Quiet Quarters: Finding the Best Sleep Spots in Brussels Airport

Brussels Airport, serving over 9 million passengers annually, stands as a significant hub in Europe. Despite its status and the bustling activity it witnesses daily, it surprisingly lacks innovative solutions like sleep pods, which have become somewhat of a staple in modern international airports.

This Brussels Zaventem Airport Sleeping Guide draws on authentic passenger reviews to uncover the hidden gems and quirks of spending the night at BRU.

Table of contents

Overview of Sleep Condition in Brussels Airport:

The airport’s notable absence of sleep pods or dedicated rest zones might appear as a challenge at first glance. However, firsthand accounts reveal a variety of unconventional sleep amenities peppered throughout the airport.

The Kids Corner, for instance, emerges as an unexpected sanctuary for weary travelers. Highlighted for its quiet, dark environment, carpeted flooring, and the convenience of an en-suite bathroom, it’s a space where one can find some semblance of comfort during an overnight layover.

While the main departure and arrival zones teem with activity, making it hard to find a peaceful nook, there are mentions of comfortable sofas and armrest-free chairs in less conspicuous parts of the airport, suggesting that a good night’s sleep might just require a bit of exploration. Terminal A is repeatedly cited for its relatively better sleeping conditions, with areas equipped with softer benches conducive to rest.

Despite these comforts, it’s clear that the airport’s infrastructure hasn’t fully embraced the needs of the modern traveler looking for a place to rest. Amidst this backdrop, savvy travelers have adapted, sharing insights and recommendations to help others manage their expectations and find those hidden spots for a decent rest.

Whether it’s the kids’ area unexpectedly fitting the bill or making peace with the floor if one comes prepared, the collective wisdom of past passengers provides a roadmap to navigating an overnight stay in Brussels Airport with a touch of adventure and a lot of practicality.

Unfortunately, there are no innovative sleep technologies in this Airport:

The challenges of finding a comfortable spot to sleep at Brussels Zaventem Airport, as detailed in the reviews, highlight a significant gap in the modern traveler’s needs for convenience and comfort during layovers. The lack of innovative sleep amenities such as sleep pods, a service provided by brands like Yotel and Aerotel in other airports, stands out as a missed opportunity to enhance the passenger experience.

Sleep pods, with their compact, self-contained environments, offer privacy, security, and comfort, allowing travelers to rest undisturbed. The reviews lament the absence of such forward-thinking solutions at this airport, pointing to a reliance on makeshift arrangements like sleeping on the floor or finding a somewhat quiet corner.

Given the reviews, incorporating sleep pods could resolve many of the discomforts encountered, providing a much-needed oasis for weary travelers. Unfortunately, as innovations like Yotel or Aerotel have not expanded to this location, passengers must continue to improvise, missing out on the benefits of a truly restful and rejuvenating layover experience.

So, where can I sleep at Brussels Zaventem  Airport – here are the Best Spots to Catch some Zs.

Here are the distinct locations within Brussels Airport where travelers have found good spots for sleep, neatly organized with subtitles for clarity:

Kids Corner (Terminal A)

This area is praised for its quiet, dark, and carpeted environment, making it ideal for travelers with children. It’s secluded, has electric outlets, and even a bathroom with a shower. The ability to turn out the lights makes this an excellent spot for an overnight layover.

Prayer Room by Gate 42 (Terminal A)

Originally a prayer room, this area is open 24 hours and furnished, making it a viable spot for sleeping. It includes a section with sofa-like seating that was comfortable for sleeping.

Pier A

  • Location: Airside
  • Features: Known for having plenty of benches and some large couches that can accommodate up to three or four people comfortably.
  • Advantage: The availability of spacious couches makes it ideal for groups or families who wish to stay close together while resting.
  • Atmosphere: Generally quiet, making it suitable for uninterrupted sleep.

Terminal 1 Landside

  • Location: Near check-in A 48, Landside
  • Features: Nice couches spotted in this area, which are particularly comfortable for sleeping.
  • Advantage: These couches provide a more homelike sleeping environment, which is accessible before passing security.
  • Accessibility: Ideal for travelers who have not yet checked in or those who prefer to stay landside.

Schengen Zone Airside

  • Location: Throughout the Schengen Zone, Airside
  • Features: Equipped with plenty of benches and multiple mobile charging points.
  • Advantage: Convenient for passengers flying within the Schengen area, allowing them to rest and recharge devices close to their departure gates.
  • Additional Comfort: The benches here offer a straightforward sleeping option, though potentially less comfortable than couches.

Near Tin Tin Rocket

  • Location: Duty-free area, Airside
  • Features: Comfortable couch available near the iconic Tin Tin Rocket.
  • Advantage: This location combines comfort with a bit of whimsical entertainment, offering a unique resting spot.
  • Atmosphere: The area is typically quiet at night, making it conducive to sleep.

