There are many green oases in and around the city. The Botanical Garden is a must-visit. The Heverleebos is the place to be for longer walks.
Opening hours parks in Leuven (unless mentioned otherwise):
- 01.04-30.09: 7:00-21:30
- 01.10-31.03: 7:00-19:00
Leuven’s botanical garden is the oldest one in Belgium. The university of Leuven created this garden for its students of medicine in 1738.
Botany enthusiasts can enjoy the diverse plant collections. The 450 m² greenhouse complex boasts countless herbaceous, medicinal, aquatic and potted plants as well as a variety of tropical and subtropical species. Exhibitions take place regularly in the orangery, the gatehouse and in the open air.
Open: 01.05-30.09: 9:00-20:00 | 01.10-30.04: 9:00-17:00
Leuven’s 'municipal park' was designed in the style of an English landscape garden. Here you can still find some remains of the old town wall and a tower built in sandstone and ironstone. The park is ideal for strolling, picnicking or relaxing. Kids can enjoy themselves in the playground.
Tip: look for the ‘art cabinets’ (painted electrical cabinets).
This romantic little park is one of Leuven’s hidden gems.
Particular eye-catchers are the refined bridge and the gazebo.
Ideal for a picnic or for relaxing.
Terraces at the Dijle
Nice terraces on the banks of the river Dijle.
This is a wonderful spot for a picnic or an enchanting night out.
Heverleebos & Meerdaalwoud
Forest & woods
Heverleebos is an urban woodland where recreation is at the centre. There are signposted walking and cycling routes.
Nature takes precedence in Meerdaalwoud. Access to some parts of the woodland is restricted so that nature can flourish in all its diversity.
Provincial Domaine Kessel-Lo
A family park aimed at recreation, sports and education.
Recreation: with playgrounds, pedalos, rowing boats, golf & paddling pool
Sport: with ball sport fields, skateboard ramp, roller skating rink, & jogging routes
Education; with a traffic park, bee house & water ecocentre
Sluispark is a brand-new park in the trendy Vaartkom neighbourhood. Water plays a central role here, thanks to the opening up of the Dyle river, the large steps which double as seating all the way to the water, and a unique water play area.
You will also find the Green Leaf artwork here. Leuven won this prestigious European award because the city serves as a role model in terms of sustainable development. Discover the 9 sustainable hotspots in the blog written by Leuven local, Hélène.
The ponds of Bellefroid
Just a 10-minute walk from the Vaartkom you will find a very special green area slightly hidden between the Sportschuur and the Vaart in Wilsele-Dorp. The shallow ponds were created in 1940 by the Bellefroid family for the purpose of breeding carp. In the 1980s, those breeding activities came to an end and nature reclaimed the 21 hectares. Observe the many waterfowl from the bird watching hut, sit down by the water for a picnic or just follow the walking path and enjoy the countryside for a little while.