along with our exceptional car hire offers, we also provide luxury car hire and modern motorhome rentals. With our excellent customer service department, you’ll always feel supported during and after your booking. Contact our reservations team to find out more.

    How is the traffic in Brussels?

    Driving in Brussels is similar to most European cities, with heavy traffic during rush hour and Saturday nights. The presence of a tram network doesn’t help either, sometimes restricting the free flow of traffic. Central Brussels sees the most traffic congestion, with its narrow roads and one-way streets; it simply was not designed for lots of vehicles. Areas around transport hubs and main interchanges also experience some congestion issues. If venturing out of Brussels, then congestion eases off considerably. These following road rules and regulations should be kept in mind when visiting:

    • You drive on the right and overtake on the left
    • Seatbelts must be warn at all times
    • Children must have an appropriate car seat
    • Mobile phone usage is only allowed with a hands-free kit
    • A valid driving licence, vehicle documents and insurance details must be carried
    • In general, petrol stations are open from 08:00 until 20:00, occasionally you will come across a 24hr petrol station
    • You must be 18 years old to drive. Car rental suppliers may impose their own age restrictions.

    Where can I park my car rental in Brussels?

    Similar to other city centres, parking in downtown Brussels can often be a headache. Available parking bays are difficult to come by, plus are not free of charge. In general, you are charged for on-street parking from 08:00 until 18:00, Monday to Saturday, whilst on Sunday’s it is free. In the busier shopping districts you might also be restricted to parking for a maximum of two hours.

    Alternative parking arrangements are available, for example, parking on the outskirts or in one of the Park & Ride car parks. Although these options sound good, in reality you should think twice about these types of parking. It is often the case that when you park on the outskirts or even in a Park & Ride car park, foreign plated or obvious hire car vehicles are broken into and its possessions stolen. Park & Ride car parks are not monitored and have no security presence.

    Ideally, your best option for parking in Brussels would be to find an official car park garage - for example, Moby Park and Be Park – both of which provide secure parking alternatives. Moby Park operates the Brussels city centre car parking garage, which although costly is very convenient for visiting the city and its numerous attractions.

    Brussels Airport

    With around 25 million passengers passing through its terminal, Brussels International Airport is ranked as the 24th busiest European airport. The airport is only 12 km northeast of Brussels city and consists of one main terminal. The airport hosts numerous airline carriers, being the hub for TUI fly and Brussels Airlines. With over 200 European routes, international destinations also exist to America, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

    Brussels Airport (BRU)
    Address: A201, 1930 Zaventem, Belgium
    Website: Brussels Airport
    Telephone: +32 2753 7753

    What to do in Brussels

    The Belgium capital of Brussels is a vibrant and lively place to visit. If you’re looking for a history, culture and entertainment, then this city won’t disappoint. From the 1958 World Fair Exhibition to tasty Waffle Workshops, Brussels will keep you busy. If you’re short for time, consider an open-top bus tour, it’ll take you to several of the city’s main monuments and attractions. These are our recommendations for when you visit Brussels:

    • Mini Europe: If you’re curious about what Europe as a whole has to offer, then head over to Mini Europe, a miniature world created to represent each corner of this historically and culturally rich continent. With over 350 European monuments, figurines and mini trees, relive the animated launch of the Ariane rocket or the eruption of Vesuvius. The whole tour will take you around two hours – a great way to discover the architectural wealth of all EU member states.

    • Atomium: Built for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium monument is one of Brussels main tourist attractions. The monument represents an iron crystal mesh enlarged 165 billion times and was designed by André Waterkeyn, André and Jean Polak. The monument rises up 102 m and is constructed of stainless steel. Inside you will find several exhibit halls, public spaces and a restaurant with views over Brussels.

    • Grand Place: The Grand Place is located right in the heart of Brussels city centre. It is considered by many as one of the most striking European medieval squares – with many of its buildings dating back to the 17th Century. The square itself has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, and features prominent buildings such as the 1402 Town Hall. This is the perfect location to spend a morning, have breakfast in one of its many bars, restaurants and coffee houses. A great place to also pick-up a waffle or savour some Belgium beer.

