The complete guide to Brussels Airport (BRU)

As Belgium’s largest airport, there’s a lot to do and see at Brussels Airport. This guide can help you learn more about where to shop, where to stop, and where to dine during your time in Comic City.

Brussels Airport. Image credit: stellalevi/iStock
Brussels Airport. Image credit: stellalevi/iStock

Offering service to more than 25 million passengers every year, Brussels Airport is one of Europe’s busiest hubs. If you’re traveling to BRU airport, this guide can help you make the most of your trip, whether you’re departing, arriving, or simply stopping by on a layover.

Layout and transportation

Unlike many larger airports, Brussels Airport was constructed as a one-terminal concept, meaning that all terminals, or Piers as they are called at this airport, are under the same roof rather than in separate buildings. The airport is made up of three Piers: A, B, and C. A and B serve commercial passengers while C is used for freight and other non-commercial flights. Transfers between Piers or airlines is easy as all gates are within walking distance once guests clear the security checkpoint.

There are five levels to the airport: -1, which offers train access; 0, where customers can be dropped off by buses and taxis; 1, where passengers can check in; 2, where flights depart; and 3, where flights arrive.

Access to the airport is available via train, car, and bus. The rail station is located below the airport and offers service to and from many cities, including Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen, and Nivelles. The most common link is between the airport and Brussels-South railway station, the largest station in the country.

Visitors can also arrive by car via A201 which offers a direct connection from Brussels Ring Road. Government-operated De Lijn buses can be used to access the airport as well. The airport also has bike and walking paths for those pedestrians and riders who wish to access the terminals.

Airlines and destinations

As a large airport, Brussels offers service to many popular destinations across Europe and beyond, and hosts flights from many major airlines including the airport’s flagship, Brussels Airlines.

Flights to and from the U.S. are available on Delta and United, while travelers heading to other European and Asian destinations can enjoy flights on Lufthansa, Air Nippon, TUI Fly, Air France, and TAP Portugal, among many others. The most popular routes include Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Rome.

Arriving at Brussels Airport

Immediately upon entrance visitors will find counters for all airlines serviced as well as self-serve kiosks. Boarding passes can be obtained online prior to arrival, via these kiosks, or at the check-in counters.

Brussels Airport lounges

Relaxing in an airport lounge is the best way to wait out any layover. Luckily, Brussels has many different lounge areas across both Piers, serving a majority of passengers regardless of airline.

Pier A Lounges

Pier A is home to many esteemed lounges for passengers flying on all airlines. However, most options are available for those flying on Brussels Airlines, the flagship airline at Brussels Airport.

Relax in one of the many Brussels Airlines' lounges on offer. Image credit: Brussels Airlines
Relax in one of the many Brussels Airlines’ lounges on offer. Image credit: Brussels Airlines

The Diamond Lounge

With a location in both piers A and B, the Diamond Lounge at Brussels Airport is the perfect place to unwind for any passenger. As an independent lounge, passengers who belong to select loyalty clubs and who hold premium class tickets are permitted to enjoy the lounge’s world-class amenities. An entrance fee can also be purchased for 32 EUR.

While staying in the Diamond Lounge, guests have plenty of places to sit and relax while waiting for a flight. Several recessed booths are also available for business travelers to catch up on work obligations. The buffet area is next to the reception desk and offers a wide spread of cold snacks, including pastries, cereal, cheese, crackers, cold cuts, salads, and yogurts, depending on the time of day. Visitors to the lounge can also enjoy bottled Belgian beer as well as a small draft beer selection. Televisions, telephones, magazines, and newspapers are also available.

The Loft

The Loft is a premium lounge for those traveling on Belgium’s most popular airline. A concept lounge unique to Brussels Airport, this high-end respite is the perfect refuge from the hustle and bustle of the airport. Boasting a modern aesthetic with avant garde styling, this beautiful lounge offers plenty of comfortable places to sit with cozy seating designed by Lexus, nap rooms with starry ceilings courtesy of Panasonic, and a shower and spa experience by Grohe. The menu is designed by world-class chefs and all guests have access to draft pours from brewer AB InBev.

