10+ Exciting Things to Do in Leuven, Belgium


Are you looking for a vibrant city to explore with plenty of exciting things to do? Look no further than Leuven, Belgium! This university town is an excellent site for solo travellers – but there’s something for everyone here. From visiting centuries-old architectural wonders like St Peter’s Church and Grote Markt, to exploring the botanical gardens and tasting Belgium’s national beer, Leuven has it all.

With its University Library, Museum Leuven, and Longest Bar in the World, Leuven offers a unique array of experiences. So why not plan your trip to Leuven right away?

Short Summary

  • Explore Leuven’s beautiful architecture, including the 15th-century Town Hall and St. Peter’s Church.

  • Visit Museum Leuven for an impressive art collection and extended hours on Thursdays with admission included in the ILUVLeuven Ticket XL!

  • Enjoy a beer at the longest bar in the world, or take a brewery tour of the home of Stella Artois.

Where to Stay in Leuven

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Leuven, a university town in the Flanders region of Belgium, you’re in luck! With its lively student scene and stunning architecture, Leuven has a variety of accommodation options to fit different types of stays. For those looking for a hotel, The Heart of Leuven apartment, Boutique Leuven, and Hotel De Pastorij are all great choices. If you’d prefer a bed and breakfast, Hotel De Pastorij is a great option. For larger groups, the Heart of Leuven apartment can fit up to 8 people. You can find a full list of hotel options in Leuven.

Leuven is also known for its beer and culture, so why not take in the sights while you’re there? You can visit the Botanical Garden or explore the winding cobblestone streets of the Groot Begijnhof. You can also take in the sights of Old Market Square Leuven and marvel at Saint Peter’s Church.

How To Get From Brussels To Leuven

No problem. You can get from Brussels to Leuven quickly and easily by taking the train. Trains between Brussels and Leuven run every 10-15 minutes, making it a great option for visitors who want to quickly explore Leuven. The journey takes just 20 minutes, so you’ll be in the city centre in no time. Plus, the train station is only a 10-minute walk away from downtown Leuven, so you can easily explore the city without taking a taxi or public transportation.

Leuven is the perfect day trip from Brussels, and is one of Belgium’s hidden gems. With its rich history, incredible architecture, and vibrant culture, it’s a great place to visit. And with the convenient train connection, it’s easier than ever to experience all that Leuven has to offer.

Explore the Best of Leuven’s Historic Centre

A view of the city centre of Leuven with its historic buildings

Leuven’s historic centre is a must-visit for any visitor to Belgium, and it’s an absolute treasure trove of history and culture. From the cobbled streets of Oude Markt to the impressive Grote Markt, there is something here for everyone.

Highlights of the city centre include Grote Markt’s Gothic buildings, Stadhuis, and St. Peter’s Church – all of which boast centuries of history. So, if you’re looking to really explore the best of what Leuven has to offer, then its historic centre is definitely the place to start.

1. Admire the Buildings of Grote Markt

Grote Markt is the epicenter of Leuven’s historic centre, and it’s the perfect spot to admire some stunning Gothic buildings. The highlight of the square is undoubtedly the 15th century Town Hall, but there are also many other beautiful buildings to explore, including St. Peter’s Church, the Cloth Hall, and the Guild Houses.

What’s more, you can also take a guided tour of the Stadhuis, or purchase the ILUVLeuven ticket which will help you save some cash when visiting the included sites.

2. Take a Tour of Leuven’s Stadhuis

town hall, leuven, gothic

Leuven’s Stadhuis is one of the most iconic buildings in the city, and it’s an absolute must-see. Located at Grote Markt 9, the Stadhuis is a classic example of late Gothic architecture, built in the Brabantine Late Gothic style. The exterior of the building is adorned with an impressive 235 statues, and the interior of the building is equally stunning, with the Great Gothic Council Chamber and the Small Gothic Hall.

To really get the full experience, you can take a guided tour of the Stadhuis every afternoon for a small fee.

3. See The Last Supper in St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church is a pretty cool Gothic church right in the center of Leuven, on the Grote Markt. The highlight of the church is undoubtedly The Last Supper painting by Dirk Bouts, which dates back to 1464 to 1468.

Aside from the painting, there is also a brass font tucked away in the chapel to the left of the west gate, as well as the Museum of Religious Art, run by M-Museum Leuven.

So, if you’re looking to really experience the best of Leuven’s history, make sure to check out St. Peter’s Church.

Visit the University Library

The University Library in Leuven, known as the Universiteitsbibliotheek, is an absolute must-visit for tourists. It was first built way back in the 15th century, and was tragically destroyed during WWII. Thanks to some American funds, the library was rebuilt in the classic Flemish Renaissance style and is now a site of great historical and cultural importance.

