Leuven: Small town, big city feel
Leuven is a cosy ‘town’ that radiates a hip & urban vibe, guaranteed to draw you into its vibrancy. 157 nationalities from all walks of life call it home and are the beating heart of the city. The traits of every true metropolis are all there: creativity, versatility, diversity ànd shopping, nightlife, history, sports, culture and art. You’ve got everything you need at your fingertips. With hidden gems around every corner, you’re in for a treat! Follow the urban graffiti art trail or spend a night on the town clubbing. The city radiates old-world grandeur with its cobbled streets, churches, a great beguinage, and its pride and joy: the impressive Gothic town hall. But its soul? It never grows old.
Leuven like a local
Exploring Leuven is a breeze. With historic buildings and shopping galore, it’s the place for a weekend out and about. Plenty to do with all the classic highlights, and the specialty shops, coffee bars, pubs, restaurants, offering everything from traditional Belgian cuisine to the best vegetarian eats, and eco-friendly shops are a must. Everybody in town knows someone via-via, they’re more than happy to point you to the best eats and drinks around or tip you their favourite hangouts. Feeling daring? Leave your map at home! Wander the streets aimlessly and get pleasantly caught off guard by the city’s many hidden corners. Finally, drop by the Oude Markt full of pubs and terraces, throw back a freshly pulled beer with the locals and drink in the town’s unparalleled ambiance. Cheers to Leuven, the birthplace and hometown of Stella Artois.
Luv Leuven, for all seasons
Never a dull moment in Leuven, there’s always something going on. From the Leuven Beer Weekends and the M museum, to the fairy-tale glow of Winter Season and sultry summer nights with outdoor movies, free concerts, sport activities and pop-up bars – the city is always on the move. Leuven is also a quintessential cycling city. All the places of interest are within a short distance from one another. So why not rent a bike? Hop on, like the locals do, pedalling around the 2 km city centre is an ideal way to visit it. As soon as you bike out of town, you’ll find yourself in the middle of field and forest, on your way towards a little bit of zen in the green setting of Park Abbey. A cycle route connects the city’s four abbeys. Or visit one of the local craft breweries in the outskirts. Amber, blond, brown, white… there’s a beer to everyone’s taste. Planning your own route is easy with the network of cycling junctions. Real cycling fanatics can also participate in great cycling events that are organised in and around the city, like the Brabantse Pijl Cyclo for example. Besides cycling you can practice many other sports in Leuven like climbing, beach volley and swimming. Or you can enjoy some top-level events like a pole vault on the Oude Markt, the Yonex Belgian International and all the home games of the Belgium national women’s football team the Red Flames. Leuven was given the title of ‘European City of Sport’ in 2021, so the UCI Road World Championships will be the thrilling apotheosis of a fantastic sports year.
A smart city for the curious, future oriented & green
Leuven is a university town, no doubt. It’s jampacked with students, professors, innovators and inventors. Its internationally renowned university, KU Leuven, has shaped the city for nearly 600 years. Always poised on the cutting-edge of innovation, green and smart tech, KU Leuven and its high-tech spin-off companies infuse the city with unbridled genius and creativity. With its cutting-edge approach to sustainability and quality of life, Leuven was the first Belgian city to win the prestigious European Green Leaf Award. The city has made sustainability a top priority, taking serious strides forward to achieve its goal: a climate neutral future. In 2020 Leuven was also awarded the iCapital award, and can thus proudly call itself the European capital of innovation.
In the center of Belgium
Leuven is very easily accessible. Trains will bring you comfortably from the neighbouring countries straight to the heart of the city. You can be here in more or less 2.5 hours. Brussels National Airport is only 15 min. away by rail. Welcome to Leuven.
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Foto's: © KarlBruninx (1) © Joel Hoylaerts Fotografie (2)