Access to the Loft is limited to guests with first or business-class tickets flying on Brussels Airlines and other Star Alliance member airlines, HON Circle members, Senator members, STAR Alliance Gold members. Flex&Fast/Flex members can enter the lounge for a 29 EUR fee.

Sunrise Lounge

A third option for Brussels Airlines and other Star Alliance member customers is the Sunrise Lounge, a smaller alternative located near gate A/T72. Named for the bright sunshine that floods the space each morning, this small but comfortable lounge is a serviceable alternative for those departing in the area. Despite its restricted size, there’s plenty of seating available. Buffet options are limited compared to the other lounges but there are ample cold dishes for every meal of the day. Belgian beers, including Leffe and Stella Artois, can be enjoyed as well. Guests in the lounge can read a large selection of international newspapers and magazines while they wait.

Pier B Lounges

Passengers passing through Pier B don’t have to worry about missing out; there are several premier lounge spaces available for all passengers catching flights out.

The Diamond Lounge

The Diamond Lounge at Brussels Airport has a larger space in Pier B than in Pier A, providing a wonderful place to relax for those passing through. Like the Pier A lounge, guests have access to a wide variety of seating, complete with outlets and USB ports, televisions and telephones, and a large array of magazines and newspapers. Those who do not have a qualifying premium ticket can purchase lounge access for 32 EUR. A buffet with a similar spread is available, including cold options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and visitors can also enjoy a complimentary selection of Belgian beers, wine, and spirits.

The lounge in pier B also includes showers with all necessary amenities for guests who would like to freshen up. Printers and copiers can be found in the pier B lounge as well.

The Suite

The Suite is located at the end of the lounge corridor and can provide a wonderful destination for those flying out of Pier B. The food options in The Suite are limited to a salad bar and various cold offerings that rotate based on time of day, including a large breakfast spread as well as cheese, crackers, meats, sandwiches, and cold appetizers for lunch and dinner. Belgian beer is featured prominently for guests who want to imbibe with several draft options. Select wine and liquor beverages are also available. A dedicated quiet zone allows guests to recharge away from the hustle and bustle.

Admissions is limited to those flying first or business on Brussels Airlines and other Star Alliance member airlines, HON Circle members, Senator members, STAR Alliance Gold members. Flex&Fast/Flex members can purchase a lounge pass for 29 EUR.

British Airways Lounge

Lounge access isn’t limited to those flying on Brussels Airlines. In pier B, Oneworld members, including Delta Airlines, have a beautiful place to relax in the British Airways lounge. Similar in size and amenities to the Diamond Lounge across the way, this comfortable oasis set back from the busy traffic of the airport can meet any need in-between flights. Those who would like to snack while waiting for their flight can enjoy a full buffet spread including cold breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as soft drinks, coffee, tea, and a selection of beer, wine, and liquor.

An entertainment room, access to books and magazines, televisions, and a business center with printers and copies are also available to make both working and lounging possible.

Lounge admission is limited to first and business-class customers on Oneworld airlines, Gold Executive Club members, Silver Executive Club members, and Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members.

Brussels Airport dining

If you’re not interested in lounge access, there’s plenty to do in the main terminal areas at Brussels Airport.

Pier A

Pier A is a haven for foodies, with favorites including Italian restaurant AMO as well as Beers & Cheers, a spacious beer hall dedicated to Belgian favorites. Guests can also enjoy seafood at Black Pearls or nosh at the funky yet delicious Belgorama.

If your layover is tight or the line at security was long, that’s OK – Brussels Airport also has many grab-and-go options. Depending on your tastes, you can enjoy pastries at Chez Claire, grab a smoothie at Guapa, eat light with salads from EXki, enjoy breakfast at Panos, or sip on a Leffe at Leffe Bar.