    • Brussels Waffle Workshop: Brussels is world renowned for waffles; the sheer variety on offer in terms of toppings will leave you craving for more. That’s why a visit to a Waffle Workshop is the perfect solution to keep those cravings at bay. During this mouth-watering adventure, you’ll prepare the dough, bake it and then add wonderful toppings such as chocolate, cream and fruits. All ingredients and cookware are provided, along with a complimentary drink whilst you enjoy your waffle.

    • Brussels Beer Experience Tour: Another of Belgium’s most popular exports is beer – but what is Belgium’s best beer? This Beer Tour helps you on your way to answering this question. An hour long introduction to premium Belgian beer will leave you knowing everything you needed to know. From the fermentation process to what makes these beers unique - at the end you’ll even get to taste five of Belgium’s best beers before setting off on a guided pub tour of Brussels.

    Best day trips with my car hire in Brussels

    Once you have seen and done everything that Brussels has to offer, consider taking your car rental from Brussels further out into the Belgian countryside. Belgium itself is a small nation, which makes it perfect for exploring with minimum time on the road. It is also surrounded by numerous other interesting countries, such as France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany. Inside Belgium itself though, there are multiple wonderful towns to discover, with these being our top four.

    Ghent: The city of Ghent is simply magical and a must visit when in Brussels. Only 40 minutes car drive away, Ghent is renowned for its medieval beauty and rich culture. Regarded as a university town, Ghent is extremely popular with students and tourists. It is also located on two rivers, meaning that a canal ride is another great way to explore the city. Through its narrow alleyways you’ll come across quaint pubs, lively bars, relaxing coffee houses and enticing restaurants.

    Bruges: Another magical town to visit whilst in Belgium is Bruges. The city is located only an hour from Brussels by car, which makes it the perfect place for a day trip. Bruges is a medieval town, packed full with exquisite bars, restaurants and magnificent Flemish architecture. Popular amongst tourists, this fairy-tale town oozes romantic charm. We also recommend a visit to the town’s marketplace for some remarkable local food – and waffles.

    Antwerp: Located only 45 minutes by car from Brussels, is Belgium’s second largest city - Antwerp. This port city lies on the banks of the river Scheldt and can trace its history back to the middle ages. The port has always been an important commercial centre for Belgium, thriving due to its diamond related trade, merchants and guilds. Nowadays, Antwerp still holds an important role in Belgium’s commerce, attracting tourists and business people throughout the year.

    Ypres: Ypres is a culturally significant city and one well worth a visit for historians. The original city was totally destroyed, with around 500,000 souls killed during the First World War. From 1914 to 1919 the three Battles of Ypres took place and it wasn’t until 1921 that the city started to be restored. During this time numerous residents lived in wooden houses with thatched roofs. Visiting this city is a true realisation of the horrors of war, but a must for anyone interested in learning what happened during this period.

    Geographic Information & History

    Ypres is a culturally significant city and one well worth a visit for historians. The original city was totally destroyed, with around 500,000 souls killed during the First World War. From 1914 to 1919 the three Battles of Ypres took place and it wasn’t until 1921 that the city started to be restored. During this time numerous residents lived in wooden houses with thatched roofs. Visiting this city is a true realisation of the horrors of war, but a must for anyone interested in learning what happened during this period.

    Brussels has an oceanic climate due to its close proximity to the sea. Atlantic Ocean air together with nearby wetlands, guarantee a wet maritime climate. With an average of 200 rainy days per year, Brussels is one of the wettest cities in Europe. Although snow is possible, it is not very frequent. During the summer you can expect temperatures as high as 23ºC, whilst during the winter as low as 7ºC. The region is also subjected to numerous thunderstorms through the year.