The University Library is full of amazing things to do, such as taking a history tour with an audio guide, checking out the bell tower, taking in some stunning views, and chilling out in the cozy library hall. Admission to the University Library is €7, which includes an audio guide and a panoramic view.

1. Learn About Leuven’s University Library

Leuven’s University Library building is an impressive attraction. It was built in the classic Flemish Renaissance style and is the biggest library in the area. Visitors can learn about the library’s past, as well as take an audio-guided tour and climb up the bell tower for some awesome views of central Leuven.

Additionally, there are a bunch of exhibits about the building’s history in the belfry tower and the balcony at the top of the belfry. It’ll cost €7 to take a tour of the KU University Library.

2. Climb the Tower for Panoramic Views

tower, library, leuven

Climbing the bell tower at KU University Library is an experience you won’t forget. Your ticket will get you access to the bell tower, an audio guide to help you explore, and a cozy library hall to curl up and read in. Plus, the views from the top of the tower are pretty amazing. You can see all of Leuven from up there, and it’s especially awesome when the bells start ringing.

You can feel the vibrations throughout the entire tower and it’s quite loud – not for the faint of heart when you’re 80 meters up!

Art Lovers’ Guide to Leuven

Leuven is a true paradise for art lovers, boasting some of the best art spots in Belgium. From the iconic Museum Leuven to the breathtaking Groot Begijnhof, there’s plenty for art aficionados to explore in Leuven. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these two art destinations, so you can plan your visit accordingly.

Museum Leuven is one of the top art spots in the city, located at Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28. It houses an impressive collection of over 52,000 artworks – from 15th and 18th century masterpieces to contemporary works and even some of the hottest exhibitions from renowned artists around the globe. The museum is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm, except for Wednesdays when it’s closed. But Thursdays are special – they stay open until 10 pm. Admission is included in the ILUVLeuven Ticket XL, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out extra cash. And if you’re looking for a cup of joe, head to Coffee at Anna – it’s just across from the museum and it’s got some seriously tasty coffee and a great selection of pastries and snacks.

Groot Begijnhof is another must-see for art enthusiasts. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a restored historic quarter that was built back in the 13th century to house beguinages. This place is pretty special – it’s a historic spot that gives us a peek into the lives of the beguines who called it home. It covers a whopping 3 hectares, making it one of the biggest buildings in Europe. You can take a look around the outside of the buildings without spending a dime, and it’s located at Schapenstraat in the heart of Leuven.

So make sure you add Museum Leuven and Groot Begijnhof to your to-do list in Leuven – they’re two of the most important art spots in the city, giving you a peek into the city’s amazing cultural heritage.

1. Visit Museum Leuven

Museum Leuven is the ultimate art destination in Leuven, boasting an impressive selection of classical and modern art from all over the globe. Located at Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, on the grounds of an old mansion, this museum has a wide array of artworks that are sure to captivate art enthusiasts.

When visiting Museum Leuven, you can check out an awesome collection of over 52,000 artworks, with a special focus on pieces from Leuven and Brabant. Not only that, but you also get to explore the St Pieterskerk Treasury for free!

Museum Leuven is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm, except for Wednesdays when it’s closed. But Thursdays are special – they stay open until 10 pm. Admission is included in the ILUVLeuven Ticket XL, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out extra cash.

And if you’re looking for a cup of joe after your visit, head to Coffee at Anna – it’s just across from the museum and it’s got some seriously tasty coffee and a great selection of pastries and snacks.

2. See the Groot Begijnhof

Groot Begijnhof is a real treat – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a restored historic quarter in Leuven. This place is pretty much a fairytale! It was founded in the 13th century and has over 1,000 houses and a church. Back in the 18th century, 300 béguins were living here and the houses were given a facelift with stepped gables, mullions, and doors. But then the French Revolution happened and the British had to leave.

This place is huge! It covers a whopping 3 hectares, making it one of the biggest buildings in Europe. Best of all, you can take a look around the outside of the buildings without spending a dime. And you can find it at Schapenstraat in the heart of Leuven.

So art enthusiasts, make sure you add Groot Begijnhof to your to-do list in Leuven – it’s a pretty special place, as it was once home to hundreds of béguines who lived a simple, nun-like life.

Have a Beer at The Longest Bar in the World

A view of the longest bar in the world in Leuven

The Oude Markt in Leuven is home to the longest bar in the world, making it a must-visit for beer enthusiasts. The Leuven beer scene is absolutely buzzing, with loads of different Belgian brews to pick from. From the fruity beers made with locally-sourced ingredients from Limburg to the classic Stella Artois, you won’t be short of options.