B Zone Transfer Area

  • Location: B zone transfer area, Airside
  • Features: Another comfortable couch available for resting.
  • Advantage: Positioned in a transfer area, making it a strategic spot for those in transit through the B Zone.
  • Accessibility: Useful for passengers with connecting flights who prefer not to stray far from their next gate.

Arrivals Hall near Car Rental Counters

Though less busy than the departures hall, this location offers several seats and is noted as a decent sleeping spot, particularly in the morning hours.

4th Floor (Terminal 1)

This floor is highlighted for its spaciousness and isolation, suitable for those with their own sleeping gear. It features restrooms, power outlets, and a quiet environment.

Yellow Area with Sofas (Terminal A)

Located in a quiet part of the airport, this area offers sofa-like seating where travelers and their companions can rest comfortably. It is especially quiet from late night until early morning.

Near Gate A27 (Terminal A – B)

This gate area is described as being silent with minimal foot traffic, making it an ideal place for uninterrupted sleep. It is equipped with comfortable lounges and background music that plays throughout the night.

Duty-Free Shopping Area (Schengen Zone)

During a long transit, this area becomes a favored spot because of its abundance of benches and couches. It remains quiet after the last departures around 9 PM until the early morning.

Near Starbucks on the Departures Floor (Landside)

The area behind Starbucks on the departures floor offers padded-sofa seating where the electrical outlets are functional, providing a comfortable and convenient place for overnight stays.

Astro-Turf Park Area in Departures (Landside)

Recently added, this area features astro-turf and park-like benches, creating a more natural and comfortable setting for rest. This less crowded area provides a quiet environment.

4th Floor Near Closed Businesses (Landside, 4th Floor)

This area, described as quiet and away from traffic, has abandoned office-like spaces that offer peace and less disturbance.

Seating Area Near Gate A59 – A57 (Terminal A)

This location is noted for its comfortable lounges and relatively quiet atmosphere. It’s equipped with power and USB outlets, and features a tap for drinking water.

Departure Area Near EXK Restaurant (Terminal Departure Area)

Although not ideal due to the presence of benches with armrests, this area offers a possible sleeping spot if you bring a mattress. It is more secluded and could serve as a last-resort option for rest.

3rd Floor Waiting Area by Ticket Counters 11-14 (Landside)

This spot is noted for its new astro-turf park area and benches, providing a somewhat comfortable and unique environment for resting. It is less crowded and offers phone charging stations.

Here are 8 Key Reasons Travelers Enjoy Sleeping at This Airport:

Travelers have pointed out several aspects they appreciate about sleeping at Brussels Airport:

Quiet Zones

Many reviewers have highlighted specific areas within the airport known for their quietness, such as secluded gates and special zones designed for rest. These areas often have minimal foot traffic and subdued lighting, making them ideal for uninterrupted sleep.

Availability of Comfortable Seating

Certain sections of the airport feature sofa-like seating, padded benches, or lounges without armrests. These options are more comfortable than typical airport seating and are preferred for longer rest periods.

Accessibility to Power Outlets

Access to power outlets is crucial for travelers to charge their devices, especially during long layovers. Many sleep-friendly spots at Brussels Airport offer convenient access to power, helping passengers stay connected and recharge both their devices and themselves.

Clean and Quiet Environments

Cleanliness and tranquility are consistently noted as positive attributes of Brussels Airport’s sleeping spots. The cleanliness contributes to a more comfortable and hygienic rest environment, while the quietness helps in reducing sleep disturbances.

Security Presence

A noticeable security presence in the airport gives travelers peace of mind while they sleep, especially when they are alone or have valuables with them. This security allows for a safer sleeping experience.

Dark Areas

Some areas within the airport can be made dark by turning off the lights or due to their natural lack of lighting at night. These dark conditions are preferred by travelers seeking to mimic a night-time environment for better sleep quality.

Facilities and Amenities

Additional amenities such as nearby bathrooms, showers, and even areas with showers enhance the convenience for travelers who choose to rest in the airport. These facilities allow for a more refreshed waking experience, particularly after a long flight or before the next leg of a journey.

Overall Safety and Comfort

The overall sense of safety and comfort at Brussels Airport makes it a favorable choice for travelers needing to sleep during their travels. The combination of the aforementioned features contributes to a more restful and less stressful layover.

Common Complaints Travelers Have About Sleeping in This Airport:

While Brussels Airport offers several comfortable spots for sleeping and resting, there are also some challenges and discomforts that travelers frequently report. Here are the key reasons fliers dislike sleeping in this airport:

Hard Seating and Limited Comfortable Options

In various parts of the airport, the seating is often described as hard, uncomfortable, and typically fitted with armrests that make lying down impossible. This is especially problematic in areas where travelers might expect to rest, such as the departure areas and near some gates.