    Brussels can trace its origins back to a chapel that was built in 580 AD on an island located on the river Senne. The city itself though was officially founded in 979 AD by Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia, with the construction of a fortification. The population swiftly grew, with many additional buildings being built, including a cathedral in 1225. The city was part of the Holy Roman Empire, with city walls being erected in the 13th Century.

    During the 17th Century, Brussels main industry was lace, until it was captured by France in 1746. A few years later the city was handed over to Austria - who held onto it until once again France took over. With the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo, French rule over Brussels ended in 1815. In 1830 a Belgian revolution took place with the city becoming the capital of Brabant. King Leopold I, regarded as the first King of Belgium, rose to the throne in 1831 and set upon building the city’s defences and infrastructure.

    The city became a financial hub with the industrial revolution bringing with it numerous companies and in turn increasing commerce and manufacturing. The period between 1834 and 1835 saw much progress, with the Free University of Brussels, Saint-Louis University and the first passenger railway on continental Europe being constructed. The 19th Century saw the city’s population increase to over 625,000 inhabitants.

    After the two world wars, in which Belgium and Brussels suffered considerably, the city underwent a major modernisation effort, with the railways, metro and other infrastructures being added. In the 1960s, Brussels became the de facto capital city of the European Union, with many EU administrative buildings being constructed there. Nowadays, Brussels is an important European centre, hosting the G7 Summit and being named the European Capital of Culture.

    How to get around Brussels

    The city has a modern and well integrated public transport network consisting of buses, trains, trams and a metro system. The network is relatively inexpensive to use, and will effortlessly transport you across the capital to many of its main tourist attractions. The local bus service and taxis are able to take you into the suburbs easily and efficiently. International connections are also available to London, Paris and other European capitals.

    Bus

    Brussels bus network covers around 360 km by day, reducing to 112 km during the night. The service is provided throughout all 19 municipalities. In operation since 1907, the system is modern and well maintained, providing a convenient way to get through the city and into its surrounding suburbs. Buses are run by Flemish (De Lijn) and Walloon (TEC), helping tourists and commuters alike get to their destinations.

    Waterbus

    The Brussels waterbus is essentially a ferry that connects Brussels, Vilvoorde and Van Praet. It forms part of the public transport network and is a stress-free alternative to other more popular transport options. Waterbuses run from the 1st May until 31st October, and provide great interchange options with Brussels trams, buses and the metro system. The waterbus provides easy access to the city’s shopping district, residential areas and numerous tourist attractions.

    Trams

    The Brussels tram system has existed since 1869. Similar to many other European cities, it is the oldest form of public transport in the city. It has been operated by STIB since 1954. From its hay day, of 246 km tram lines to a mere 131 km, the tram network has recently seen a surge in popularity, prompting the existing lines to be increased to 133 km in 2008. Trams are relatively inexpensive and a great way to get around – ideal around the city centre.

    Train

    With a total of eight passenger train lines, Infrabel Railways provides commuter services from the suburbs into the city centre. The combined eight train lines consist of twenty nine train stations within Brussels alone, many of which allow for seamless transitions onto the bus, tram and metro networks. The Brussels South Railway Station is a major international train hub providing high-speed connections throughout Europe. From this station the Eurostar, TGV, ICE and Thalys trains connect you to London, Paris and beyond.

    Taxis

    Official city taxis are black in colour with a checkered yellow stripe on either side. In addition, they display a taxi sign upon their roof and are always metered. Meters are started when you commence your journey until its completion, with a receipt being provided at the end. Only taxis with the official Brussels taxi sign are licensed to carry you. They can pre-booked or boarded at one of the city’s numerous taxi ranks. Although a service charge is included in the price, it is still customary to give a small tip.

    Metro

    The metro runs from 06:00 until midnight daily, linking eastern and western parts of Brussels. The system currently consists of metro lines, as well as, previously used tram lines. Connections are available from the metro to the bus, waterbus, tram and other ground transport systems. Tickets can be purchased at a relevant ticket machine, a STIB ticket office or at an official newsagent. The metro network has been in operation since 1976 and presently consists of four lines and sixty stations.

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