Some more detailed information about Charleroi Airport, for those travelling to Brussels. Ryanair in particular are one airline who are flying into Charleroi, and with fares on their website today of £18 from Manchester it’s not hard to see why.
Here’s what Ryanair have to say about Charleroi airport
Brussels South Charleroi Airport is located approximately 8 km from the centre of Charleroi and 46 Km from the centre of Brussels. A bus connects the airport to the trainstation. There are rail connections to the rest of Belgium. Please check www.charleroi-airport.com for further information.
You can see from Google that this is quite some distance outside Brussels itself, the rest of the page is all about Brussels…
It takes approximately an hour to get from Charleroi to Brussels (Gare du Midi) using the shuttle bus. The shuttle bus is operated by Autocars l’Elan the fare being €22 return for an adult. They also say that the last departure from Brussels is at 8:30pm and from the airport at 11:45pm so you’ll need to bear this in mind when planning your trip and check that your flight times make this feasible. It is possible to get a bus from the airport to Charleroi trains station and a train from there (which would probably be cheaper than the shuttle), but the train takes 48 minutes to Gare du Midi so the overall journey time would be slower.
The airport itself offers the facilities that you would expect, bar, restaurant, a small supermarket, car rental etc, their website is pretty comprehensive.
Personally I would question the economic viability of flying into here, unless you really need to depart from Manchester instead of Liverpool and so can’t go with easyjet. In my experience easyjet flights are usually between £25 and £40 each way, but you save the cost of the bus to get to Brussels itself. Public transport from Zaventem is considerably cheaper than this shuttle bus, as well as faster.
There are a number of other airlines flying to Zaventem from Manchester as well, but all seem to be considerably more expensive from my research. I will update this post with some links etc on other UK departure airports soon.