Strasbourg Convention & Exhibition Centre
Strasbourg, France
23 - 26 April 2018
Print PageEmail Page

Travel to Brussels

Travel to Brussels

SPIE Photonics Europe will be held at THE SQUARE - BRUSSELS MEETING CENTRE, Museumstraat 8 rue du Musee,
B-1000 Brussels.

Visit Brussels Call Center
+32 2 551 54 73
| Available from 8am (CET) to 9pm -- Weekend 9am to 6pm CET

Following the events that occurred in Brussels on March 22, 2016, has made a call center available to help visitors and congress participants.

This center will be available from 8am (CET) to 9pm to answer any practical question. With this initiative, we want to assist anyone arriving to Brussels in need for information about mobility and to explain how to reach the city from an alternative airport the most efficient way.

We welcome everyone to share his concern with us and will do everything in our power to provide help and support as quick as possible.


Increased SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre Security
Increased security measures include extra security personnel inside and outside the SQUARE, K9 Unit (security accompanied by dog) will be patrolling the direct surrounding area, and military force will be deployed by the authorities.

SQUARE's team members have increased the level of caution and are trained to get the optimum immediate response in case of emergency situations. Vigilant behaviour is encouraged. SQUARE developed a culture of "watch full eyes". No object of any kind will be left unattended.

Building Access and Hand bag/luggage control
The building is entirely closed to the outside public. Morning registration hours Sunday and Monday have been extended to begin at 07:00 to help allow for the extra time it may take to enter the building due to increased security.

Event delegates and visitors enter by the Cube entrance Security outside the center will include hand bags and luggage control. Security agents will be equipped with “hand metal detectors” and “gate metal detectors”. Travellers are advised to limit the amount of bags and luggage brought into the meeting centre. If you are leaving for the airport, please consider checking your bag in at your hotel and leaving from that location instead of directly from the meeting centre.

All deliveries to the centre will be examined.

Badges Required (bring photo ID)
Inside the venue expect badge control. Government-issued, photo identification will be required to pick up your badge.

No access will be granted for anyone without a badge.

IT measures
The firewall is under constant watch to ensure that a breach will be noticed instantly.


Train Stations
Expect random controls at the entrance of all train stations in the country, adopted after an analyse of the modus operandi evolution observed on 22 March.

Public transportation
• Military presence at the entrance of all open subway stations
• Police presence in the subway and on the surface network
• Random controls are also organised in the subway stations

• Controls at the entrances and presence of dogs for the detection of explosives
• Visit the Brussels Airport webpage or the Brussels Airoport FAQs for additional updates
• Brussels air travel is a rapidly changing situation, some flights have already been impacted. If you are looking for alternative transportation options contact your travel agent or consider flying into a nearby city such as Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or London and take a train into Brussels.

Other security measures adopted
• Extraordinary police and military reinforcement are still deployed in Brussels and in Belgium
• Brussels touristic actors are implementing specific measures to secure access to their venues, see the Visit Brussels webpage for links to various are attractions

Wellkom in Brussels! Bienvenue à Bruxelles!

Brussels is the centre of Europe, and the established venue of SPIE Photonics Europe, THE SQUARE Conference Centre, is right in the heart of the city. It is just a short stroll from all of the historic city’s major attractions with over 13,000 hotel rooms just around the corner, plus the pick of the city’s restaurants, bars, and shops. Brussels is home to the European Commission, Parliament and NATO.. The city is also a key European commercial hub and a base for many progressive international companies.

THE SQUARE is located in Mont des Arts, the cultural quarter. For further information on things to do and events, please contact the Belgian Tourist Office at Belgian Tourist Office 30, Rue Saint-Bernard B - 1060 Brussels, Phone: +32 (0) 70 221 021, Fax: +32 (0) 2 513 04 75,


There are 600 parking spaces right underneath SQUARE. It can be accessed via Place del a Justice-Gerechtsplein, and Stuiversstaat – rue des Sols and then walk straight into the building.


By Air:

Brussels air travel is a rapidly changing situation, some flights have already been impacted. If you are looking for alternative transportation options contact your travel agent or consider flying into a nearby city such as Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, or London and take a train into Brussels. 

