Leuven is the capital city of the province Flemish Brabant. It’s a university-city which means there are many young people in town. Dutch is the spoken language, however many people speak English and French as well. The city is famous for it’s historic buildings and the local beer culture. The old market (Oude Markt) is a rectangular square and consists mainly bars. It’s given the nickname ‘the longest bar in the world”.
- Travel to Leuven
- Discover Leuven
- Where to stay in Leuven
Travel to Leuven:
Leuven is located at about 20km east of the capital of Brussels. It’s located near the junction of 2 major highway’s, the E40 and E314.
Trains to Leuven:
There is a direct train connection between Leuven and Brussels-Airport. The trainstation of Leuven has excellent connections with other Belgian cities as well.
|Brussels-Zaventem Airport||Leuven||4 trains / hour||20 mins||Yes|
|Brussels||Leuven||5 trains / hour||25 mins||Yes|
|Antwerp||Leuven||5 trains / hour||50-60 mins||Yes|
|Ghent||Leuven||4 trains / hour||1h05||Yes|
|Liège||Leuven||5 trains / hour||35 mins||Yes|
For more information, check the Belgium public transport guide
Getting around in Leuven
Most of the city centre can be easily explored on foot or by bike. You can rent a bike at:
Rent A Bike / Fietspunt: http://www.leuven.be/en/tourism/adresses-en/fietspunt.jsp
Leuven Leisure: http://www.leuven.be/en/beercapital/adressen/leuven-leisure-fietsverhuur.jsp
Public Transport in Leuven
The bus will bring you wherever you want to go in and around Leuven. Busses are operated bij De Lijn. The central departure point for the buses in Leuven is at the railway station. For more information on the public transport system in Flanders, check https://www.belgiumtravel.info/en/belgium-public-transport-guide/#flanders
Best things to see and do in Leuven:
Most touristic highlights in Leuven are located within walking distance from the Leuven train station.
Top 3 sights in Leuven
- Grote markt
- The béguinage
Best 3 Musea to visit in Leuven
- Saint Pete’s Church
- PARCUM Vlierbeek Abbey
Grote markt Leuven
The Grand Market square, or in Flemish “Grote Markt”, in Leuven, is the heart of every Belgian city. Here you can admire the impressive city hall of Leuven. You’ll notice the market square itself isn’t as big as you would expect from a prestigious historical Flemish city. That’s because the Saint Peter’s Church is prominently placed in the middle,
Ladeuzeplein and Ladeuze Library
The Ladeuzeplein is significantly larger then the “Grote Markt” and build in front of the Ladeuze Library, another example of Leuven’s finest architecture. The library itself is still in use by university students. The tower itself is accessible for tourists and offers an impressive view over the city.
The “Oude markt”
The “old market square” in Leuven is nicknamed “longest bar in the world”, due to all the bars. It’s the perfect place to have a drink and taste one of Belgians finest beers.
Take a break from the busy city life and walk down the calm cobbled roads of the 13th century béguinage in Leuven. During the 17th century there were more then 360 beguines living in this Béguinage, which was located within the city, yet had it’s own city walls. The Beguines living here were single woman who devoted their lives to Christianity, living their lives in simplicity and took care of the poor and sick. Together with several other Béguinages in Belgium, it’s a protected Unesco World Heritage site;
Kruidtuin Leuven (botanical gardens)
The botanical gardens of Leuven date back from the 18th century, making them the oldest ones in Belgium. They were started as part of the University of Leuven and the entry gate faces the former Anatomical Theater of the university. Nowadays the gardens are freely accessible and form a peaceful hideout surrounded by greenery in the busy student town.
Visit the Abbey’s surrounding Leuven:
Abdij van’t Park and Abdij van Vlierbeek are located just outside the city centre.
Leuven Tourist Map:
Thursday: Flower Market at the Brusselsestraat, from 1-6PM.
Friday: Foods & Clothes Market at the Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein, Herbert Hooverplein andLeopold Vanderkelenstraat from 7 A.M.-1 P.M
Saturday: Antique market at Mathieu de Layensplein from 9 A.M.-6 P.M. Artisanal Market at Brusselsestraat from 9 A.M.-6 P.M. Atisanal and regional products at Oude Markt from 10 A.M. – 4 P.M