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Tourist information and destination rating

Category: Cities, Local time: 12:47:51, Tel.: +32 16 27 20 76, Official WWW website:


delicious meals
distinctive atmosphere
excellent wines
attractive museums
mild climate


poor or deceitful service

Suitable for

active vacation

Why to go there?

old&new architecture
christmas markets
historical centre

Transportation and means of transport

international airport

Information and Facts

GPS: 50.8796, 4.6992
Altitude: 24 m
Distance from the capital city: Brussels, 27 km
Last update: 2012-10-21 20:36:01

Leuven: Reviews

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 Aura: 69Reviews: 1242011-08-31 10:25:15
Leuven (Louvain, Löwen) is an old academic city on the banks of the Dijle River in the northern part of Belgium . It is located app. 25 km east of the capital city Brussels . Leuven is the administrative centre of the region Flemish Brabant and has approximately 93, 000 inhabitants.

About Leuven

Leuven is a city where history and present merge together. It is an academic city, full of pubs and bars, where you can find students and professors from all around the world. It is a city of picturesque street and pleasant atmosphere.


The first settlement in the region of the city Leuven dates back to the 9th century. From the 11th to 14th century, Leuven was an important trade centre of the Duchy of Brabant. At the time, the textile industry was at its peak and the well-known flaxy linen, known as lewyn, comes from this locality. Nowadays, the Leuven has a different symbol- students and beer.

University Leuven

The Catholic University of Leuven was founded in 1425 by the Pope Martin V. and John IV, Duke of Brabant. It is the oldest Belgian university and one of the oldest ones in Europe. In 1968, the university split to form two institutions. The Flemish part of the university- the Catholic University Leuven stayed in Leuven and the francophone part was moved to New Leuven (Louvain-la-Neuve) in the region Walloon Brabant.

Centre of Belgian beer

Leuven is sometimes called the capital Belgian city of beer. The history of brewing beer in Leuven goes back to the 14th century. Today, the city is home to two breweries. The smallest Belgian brewery Domus is based here as well as probably the most famous brewery InBev that produces the beer Stella Artois . Guided tours in the brewery Stella Artois are available from Tuesday to Saturday. You can visit the brewery Domus (book in advance) daily except for Monday. The tours, of course, include beer tasting.

Leuven – places of interest

Apart from the already mentioned universities and breweries, the city offers so many other places of interest that you will have difficulties seeing them all in one day. The beautiful building of the town hall will captivate you on the main square Grote Markt. It comes from the 15th century and is built in the style of later Brabant gothic. It is one of the most gorgeous buildings of its kind in Europe. Another significant building on the central square is the St Peter’s Cathedral. It comes from the 10th century and it is the oldest church in Leuven. It was extended and rebuilt in the 15th century. The cathedral’s interior is decorated with a unique painting of the Last Diner from the renowned Flemish painter Dirk Bouts.

The Grand Béguinage under the protection of UNESCO

Similarly as many other Flemish cities (e.g. Mechelen ) , Leuven also has its own béguinage. The older- Small House of the Beguins- comes from the 13th century; the younger Big House comes from the 18th century. Today, its rooms serve as a hostel for students and a conference centre. Both houses are listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and are accessible for public free-of-charge.

Parks, museums and botanical garden

The city captivates its visitors by the many museums, parks and modern architecture. The most interesting museum is the Museum of the Flemish Student World and from the parks e.g. Diljepark or the botanical garden Kruidtuin, which is the oldest botanical garden in Belgium. The most famous modern building is most likely the city library Tweebronnen. The building designed by the famous Belgian architect Henry van de Velde was built in 1936 – 1942.


The nearest international airport is the Brussels International Airport, about 25 km west of Leuven. It takes about 20 minutes from Brussels and 40 minutes from Antwerp to get to Leuven by train. If driving a car, Leuven is on the intersection of the two main motorways E 40 and E 314. There is quality bus transport within the city.

Accommodation, practical information

The tourist centre Leuven is located on the square Grote Markt in the building of the town hall. There are 17 hotels, many private accommodation facilities and a hostel for the less demanding visitors of Leuven.

Cities around

LeuvenHeverlee (1.7km)Bertem (4.3km)Herent (3.7km)Oud-Heverlee (5km)Korbeek-Dijle (6km)Haasrode (6km)Holsbeek (6km)Bierbeek (7km)