With a population of 2.1 million residents, Brussels tends to be a pretty busy and bustling city. There are cars zooming through the streets, pedestrians crowding the sidewalks, and of course, busy public transport
systems during rush hour. It'll be pretty easy to get caught up in all the mess if you're not careful. But, of course, you can't actually avoid it if you're one to commute every day. So how can you go about using public transport in the Belgian capital without getting lost, drowning in a crowd, or worse? Here are a few helpful tips you ought to follow!
Get A Travel Pass
It's way easier to take public transport in Brussels when you have a travel pass. You won't have to line up to buy a ticket and you can just zoom past everyone to get to your ride. Think of it as your all-in-one ticket for everything, be it trains, trams, or buses. With just one swipe, you can pay for your ride and more! There are some that are good for an entire hour or an entire day and others that will allow you access for a week, a month, or even a year. As for where to buy them, they're often sold at the kiosks and ticketing offices at various stops and stations throughout the city.
Avoid Rush Hour
Rush hour in Brussels is around 8:00 am to 10:00 am in the morning and 16:00 (4:00) pm to 18:00 (6:00) pm in the early evening. And this probably goes without saying, but avoiding rush hour in Brussels is your best bet for a comfortable ride on public transport. Whether you're going to work or coming from your luxury home
here, don't underestimate how it can get very busy and crowded during rush hour in Brussels. On its worst days, you might even end up waiting for public transport for more than an hour. Do you want to waste all that time? Of course not!
Keep Aware When Riding Trams
Remember that not all trams automatically stop at each stop. There are some that zoom past a couple of stops until it gets to a certain destination. And at times, you can't help but board them because they're the only tram lines that travel to your destination. So what do you do? When you ride a tram, always keep aware of where you are. When your stop is near, press the button by your seat to let the driver know to stop at the next station. If you forget to push the button, the tram will simply move forward and you would've missed your stop.
Always Schedule Your Train Ride Earlier
If you thought tram rides in Brussels were stressful, wait until you ride the trains here! Commuting from one city to the next will likely require you to ride the train. However, you should note that trains in Belgium, no matter the company, the line, and the destination, are often delayed. In fact, to be safe, you should expect your own train to be delayed as well. Hence, when scheduling a ride, you'll want to go on earlier trains. This way, if you need to get to a certain place by a certain time, you can still get there on time despite the train delays.
Leaving Tips are Unnecessary But Welcomed
More often than not, tips and service fees are already included in the meter when you ride a taxi. This goes double for those you book in advance or you got via a ride-hailing app. So you don't have to leave a tip to the taxi driver after you hop off. They won't take it against you if you don't. However, they will appreciate it a lot if you still leave a small one. And who knows? On the off-chance that you get the same taxi driver next time, you might get better service this time around! Sometimes, it's all about leaving some good karma around.
When all else fails, you can always use your transportation app. They come in handy sometimes, especially when it's an emergency. If, for example, you're stranded in a far-off district in Brussels and you need to get to a certain place but the metro is too packed and you can't get a taxi off the street, booking a ride through Uber or Blacklane will solve your problems in a flash. If you still don't know which public transport system to take, you can always open CityMapper to see which option is cheaper and faster!
Though Brussels may not be the busiest city in the world, it can still get pretty hectic. If you're going to be using public transport here, you'll want to follow these important tips! They'll ensure that nothing goes wrong with your travels here.