Unique reasons to visit Leuven

When most people travel to Belgium, they like to visit the bigger cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruge. While these are wonderful cities to see, you would be missing out if you didn’t stop to see Leuven during your visit to Belgium. Leuven has many great things to boast about, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting things about Leuven and why we think you ought to come visit!
By
Leen Tyrions
19 September 2022

1. Top 5 in European Best Destination of 2022

Leuven was recently ranked in the top 5 cities to visit in Europe in 2022! Our city was competing with larger places such as Rome, London, and Istanbul just to name a few. We are so proud our city was seen as a lovely destination, and we couldn’t agree more! The European Best Destination committee boasted about Leuven’s culture, art scene, gastronomy, beer, and shopping. Come see for yourself what makes our city so great and boast to your friends you got to visit one of the high ranking European Best Destinations!

2. Take a break from the tour crowds

One of the really great things about Leuven is the fact that it’s less busy and touristy compared to Brussels and Bruges. It’s also really simple to get to Leuven from Brussels, making it a great place to visit for a day or weekend trip. Leuven allows you to enjoy a lively city without the massive crowds.

Because of its location, Leuven is also a great place to stay as a home point if you wish to see other parts of Belgium. If you’re planning a long stay to see other Belgian cities, Leuven is right in the middle of everything, making it easy to get around via train.

Not to mention, the food is more affordable (thanks to Leuven being a college town) and there are many free activities for tourists such as the churches, abbeys & beguinages. and activities are more affordable. So if you’ve ever wanted to wander off the beaten path, Leuven is calling your name.

3. The city is designed for walking & biking

Leuven is very special because you won’t see many cars in the city center. That’s because the roads are designed to keep cars out of the main walking areas! Many of the streets are filled with people instead of cars making for a lovely and relaxing city visit.

Want to hop on a bike? We highly recommend it. Some of Leuven’s best sights can be seen by bike such as the Arenberg Castle and the Park Abbey. Renting a bike is super simple and can be done through a few different Leuven bike businesses. Once you’ve got your bike, getting around is a piece of cake since the city is designed for bikers! We recommend these tips for a fun cycling trip!

4. Leuven was Ranked Most Innovative City in 2020

Leuven is a city that strives to be sustainable and have innovative solutions for any challenge. So what makes Leuven so innovative? Leuven is home to the University of KU Leuven, which is a hub of research and technology. The university connects city residents, city officials, entrepreneurs, and researchers alike to brainstorm unique solutions to many situations.

Leuven strives to provide sustainability for its residents. One does not have to walk far to find an eco-friendly clothing shop, coffee shops with biodegradable cups, or vegetarian restaurants in Leuven. Leuven also has lots of sustainable accommodation options, thanks to the Green Key hotels. With the research minds of KU Leuven and the new technology the city has access to, there’s no telling what new solution they will discover next.

5. Home of High Ranking University

Did you know? KU Leuven is ranked 42nd in top European schools! It’s a well renowned university and continues to grow each year. When you go to visit London, you might visit the Oxford campus, or the Harvard campus if you’re visiting Boston. When you’re in Leuven, you ought to visit the KU Leuven campus, which isn’t difficult to find! Just wandering the streets of Leuven, you’ll find KU Leuven buildings scattered all around.

KU Leuven is also an extremely historical university and was created in 1425, so there’s a bit of history to the school. One of the most well known KU Leuven buildings is Arenberg Castle which is just a 5 minute bike ride away from the city center. When you visit the castle, you’ll find yourself mingling with the students and scholars of today’s generation. We recommend taking a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grassy lawn in front of the castle.

Another popular KU Leuven building is the University Library in the city center. It’s worth booking a tour to learn about the incredible history behind this structure, not to mention, you get access to the top of the bell tower with your ticket for an incredible 360 degree view of the entire city! Be sure to book your ticket online before your visit.

6. The city atmosphere

Leuven is a unique place because it’s home to many locals as well as international students. This makes for a unique city DNA that offers a fun yet relaxing environment. Sitting at a local cafe in the city center, you’ll find people whizzing by on their bikes, tourists taking in the sights, students meeting for drinks, and locals living the good life. All of this combined makes for an enjoyable trip that will surely entertain you.

Come visit Leuven

These are just a few of the reasons that make Leuven so wonderful. Come visit the city and find out for yourself why Leuven is worth visiting time and time again. We look forward to seeing you in our city soon! Take our word for it, you’ll want to spend several days here

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