Charleroi Airport is situated 34 miles (55 kilometres) south of Brussels, in Charleroi. It is also known as Brussels South Charleroi Airport and is where most low-cost airlines operate their services from.
Charleroi Airport has the advantages and disadvantages of all small airports. It is small with very few shops, so there is little to do. However, it is difficult to get lost, doesn’t take much time to get to the gate and the airport security is quick.
This airport is flourishing thanks to airline companies like Ryanair. In 2014 nearly 7 million passengers flew out of one of its terminals, compared to 2011 when 6 million people used one of its terminals.
Getting to Brussels from Charleroi Airport
There are several ways of getting to Brussels from Charleroi. These are the best options:
Airport transfer service
If you book a private airport transfer service, the chauffeur will be waiting for you at the arrival terminal with a sign with your name on it. This is the fastest and most comfortable way of getting to your hotel, especially if you don’t speak French or Dutch. You can book a four passenger car for just € 80 (US$ 90.20) or an eight-seater for € 95 (US$ 107.10). Both options are cheaper than getting a taxi.
The company Flibco has a shuttle bus service that connects Charleroi Airport and Brussels, leaving the airport every 30 minutes. The journey takes an hour and the bus stops in Bruxelles-Midi (Brussels-South railway station, in rue de France).
A one-way journey will cost € 17 (US$ 19.20) and a return ticket costs € 34 (US$ 38.30). You can purchase the ticket in the airport terminal or on the bus. If you buy the ticket online, this is as low as € 14.20 (US$ 16) per journey.
If you take the shuttle bus back to Charleroi Airport we suggest arriving at least 15 minutes before the departure of the bus as there is normally a queue and buses fill quickly.
Bus and train (useful if you are staying in another city in Belgium)
If you are not staying in Brussels, but in another Belgian city you might prefer to take the bus (line A) to Charleroi train station and from there take a train to your destination.
A one-way journey costs € 3 (US$ 3.40) and it takes 20 minutes to get to the railway station. Another option is to buy a “bulk” ticket that includes the Bus Line A and the train ticket to your destination.
This bus runs from 5:35 am to 10:35 pm and leaves every 30 minutes from the airport.
You will find that most taxi companies advertise that a taxi from Charleroi Airport to Brussels city centre costs approximately € 80 (US$ 90.20) - € 90 (US$ 101.40). However, it will normally cost you over 100€, especially on your way from Brussels to Charleroi.