Pier B

Dining is plentiful in Pier B, including sushi spot Snooshi, Taittinger Champagne Bar, and House of Stella for lovers of Stella Artois.

Those who are short on time can treat themselves to local Belgian products at Bistrot, smoothies at Guapa, sandwiches and salads at EXKi, or sip on a favorite Starbucks beverage.

Take time out for yourself at an airport lounge. Image credit: Alina Rosanova/iStock
Take time out for yourself at an airport lounge. Image credit: Alina Rosanova/iStock

Shopping at Brussels Airport

For those who would like to purchase souvenirs and other tokens while at the airport, shopping opportunities are plentiful.

Pier A

Pier A is home to many upscale shopping opportunities, including the beloved Belgian Chocolate House. Watches are available at Precious Time and SummerTime, and Tech & Fly provides everything from portable speakers to phone chargers to make flying fun.

Epicure offers champagnes, wines, spirits, and other delicacies. Guests who want to step up their wardrobe can do so at the Luxury Hall, Tumi, Longchamp, River Woods, Fashion Studio, Massimo Dutti, Hugo Boss, Sarah Pacini, and JD Sports. A duty-free store is also available.

Pier B

High-end shopping is plentiful in Pier B, with fashionable finds from Hugo Boss, MAC, and Luxury Hall. Chocolate fans will adore Belgian Chocolate House, while those into accessories will find a lot to love at Precious Time, SummerTime, and Tech & Fly.

Luggage is available from Rolling Luggage. Visitors with a special event on the horizon can find one-of-a-kind jewelry at Antwerp Diamonds. Like Pier A, a duty-free store is also available.

Brussels Airport hotels

Staying at an airport hotel is rarely a desirable situation for passengers but if a flight is delayed, canceled, or a layover extends overnight, booking a room may be essential. The airport in Brussels has several options in close proximity to choose from, providing a clean, comfortable place to wait for the next leg of your journey.

For passengers who would like to stay at the airport itself, Sheraton Hotel Brussels Airport is located directly adjacent to the passenger terminal, only 39 steps from the main entrance. All 249 guest rooms are noise-proof to help you get a night of sound sleep and avoid the arriving and departing flights. This spacious hotel provides on-site dining at Gullivers Restaurant, as well as a lounge area that offers complimentary breakfast, snacks, and drinks throughout the day.

For travelers who would like to put space between themselves and the airport, there are many other hotels in the greater area that can offer a relaxing respite before hitting the road.

The Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport receives rave reviews for its amenities across 350 spacious guest rooms, including an on-site restaurant, a large fitness center, a sauna and steam room, and a jogging path. Shuttle access to the airport is available beginning at 4 a.m. each morning.

Guests who want a more upscale stay will enjoy the luxe decor at the Van der Valk Hotel Brussels Airport. With a location less than five minutes from the airport, high-end furnishings, and free minibar drinks and snacks, there’s a lot to love about this premier property. Guests can also enjoy the on-site fitness center, a fine dining restaurant Catharina, and Pink Ginger, an authentic sushi bar. This hotel also provides an airport shuttle beginning at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.

Another great option is the Gresham Belson Hotel Brussels, located just 13 minutes from the airport in the trendy neighborhood of Evere. With a focus on providing a homey experience with an Irish flair, this upscale hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi and luxurious bedding in all 141 air-conditioned rooms. Drinks are available at the Shannon Lounge Bar while an international breakfast can be had in the Dublin breakfast room. Shuttle service begins at 6 a.m. daily.

As one of Europe’s busiest transportation hubs, there’s plenty to see and do when passing through the Brussels Airport. From enjoying the luxe Brussels Airlines lounges to staying in a high-end hotel during a long layover, you’ll feel right at home while awaiting your next adventure.

If you would like to travel in style to or from Brussels Airport, book a reliable Blacklane airport transfer in Brussels to make your trip better than ever.