The Oude Markt itself is a large rectangular square in the heart of Leuven. It’s full of awesome cafes and restaurants and all sorts of nightlife options to choose from – the perfect spot to grab a cold one after a long day of exploring. And in the summer, the vibe is electric, with plenty of tables to hang out at and people to watch.

A Brewery Visit to The Home of Stella Artois

stella artois, beer, wine

It all started way back in 1366 when the beer producers first set up shop at the Den Hoorn brewery. Fast forward to 1717 and Sébastien Artois took over the reins, and Stella Artois was born.

If you’re looking for a good time, you can take a guided tour of the Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven. You can join an English language tour of the Stella Artois brewery on Saturdays at 3 pm and 5 pm. In 2023, you can take a tour of the Stella Artois brewery for €12, which includes a tasting and souvenir.

Visiting the Stella Artois Brewery is a must for any beer enthusiast. You’ll get to explore the home of the famous Pilsner beer, learn about the brewery’s history, and see how they make Stella Artois these days. Plus, you’ll get to sample the beer, so what’s not to love?

Make sure to check out the museum, too, which is full of interesting facts and stories about the brewery, its creator, and the first World War. Oh, and don’t miss the Leuven Beer Festival, which takes place every spring. It’s a great opportunity to explore Belgium’s hidden gems and sample some of the best beers in the world.

Relax in Leuven’s Botanical Garden

The Leuven Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Belgium, having been founded in 1738 by the University of Leuven. Originally created as a medicinal plant garden for their school of medicine, the garden is now a beautiful place to relax and explore. The garden boasts a stunning wisteria wall, beautiful flower borders, and an impressive succulent collection. It’s truly a sight to behold.

You can also find some really interesting plants and flowers, topiary bushes, bees, chickens, and all kinds of exotic flora with subtropical and tropical species, cacti, and water plants. The address of the garden is Kapijcijnenvoer 30 and the best part is, admission is totally free!

So if you’re looking for an opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Leuven Botanical Garden is an ideal spot to relax and unwind.

Is Leuven Safe for Solo Travellers?

Yeah, Leuven is usually a safe place for those who are traveling solo. As with any destination, it’s always wise to keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings. The city centre is generally safe and well-populated during the day, however, it’s best to avoid shady areas and stick to well-lit streets at night. Make sure you always have a map handy and don’t be afraid to ask for directions if needed.

Solo travellers to Leuven should take precautions such as avoiding walking alone at night, keeping your valuables close, being aware of your surroundings, and staying away from suspicious people. It is also a good idea to register with your embassy when you arrive in Leuven, so they can be kept informed of your whereabouts.

Leuven is generally a safe city and solo travellers can enjoy their visit without worrying. Tourists should make sure to keep their belongings secure, stay vigilant, and use common sense while they explore all of the amazing attractions Leuven has to offer.


Leuven is an amazing city with plenty of things to do, from exploring its historic centre to visiting the world’s longest bar and brewery. Located just a 20 minute train ride from Brussels, it’s perfect for a day trip or even an entire weekend exploration.

Art lovers won’t be disappointed either, as Leuven has some incredible art attractions, such as Museum Leuven and Groot Begijnhof. With breathtaking views from the bell tower to the free Botanical Garden, you will never find yourself without something to do in this amazing city.

Solo travellers don’t have to worry either, as Leuven generally offers a safe environment and travellers should take certain precautions to keep their belongings secure. With all these exciting things to do and explore, Leuven is the perfect destination for a fun filled adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Leuven worth visiting?

Leuven is definitely worth visiting! With beautiful architecture, a vibrant cultural scene, nearby countryside and quaint pubs, it’s the perfect place to explore and relax.

Coupled with its fascinating history and hospitable locals, you won’t regret giving Leuven a visit!

What is Leuven Belgium best known for?

Leuven, Belgium is renowned for its lively university town of 100,000 people, and for housing some of the world’s best breweries. It’s won a reputation as the “beer capital of the Flemish Brabant” with brews like Stella Artois helping to put it on the map as a popular destination!

The city is home to a variety of pubs, bars, and restaurants, all of which offer a wide selection of beers. Visitors can sample the local brews, or try something new from the many international brands available. There are many reasons.

Why visit Leuven Belgium?

Leuven is a stunning city filled with centuries-old history and culture. Whether visiting for its world-famous beer, vibrant modern art galleries, or gorgeous Gothic churches, you’ll be awestruck by the beauty of Leuven Belgium.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top