We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bruxelles Tram?

Which Brussels hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Cambridge, ON
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Bruxelles Tram?

Hello, I am looking for the most pain-free way to get from Bruxelles Midi (Coming from London via St Pancras on the Eurostar) to the station "De Brouckère". I've noticed there are many options, such as:

Tram 55

Tram 4

Are both of these lines above ground or below ground? More importantly, which one would be easier to get to with plenty of luggage?

Secondly, I've noticed the negative impression about the presence of muggers and thieves at Gare Midi. Has any progress been made to stop such acts? How would Bruxelles Midi compare to a station such as Paris Nord in terms of these types of crimes. Due to the recent posts, I've become deeply concerned and will want to spend the less time at Gare Midi, and thus I ask which tram is easier to board and get away from the potential trouble spots.

Many Thanks

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
31,616 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Brussels' Gare du Midi has much the same reputation as Paris' Gare du Nord, but I use it regularly without incident so it's not as if there's a crime a minute! The only direct route from Midi to De Brouckère is by underground tram (pre-metro), although I have to warn you this is NOT a convenient option if you really do have a lot of luggage: virtually all trams on that line are still of the old variety with narrow entrances, several steps up and nowhere to put luggage when you've lifted it up there. Anyway, if you want to go that way, you just follow M signs to the metro (you can buy tickets at the metro ticket office) and from that level, to trams 4, 25, 55, 56 in the direction Gare du Nord.

The metro itself is a less direct, but possibly easier alternative; you would take direction Simonis and change at Arts-Loi to direction Heysel/Erasme, it's 3 stops from there. If by any chance you are staying at the Metropole (the only hotel actually by De Brouckère) you can then take the underground walkway, which is also signposted for the connection to the trams. If you are staying anywhere else you'll have a bit of a hike.

Portland, Oregon USA
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

As mentioned above, the trams are very narrow and often very crowded. The Metro is wider and more easily accessible for someone with bulky luggage.

The distance from the Midi station to the Brouckere station is not all that great, treat yourself to a taxi and have your first impression of Brussels be a good one.

Cambridge, ON
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Thankyou. I never thought about the tram being narrow but now that I think about it, it does make sense. There will be four of us traveling which I suppose further punctuates the (real) metro option which I believe I will take based on your advice. The metro trains do seem to be wider and more hospital.

Seeing how there are four people (each with luggage), would you recommend a bus service? I won't be in Brussels long, just for that night, and actually I'll be going back to the same hotel (Novotel Bruxelles Tour Noire) in a week, as Bruxelles will sort of be a transfer city.

And one more thing. I'm not fully aware of how the Eurostar Ticketing "Any Belgian Station" works. Does this mean that I can use the Eurostar ticket (or Thalys ticket coming back) freely on metro services? If so, could I get away with not having to buy any one of those "strip" tickets, just using either a Thalys or Eurostar ticket all the time since I'll be arrive in Bruxelles one day and leaving the very next?

As for taxi, I'm also considering that option due to the number of people in my party. I'm not aware of how taxis in Bruxelles work, do they have surcharges for additional passengers and luggage? Any idea how much it will cost.. say 30EUR?

Many thanks for helping me avoid a potential headache

Level Contributor
566 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Hi,

The "Any Belgian Station" extension refers to TRAIN stations and not for metro/buses. For public transportation in Bruxelles you'll need a ticket/pass. See the options on http://www.stib.be – I believe that a one day "JUMP card" will suit you best.

Cambridge, ON
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Thanks for clarifying how the "ABS" works. I'll definitely get the Jump Card, it looks quite good. But I notice that it says "24hrs", does that begin as soon as it is first used? Or does it expire when the day of purchase does?

Finally, if I could just tack this question on. Is the Novotel Bruxelles Tour Noire within walking distance of the Grand Place? Within walking distance to me is about 15 mins walk. It appears to be about 1km in distance, but I'm not sure the length of time it will take in a practical sense.

Thank You

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
31,616 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

I'm not sure I understand "punctuates" in this context but if you are staying at the Novotel Tour Noire I would definitely recommend the metro, and would also recommend you to get off at Ste. Catherine rather than De Brouckère (i.e. next stop). The hotel is about equidistant between the 2 but I think you will find it more easily from Ste. Catherine. When you get to that stop, take the escalator at the end of the platform in the direction your metro has just come from, i.e. walking away from the engine towards the rear of the train: when you come out, walk straight ahead towards the big church and you will see your hotel on the left.

As I already said, tram and metro are your only options for getting from Midi to De Brouckère (and the same goes for Ste. Catherine), there are no buses on that route and in any case apart from the airport bus these are not designed to carry 4 large suitcases at a time.

A taxi from the station to your hotel should not cost more than about €10 (per taxi) but if you are that laden down you will need 2 of them.

As far as I know, STIB (Brussels public transport) day cards are per calendar day, not per 24 hour period, so only get one on a day in which you will be taking more than 3 or 4 journeys. Since there are 4 of you, if you will be taking public transport on your first day you can buy a 10-trip card (€11): it's not nominative so you just punch it 4 times in the orange machine for 4 journeys.

It should take you no more than 15 minutes to walk from the Novotel Tour Noire to the Grand' Place. Otherwise one stop on the underground tram from De Brouckère, to Bourse (stock exchange), then walk behind the Bourse building.

Cambridge, ON
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Ok. I believe that I will use the metro station Ste. Catherine if it is the easier walk. On the first day, we arrive quite late so I may just try and squeeze into a taxi to the hotel and then walk to Grand' Place for dinner and get the metro day card for the next day.

Many Thanks

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
31,616 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Don't go to the Grand' Place for dinner! The area near your hotel is is full of restaurants around Place Ste. Catherine and the former fish market (Quai aux Briques etc.), around the metro station! From your hotel, walk around the big church and look in the square and side streets.

The GP is certainly worth a look after dark, but you don't have to eat there and you will pay a premium if you do. I would strongly advise you to eat elsewhere and have a coffee/beer in the GP instead.

Cambridge, ON
Level Contributor
19 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

Ah very well, I was concerned about the GP having higher prices being a tourist area but that was the only area of Brussels I knew. Do you know if these places around Ste Catherine feature the "Prix Fixe" style menus around 10-15 EUR each for 2 or 3 courses?

Thanks again

10. Re: Bruxelles Tram?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 30 September 2009, 00:19