Leuven voted one of the five top destinations in Europe

Every year, EuropeanBestDestinations.com - the most visited website dedicated to tourism in Europe - compiles a list of the “European Best Destinations”. This year, Leuven made it into the top 5, after an exciting worldwide vote. Curious to know how our city succeeded in winning over voters?

20 dreamy European destinations

The organisation selected twenty European destinations that deserve to be in the spotlight. The emphasis in this regard is on the cultural or tourist offering and the quality of life in the city or region as well as sustainable development. This year, Leuven was also in the running for European Best Destination, along with such cities as Rome, Nijmegen and Prague.

Leuven ended up receiving 47,947 votes from 77 different countries, putting the city in fifth place. The Slovenian capital Ljubljana was ranked first, followed by Marbella (Spain) and Amiens (France) in second and third place respectively. This is the first time ever that a Belgian city has achieved such a high ranking.

Leuven is “Best Open-Minded Destination”

Moreover, Leuven was also voted “Best Open-Minded Destination in Europe”, ahead of Amsterdam and London. According to EBD, Leuven is “the Belgian miracle”. An open, tolerant city, with a focus on a fair and inclusive future, where everyone is welcome and everyone has a place.

EuropeanBestDestinations.com described Leuven as a city with a great vibe, where everything seems possible and where every meeting counts.

Leuven’s assets

  1. The city’s superb heritage played an important part in Leuven’s nomination, with Leuven owing a great deal of its character and appeal to its many university colleges, its historic Town Hall and beguinage. According to EuropeanBestDestinations.com, the city’s cultural institutions have also succeeded particularly well in mixing classic art with more contemporary work.
  2. The name Leuven instantly brings Stella Artois to mind, of course. The brewery and the city’s long-standing passion for beer give Leuven a unique character, according to EBD. The organisation also noted that it’s not only beer lovers who are at home here, Leuven has also become a foodie destination, offering a wide range of high-quality and original cuisines.
  3. Green oases? Leuven has plenty! According to EuropeanBestDestinations.com, green space also boosts the quality of life in the city. The organisation highlighted Leuven’s Botanical Garden, the oldest in Belgium, with its diverse collection of tropical and subtropical species, a must-see for nature lovers.
  4. Very pleasingly, EBD also noted the ambience in the city as a factor in the nomination. Leuven is described as a sparkling, exciting and open-minded city, a city that is already thinking of the future in the present, working to ensure that everyone has a place in it. Investments to increase sustainability in the city and create more space for cyclists are definitely appreciated.

Want to experience that typical Leuven ambience yourself?
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