Brussels Airlines is the Official Airline Carrier for SPIE Photonics Europe 2016

Brussels Airlines is pleased to be your Preferred Carrier for SPIE Photonics Europe 2016 and extends a 10% discount on available return economy and business fares from Europe, Tel Aviv, Russia, and Africa to Brussels.

Book until 04 April 2016 and Travel between 01 and 10 April 2016.

Brussels Airlines - Offical Carrier of SPIE Photonics Europe 2016


Special offer: Discounted travel with Lufthansa Group Airlines

Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group Partner Airlines offer a comprehensive global route network linking major cities around the world. We offer special prices and conditions to participants, visitors, exhibitors, invited guests as well as employees of the Contracting partner and their travel companions.

To make a reservation, please click on and enter the access code GBZZPAQ in the "Access to Your Special Lufthansa Offer" area. This will open an online booking platform that will automatically calculate the discount offered or provide you with an even better offer if another promotional fare is available.
NOTE: Pop-ups must be enabled otherwise the booking platform window will not open.

These promotional fares are also available through your IATA / ARC travel agent. Travel agents can obtain ticketing instructions by sending an email to and providing the access code as a reference.

Brussels National Airport (located at Zaventem)

The airport train station is located below the terminal (basement level-1). Up to 4 trains an hour connect the airport to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi-stations.

Taking the local train to the Square:  Passengers should use the local train from Brussels National Airport to reach Bruxelles-Centrale Station (Zentraal) which is the station right next to The Square Conference Centre. Single journey fare is €8.60 one way at the time of publication; tickets can be purchased at the counter descending to the platform or on the train from the conductor (may cost more).

Universal Currency Converter

The train also stops at:

Bruxelles-Nord Station
Bruxelles-Centrale Station (Zentraal) next to The Square Conference Centre
Bruxelles-Midi Station (Eurostar)

Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Brussels South Charleroi Airport is located 46 km from of Brussels (trains, buses or taxis can take you there). Directly linked to the city by more than 20 daily shuttles (shuttles Charleroi Airport - Brussels Midi train station).

From Brussels, tickets may be purchased on board the coach (trip takes 1 hour). For more inforamtion on the website

By Road:

Brussels is well connected to the main traffic arteries of Europe. There are 650 parking places under the SQUARE building.

GPS data to get to The Square: 50.580242, 4.142435
driving in Belgium, a valid national or international driving licence is required. The speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways is 120 Km/h and 90 Km/h on the other roads. Within built-up areas the speed limit is 50 km/h. Throughout Belgium, there is generally a charge for parking. Parking meters or ticket machines take 10 eurocents, 20 eurocents, 50 eurocents, one euro and two euros.

Breakdown recovery:
Emergency phones are at regular intervals on motorways and are connected to an emergency control room.

By Car:

Car Rental

Hertz Logo

Hertz Car Rental is the official car rental agency for SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation. To reserve a car, identify yourself as a conference attendee using the Hertz Meeting Code PC#XXXXXX. The PC# must be on your advance reservation to receive this special offer. You must present this COUPON at the time of rental in order to receive this discount. 

When booking from International Hertz locations, the PC # must be entered with the letters PC before the number, i.e. PC137480. You will receive 15% off qualifying Affordable rates at participating locations in Brussels. You must present this coupon (PDF) at the time of rental in order to receive this discount. View coupon in advance for Important Rental Information.

Be sure to identify yourself as a SPIE Europe Photonics Europe meeting attendee.

Reserve a car online

Contact Hertz via phone:

 • In the United States call the Hertz International Reservation Center at 1-800-654-3001
 • In Europe and Asia call a Hertz Reservation Center or travel agent
 • This special offer is available for rentals from April 1 - 15, 2016.
Local Hertz Bureau call +32 (0) 2 7902 05 11

 By Rail:

Brussels is part of the European high speed train network, with direct links to London on Eurostar, Paris on TGV and through connections onward to Germany via the TGV and Thalve networks. For more information, travel schedules, and pricing, please visit the Belgian TGV site at Depending on which network you travel on, trains terminate at the station Brussels-Midi (Eurostar), from where public transport is available to Brussels-Centrale (Brussels-Zentraal), which is next to the venue of Photonics Europe. Belgian National Railways SNCB: (phone: +32 (0) 528 28 28 (choose international option).