Noise Disturbances

Even in designated quiet zones, noise can be a significant issue. Travelers report disturbances from overnight cleaning operations, announcements, and even other passengers. The inconsistency of quiet zones maintaining their tranquility throughout the night can be frustrating for those hoping to get undisturbed sleep.

Bright Lighting

Many areas within Brussels Airport are well-lit throughout the night, which can make it difficult to sleep. The absence of designated dark areas in some terminals exacerbates this issue, as does the presence of multimedia advertisements with sound and lights that run continuously.

Temperature Control Issues

Some travelers find the airport to be too cold, particularly those who are staying overnight without adequate blankets or clothing to keep warm. This is noted especially in larger, open spaces where it is difficult to escape the draft and air conditioning.

Limited Late-Night Amenities

The availability of food and other services during late-night hours is limited. Many cafes and restaurants close early, leaving travelers with few options for meals or snacks overnight. This can be inconvenient for those with long layovers or delayed flights.

Security and Accessibility of Bathrooms

Frequent closures of bathrooms for cleaning or repairs during the night are a common complaint. Travelers often find it challenging to locate an open bathroom, particularly during late hours, which adds discomfort to their stay.

Security Concerns in Some Areas

Although there is a security presence, some parts of the airport are noted to be less monitored, which can make travelers feel unsafe, especially when sleeping alone or in less crowded areas.

Unfriendly Staff Encounters

There are occasional reports of less-than-friendly interactions with airport staff, which can impact the overall experience negatively. Travelers have noted instances where the staff were not helpful or were outright rude, particularly during night-time hours when patience might be low.

These issues highlight the challenges and discomforts that can affect the quality of stay for travelers at Brussels Airport, particularly those who need to spend extended periods or overnight stays within the airport premises.

Can I sleep at the airport overnight and is the open 24 hours?

Yes, you can sleep at Brussels Airport overnight. The airport operates 24 hours a day, making it accessible for passengers who need to stay overnight due to early morning flights or late arrivals. Here are a few tips to enhance your overnight stay at Brussels Airport:

Location Choices

  • Landside Areas: You can stay in the landside areas all night, where you’ll find benches and some comfortable seating. These areas are accessible without needing to go through security, which is ideal if you arrive late and have a flight the next morning.
  • Airside Areas: The airside sections of the airport, including most lounges and duty-free shops, only open at 3:00 AM. If your flight is very early, you might consider going through security as soon as these areas open to access more comfortable seating and additional amenities.

Which Terminal is Good for Sleep?

Based on flier reviews, Terminal A at Brussels Airport is often recommended as a good place for sleeping, particularly for its quieter and more comfortable environments. Here are specific areas within Terminal A that have been highlighted:

  1. Kids Corner: This area in Terminal A is described as quiet, dark, and carpeted, with the added convenience of a bathroom with a shower and the ability to control lighting. It’s especially suitable for travelers with children but is also a quiet spot for any traveler seeking a restful place.
  2. Prayer Room and Nearby Yellow Area: Also located in Terminal A, this area offers comfortable sofa-like seating and tends to be quiet, especially from late evening until early morning. It’s furnished and available 24 hours, making it a viable option for overnight stays.
  3. Near Gate A27: Known for being particularly quiet with minimal foot traffic, this area is equipped with comfortable lounges and is away from the main hustle and bustle of the terminal. The background music here is constant but subdued, which may not significantly disturb sleep.
  4. General Seating Areas in Terminal A: Various reviews suggest that there are other seating areas in Terminal A that can accommodate overnight sleepers with fewer disturbances compared to other parts of the airport.

For those who prefer a more isolated environment, the upper floors in Terminal A, such as the 4th floor, have been mentioned as less crowded and quiet, although it’s important to come prepared with a mat or mattress for comfort, as seating can be limited.

Ultimately, Terminal A offers multiple spots that can provide a relatively peaceful night’s rest, but it’s always good to have earplugs or headphones to ensure an undisturbed sleep, regardless of the chosen spot.

Tips for Layover at Brussels Airport:

Here are refined and streamlined tips for managing your layover at Brussels Airport effectively:

Tip 1: Hydration Options
Stay hydrated by accessing free drinking water points in Piers A and B at the Departures Level. Additionally, the airport offers bottled water for a €1.00 donation at charity stands post-security.

Tip 2: Dining Availability
Food concessions in both terminals have varying operating hours, some opening as early as 3:00 AM. For a constant option, visit the 24/7 Starbucks located in the Departure Hall.

Tip 3: Luggage Storage Solutions
Utilize luggage lockers located landside on the Ground Floor to free yourself from carrying bags during your layover. Rates are €10 per bag for 24 hours with additional charges for oversized or extra luggage. Storage duration is unlimited.

