Brussels Airport has its own station on level -1 of the terminal. A train leaves six times an hour from Brussels Airport – Zaventem station to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels South stations. The train journey between Brussels Airport and Bruxelles-Central takes an average of 17 minutes. A standard ticket costs € 8.90 for a one-way ticket, which includes the Diabolo fee of € 5.40 which SNCB is required to collect. A maximum of four children up to and including 11 years old can travel free with any paying traveler aged 12 or over.
In addition to the train, it is also possible to travel by bus between the city and Brussels airport. Every day of the week you can use bus line 12. The “Airport Line” buses leave from level 0 (platform C). Bus line 12 connects Brussels airport to Troon station, in the European district of Brussels. If you need to be in the center, you can change to the metro (M1 and M5) at Brussel-Schuman station. The bus trip from the airport to Brussels-Schuman station takes an average of 30 minutes, with a bus leaving every 10 to 20 minutes. The last bus from Brussels airport leaves at 12:30 a.m., the first city bus leaves around 5 a.m.
A one-way ticket costs € 4.50 at the red-blue GO vending machines on platform C and € 6.00 for the bus driver, a ticket is valid for 60 minutes on the bus, metro and tram. You can also buy a relatively inexpensive JUMP ticket for 24 hours (€ 7.50), 48 hours (€ 14.00) or 72 hours (€ 18.00) for unlimited travel to Brussels, for this you need a MOBIB card worth € 5.00. By the way, bus line 21 runs almost on the same route as bus line 12. More information can be found here, bus line 12 website and timetable.
Public transport: Make trips cheaper by taking the train
From the Netherlands, Brussels airport is accessible without having to change trains, there is a direct train from Amsterdam Centraal 12 times a day and a direct train from The Hague Holland Spoor. Since April 9, 2018, you can get to Belgium half an hour faster by train. Trains run via Rotterdam Central and Breda, from these stations you can travel every hour without changing to Brussels Airport – Zaventem. Trains run on the HSL line between Rotterdam and Antwerp, so there is no longer a direct connection between Dordrecht and Roosendaal and Zaventem. The journey time from Amsterdam is 2 hours and 24 minutes, from Schiphol you are 2 hours and 9 minutes on the road. In Belgium, the train always stops at the stations of Noorderkempen, Antwerp (CS and Berchem) and Mechelen. There is also a train every 60 minutes to and from Brussels Airport on Saturdays and Sundays.
The price for a one-way ticket from Amsterdam is at least € 30 (2nd class) or € 40 (1st class). It is also possible to travel once an hour with the Thalys high speed train from Amsterdam to Brussels Airport, then you are only 2 hours and 4 minutes on the road, but you have to change once at the central station Antwerp. You can buy tickets at train stations or through the websites of NS International and NMBS Europe.
The Airport Express bus connects Antwerp Central Station and Brussels Airport, with a short stopover in Antwerp South. The stops in Antwerp are located at Koningin Astridplein next to the central station and at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Antwerp South. Children up to 2 years old can register for free, everyone must pay the prices below in cash when boarding the bus. The level 0 bus (platform E) leaves from the airport. The Airport Express runs once an hour to Antwerp and Zaventem, the journey takes an average of 45 minutes. The bus is not faster, but slightly cheaper than the direct train from Antwerp (journey time: 30 minutes, price: € 11.60). The first bus from Antwerp already leaves at 3 a.m., the last bus from Brussels Airport at midnight.