Beer, of course!
Jelle and Koen are your go-to for highly original beers from small, independent craft breweries around the world. The two friends celebrate their passion for this delectable ambrosia at HOPS N MORE, selling meads, IPAs, stouts, lambic beers and many other surprising products.
Beer and chocolate? It may sound like a cliché but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Because in Leuven they really know how to make the finest chocolates, sometimes with very unexpected, different flavours. Read more about the four chocolatiers that you really should visit when you come to Leuven.
Your favourite uni
Forget Harvard or Oxford. If you really want to make an impression, you should wear a hoodie or sweater with the KU Leuven logo. Pick one up at the KU Leuven shop in the University Hall in Naamsestraat, where they also sell cool shoulder bags, caps, mugs, and even ties and white sports socks. All with the familiar logo. You can also shop for clothes and gadgets at the reception of the University Library.
Greetings from Leuven
Nowadays, sending a message and a photo takes seconds thanks to your smartphone. But isn’t an old-fashioned postcard so much more fun? Surprise people at home with a ‘greetings from Leuven’ card. You’ll find a nice selection at the counter of Visit Leuven, along with several other local, sustainable souvenirs from Leuven. Hema in Parijsstraat also sells postcards.
The Town Hall in your living room
Really? Yes! Albeit on a smaller scale, obviously. And you have to put it together yourself, but that’s part of the fun. Designer Eline Cornelissen created a wooden model building kit of Leuven’s iconic Town Hall. Only available at the reception of Visit Leuven.
You really don’t have to buy a mug that was made in China with ‘I heart Leuven’ on it. The potter Jan Vander Elst of ’t Rood Huys produces some artful gems that will look just lovely on your table. Tableware, platters, urns, tea sets and much more, all lovingly made by hand.
For young readers
Leuven’s premier children’s bookshop? De Kleine Johannes, of course. A bookshop full of stories, with the first picture book about Leuven and exciting children’s stories. But Leuven is also home to many other bookshops. Including cosy Barbóék, which is both a bookshop and coffee bar. Or Boekarest, with its quirky selection and personal advice.
King George and other curiosities
The quirkiest souvenir? There’s only once place to go: Animaux Speciaux in Mechelsestraat. How about a very special duckling wearing a crown under a bell jar? Or do you prefer a shiny green beetle in a vintage matchbox? The selection of stuffed animals at Animaux Speciaux is truly fantastic. If it’s not really your cup of tea, however, you’ll be happy to know that they stock lots of other original gifts and items, including some unique books, wonderful home accessories, and miniature tree houses. Anything that is just a little different.