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Two EU students (<26 years old) will be traveling to Brussels in September for 3 days. Will be arriving on Charleloi airport. What is the best option for a public transportation tickets?

Right now I have been searching a web and have found Discover Brussels 72h for 17E put on MOBIB Basic card. The only inconvenience is that as far as I have been searching, it is unable to issue this card directly at the airport.

So my question is what will be the best option in described situation.

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STIB/MIVB, the Brussels public transportation company only operates in and very close to Brussels. The best thing to do

  • Transportation from Charleroi Airport to Brussels: Brussels City Shuttle. Book it now. Price for one way is 5 euro (when bought very early), 10 euro (when not bought very early), 14 euro (when bought only a few days beforehand) or 17 euro (ticket bought on the spot). It is the easiest and if you have one of the low rates cheapest solution. This bus gets you to the Midi/Zuid/South station in Brussels.
  • Transportation within Brussels: as you found out the Discover Brussels ticket will get you the most value for money. You can buy it at the BOOTIK in the station.

The mention of an airport on the page of the Discover Brussels ticket is not relevant in your case, because it refers to Brussels Airport instead of Charleroi.

If the cheap tickets for the Brussels City Shuttle are no longer available, there are two alternatives (not necessarily better)

  • Bus+train: the Walloon bus operator TEC operates a bus (line A) to the Charleroi-South railway station, where you can take the train to Brussels. There is a special ticket that combines bus and train. To Brussels, it costs 14.40 euro one way and you can buy it online or at the TEC ticket vending machine at the airport (never tested that myself but that page says you can buy it at TEC ticket vending machines). The major disadvantage is that it takes a lot longer and there is no real advantage. It is often an interesting option if your destination is not Brussels and you would have to take a train anyhow.
  • Taxi: there are taxis with 8 places operating between the airport and Brussels-Midi station. They normally match the price of the Shuttle Bus (17 euro) and leave as soon as they fill up. The advantage is that is usually the fastest way. Disadvantage is that there is no guarantee. I've seen the price getting a lot higher when one of the shuttle buses was cancelled. If I would land without a ticket, I would definitely ask them before buying the ticket of the shuttle bus.
  • Thanks for your answer. I see for my arrival date, Brussels City Shuttle costs 14E. Do you think in this case it is better to buy it online, or to look for something on the spot? Are there another options to go from Chareloi to Brussels? – Mateusz Kowalski Jul 29 '14 at 17:35
  • Edited the answer to add alternatives for getting to Brussels. – Some wandering yeti Jul 30 '14 at 7:13
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Depending on your plans in Brussels, Villo might be suitable for you as well. It is a public bicycle system, similar to Velib in Paris, where all over Brussels bicycles are available for you to use. The idea is simple once subscribed you can take bicycle in one of the racks and cycle around for free initially. After 30 minutes of cycling, you'll need to pay an additional fee. However, you can have as many 30 minutes slots as you like while exploring Brussels, so with some planning you can explore Brussels quite cheaply. You don't need to return the bicycle in the same rack, which enables you to cycle from point to point.

You'll pay 1,60 per day or 7,65 per week for a ticket and if you manage to cycle in portions of 30 minutes that is all you pay.

Personally, I prefer the cycling over taking the bus and/or the Metro, which in Brussels can be confusing at times.

The Villo system is only available inside the center of Brussels. You will not be able to use the bicycles from neither of the two airports.

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