Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

Having your own vehicle is not necessary as the public transportation system in Brussels is very good, but it may be more comfortable.


How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

The legal age for driving in Belgium is 18. If you have a valid European driver’s license, you can drive in Belgium and you’re not obliged to swap your license for a Belgian one. If you are in possession of a non EU-driver’s license you will need to exchange your license to be able to drive in Belgium. You might have to pass a driver’s test before you get a Belgian license. If you are staying in Belgium for less than 90 days and are in possession of a US driver’s license, you may drive in Belgium for the duration of your stay.

The speed limits in Belgium are as follows:

  • 30-50 km/h (18-31 mph): in city and commune centres,
  • 70-90 km/h (43-55 mph): outside of city and commune centres,
  • 120 km/h (74 mph): on four-lane motorways.

Drivers and passengers must always wear their seatbelts.

It is advisable to invest in some literature on driving in Belgium to become acquainted with the traffic rules. A useful guide is ‘Driving in Belgium from a to z’ published by New Traffic Books.


What side of the road do people drive on?

On the right.


Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

The STIB/MIVB offers public transportation by bus, tram and metro from 5am to midnight on most lines. Some lines offer transportation from midnight to 3am. It is also possible to use the services of De Lijn (Flemish public transportation company), TEC (Walloon public transportation company) and SNCB/NMBS (national railway company).


Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

Yes, you can use the services of the SNCB/NMBS (national railway company), De Lijn (Flemish public transportation company) and TEC (Walloon public transportation company).


In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

In the metro, there is a warning sound before the doors close. It is dangerous to get on or off during this time. The doors of the metro do not open automatically. You need to pull a handle to open the doors. This is only possible once the metro is standing still.

On buses and trams, you are not allowed to talk to the driver while the vehicle is moving.


Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

  • Train

It is preferable to buy your ticket in the train station before departure. It is possible to buy a ticket on the train, but you will be charged a fee. You can also buy your train ticket online in advance of your journey.

  • Bus and tram

You can buy your ticket at the bus or tram stop and in the bus or tram. It is also possible to buy your ticket at the newsagents or the tourist office.

  • Metro

You can buy your ticket at the metro station.


Useful Links

Brussels Airport



De Lijn













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