The three major railway stations in Brussels are:
Bruxelles-Centrale (Zentraal) - next to the Square Conference Centre
Bruxelles-Midi (Eurostar)

By Metro:

The airport train station is located below the terminal (basement level-1). Up to 4 trains an hour connect the airport to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi stations. Moreover there are direct train services to the East, South and West of Belguim.

  • Gent - Wetteren - Aaist - Denderieeuw - Brussel - Brussels Airport
  • De Panne - Diksmuide - Lichterveld - Deinze - Gent - Brussel - Brussels Airport
  • Quevy/Quievrain - Bergen - Braine-le-Comte-Halle - Brussel - Schaarbeek - Brussels Airport
  • Train to Leuven and Landen run twice an hour. If you change trains you can ealisy get to the provinces of Limburg (via Hasselt) and Liege (via Luik-Gu8illemins).

Information on the schedules of all Belgian and international train services can be found on the Belgian Railways website. Enter Bruxelles Nat Airport as departure station or destination.

Belgium Railways Website

General Information for Travellers

Belgian Tourist Office 
30, Rue Saint-Bernard
B - 1060 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0) 70 221 021
Fax: +32 (0) 2 513 04 75

BI-TC (Bruxelles International)
2 rue royale, B-1000 Brussels

Phone: +32 (0) 2 513 8940
Fax: +32 (0) 2 513 8320

Belgium has three official languages: French, Dutch and German. English is understood and spoken almost everywhere.

Banking and Currency
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 0900-1200 and 1400-1600. Most large cities have currency exchanges, which have longer opening hours. Exchange facilities are also available at airports, at main railway stations and in exchange offices. The national currency is the Euro. When using your credit card, please be aware that it should have a pin code, as this is commonly used for ATMs and retail.

In most cities, shops are open from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 6 or 7pm. Whilst Sunday is the official closing day, in many towns, souvenir shops will also be open on Sundays during the tourist season. Sunday is the ideal day for Flea Market fans. Bakeries and Patisseries are also open on Sunday mornings.

For further information about things to do, where to eat, to book local entertainment tickets, please visit

Never an easy matter, is not normally expected in Belgian cafés, restaurants or hotels as service and V.A.T. are included in the bill.  You can, of course add an additional tip if the service has been particularly good. Taxi fares also include tips in the amount shown on the meter, but it is normal to round up the sum.

Telephones kiosks tend to be located at railways stations, supermarkets and cafés. They contain a notice with instructions in several languages including English. Some telephones require phone cards, which can be bought at the post offices, some newsagents and supermarkets. Credit cards can sometimes be used to make calls. The code for calling Belgium is +32 followed by the area code minus the initial 0.

Belgium is on Central European Time (CET).

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are the 2-pin round types.

Emergency telephone numbers
'100 Ambulance '100 Fire brigade '101 Police '112 European emergencies

Health & Chemist
Chemists, Pharmacie in French, are normally open from 0900-1800. During the weekends, special arrangement applies for them. The name of the closest pharmacist on duty is indicated at every pharmacy.

For available health care services in Belgium, please visit the site of the British NHS. As a European resident, it is advisable to have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can be obtained free of charge from the resident's health insurer.  In the UK, this card can be obtained by visiting or by calling: +44 845 606 2030. If you are unable to obtain EHIC, please ensure that you carry your passport and your health insurance details with you at all times. A travel insurance should still be taken out in all cases.

Disabled Travellers: For information and advice please contact the Belgian Red Cross, well in advance of travel.

Belgian Red Cross
Crois Rouge de Belgique/Belgian Red Cross

96, Rue de Stalle
1180 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0) 2 371 31 11
Fax +32 (0) 2 646 04 39

Back to top

Sign up for event e-alerts