Tip 4: Power Bank Rental
Rent a power bank from Naki Power Bank kiosks found throughout the airport. The rental rates are €3 per hour or €6 for the entire day.

Tip 5: Shower Facilities
Refresh yourself at the showers available in the Regus Brussels Airport Terminal Meeting Centre, landside on the 4th Floor above the Departure Hall, open weekdays from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. Showers are also accessible in the Diamond Lounge located in Terminal B.

Tip 6: Free WiFi Access
Connect to the “Brussels Airport free Wi-Fi” network using your social network login or email for unlimited internet access throughout your stay.

Tip 7: Smoking Areas
For smokers, designated smoking rooms are available airside at Pier B near gate 17, Pier A near gate 30, and Pier A/T near gate 65/67. There’s no need to go landside for a smoke.

Tip 8: SIM Card Purchase
If you need a SIM card, they are available for purchase in the Arrivals Hall.

Tip 9: Choose Your Sleeping Spot Wisely
For a quieter, more comfortable overnight stay, opt for Pier A, known for its large couches and benches suitable for sleeping. Remember, airside areas open at 3:00 AM, so plan accordingly if your flight is early in the morning.

Tip 10: Bring Your Own Comfort Items
Since the airport can get chilly, especially overnight, consider packing a travel blanket, a warm sweater, or a scarf. Earplugs and an eye mask can also significantly improve your ability to sleep amidst the ambient noise and lighting of the airport.

Tip 11: Explore Lounge Access
For a more luxurious layover, check if you can access airport lounges. Diamond Lounge in Terminal A(Gates B01-B05) and in Terminal B with day pass going for 37.5€. You can purchase the day pass on the Airport’s website here.

Tip 12: Stay Informed with Mobile Apps
Download the Brussels Airport mobile app for real-time flight information, terminal maps, and services. This can help you manage your time more effectively and navigate the airport with ease.

Tip 13: Prepare for Security
If your layover includes passing through security to access the airside, ensure your liquids are properly packed, and check the airport’s website for the latest security rules. Being prepared can save you time and stress at security checkpoints.

What to Expect Sleeping in Brussels Airport:

Noise:

Travelers report varying noise levels at Brussels Airport during night-time, with some areas near busy gates or operations being particularly loud due to cleaning and occasional announcements. Quieter zones exist, such as the Kids Corner in Terminal A and designated sleeping areas on upper floors. For a peaceful sleep, it’s advised to bring earplugs or headphones and choose locations away from main pathways and busy gates.

Another very quite spot is the Prayer Room and Nearby Yellow Area (Terminal A). This area is noted for its comfortable sofa-like seating and overall quiet atmosphere from around 11 PM to 4:30 AM. The prayer room is open 24 hours and is furnished, making it a viable option for rest.

Temperatures:

Several reviews highlight that the airport’s temperature can be quite cold, particularly when air conditioning is left on throughout the night. Wearing layers or having a blanket can be essential for comfort. Additionally, the frequent cleaning schedules can mean occasional loud disturbances and temporarily restricted access to bathrooms.

Lighting and Comfort:

The areas around Starbucks and duty-free zones offer access to power outlets and somewhat comfortable seating but these spots are also brightly lit, possibly necessitating a sleep mask for comfort. Similarly, while some departure and arrival sections boast benches and cozy seating, they are often too bright, noisy from late flights, and chilly from continuous air conditioning, impacting the ability to sleep well. Additionally, landside areas near ticket counters are notable for their insufficient seating and high pedestrian flow, further affecting rest quality.

Security:

Security at Brussels Airport is generally regarded as good, with regular patrols. However, certain areas, especially on the 4th floor, have reported incidents of being woken up and moved by security staff. It is advisable to stay vigilant about personal belongings and to use luggage as a makeshift pillow to deter theft.

Hotels Near Brussels Airport

Here’s a table summarizing the key features of the hotels near Brussels Airport:

Hotel NameLocationShuttle ServiceDay RoomsBooking Link
Sheraton Hotel Brussels AirportOpposite the airport terminalNone (39 steps from the terminal)Available on requestCheck Rates
Novotel Brussels AirportNear the airportFree, operates on a scheduleNot specifiedCheck Rates
Crowne Plaza Brussels AirportNear the airportFree, available from 4:00 AM – 11:00 PMNot specifiedCheck Rates
Van der Valk Brussels AirportNear the airportAvailable for a feeNot specifiedCheck Rates
NH Brussels AirportNear the airportFree, operates from 4:00 AM – 11:45 AM & 4:00 PM – 11:45 PM. Pick-up on Level 0, Platform ENot specifiedCheck Rates
This table provides a quick overview of each hotel’s proximity to Brussels Airport, shuttle service availability, and the option for day rooms, if available. The links to check rates would typically lead to the hotel’s booking page, where you can find more detailed information and make reservations.
Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.