From the lowlands to Leuven: take a trip to the fantastic Flemish city

A Belgian classic! ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช

With its rich history, lively culture, and captivating architecture, the Belgian town of Leuven offers a perfect weekend getaway from the Netherlands.

From the bustling Grote Markt to the awe-inspiring Sint-Pieterskerk, Leuven is a destination that promises a memorable experience for every visitor. 

In this Dutch-but-actually-Flemish-Review, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Leuven, showing you all the most captivating sights to see. Ready? Letโ€™s go! ๐Ÿ‘‡

Grote Markt: the heart of Leuven

Your journey through Leuven should undoubtedly begin at the Grote Markt, the town’s buzzing central square. This historic market square is surrounded by charming cafรฉs, restaurants, and centuries-old buildings with impressive facades. 

READ MORE | Visiting Belgium and Flanders: hereโ€™s your guide to Mechelen!

The bustling student community โ€” Leuven boasts the oldest university in the low countries โ€” turns every square into a lively affair. If youโ€™re looking for any kind of night-time fun, this is the place to be! ๐Ÿป

Sint-Pieterskerk: a gothic marvel

After a night of drinking, itโ€™s time to sober up with a long stroll through the city. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Youโ€™ll be happy to see that Leuven is home to many awe-inspiring churches โ€” but none can match the grandeur of Sint-Pieterskerk. 

Visiting is free of charge, and you can normally also view the famous The Last Supper by painter Dieric Bouts there.

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Breathtaking! Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

The magnificent town hall: an architectural masterpiece

The most gorgeous building in Leuven is the town hall. Itโ€™s really hard to miss as well! It comes as no surprise that this is one of the best-known Gothic town halls in the world.ย 

READ MORE | A summer break in Oostende: more than just your average beach town

While many other buildings in Leuven were rebuilt once or twice after the World Wars, this one has been intact since its completion in 1469. Until 14 January 2024, you can tour the interior and see Leuven as Dieric Bouts and his contemporaries saw it in the 15th century.

The University Library and the Tower of Leuven: true hidden gems

Visiting the University Library in Leuven pretty much felt like stepping into a fairytale. The exterior of the library is quite impressive, but the real beauty is hidden inside the building. Here, youโ€™ll find a grand study hall that’ll have you wishing you were backing your student days. ๐Ÿ“š

photo-of-inside-of-leuven-library-study-hall
They don’t make ’em like this anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

Wanna see some of the best views Leuven has to offer? Youโ€™ll find them here too! Just head on up the tower of the library and you’ll see the city in all its glory.

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A very historical skyline! Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

Museum M: a cultural haven

If you’re an art enthusiast, be sure to visit M Leuven, Leuven’s contemporary art museum. Housed in a modern building, it seamlessly blends the old with the new. 

photo-of-modern-art-at-museum-m-in-leuven-belgium
Art buffs, you’ll love this one! Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

Inside it, you’ll find an impressive collection of both historic and contemporary art, including works by Flemish masters such as Jan van Eyck.

photo-of-rooftop-museum-m-in-leuven
Pssst… a great hidden gem. ๐Ÿ’Ž Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

Getting to Leuven from the Netherlands

Ready to see Leuven for yourself? The cityโ€™s convenient location just before Brussels makes it easily accessible from the Netherlands.

๐Ÿš… By train

To reach Leuven from Amsterdam, you can take a direct train from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Leuven Station. The journey takes approximately two and a half hours. Once you arrive at Leuven Station, the town’s attractions are just a short walk away.

photo-of-square-in-leuven-at-night
The city has a bustling nightlife! Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

๐Ÿš— By car

Got a car? If you prefer driving to Leuven, then itโ€™ll take you around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Since this doesnโ€™t save you that much time, we recommend taking the train and skipping those pesky parking costs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have you ever been to Leuven? Do you have any more tips or suggestions? Share them in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Abuzer van Leeuwen ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Abuzer van Leeuwen ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑhttp://www.abuzervanleeuwen.nl
Abuzer founded DutchReview a decade ago because he thought expats needed it and wanted to make amends for the Dutch cuisine. He has a Masters in Political Science and IT but somewhere always wanted to study history or good old football. He also a mortgage in the Netherlands and will happily tell you too how to get one. Born and raised in Rotterdam, Abuzer now lives in Leiden but is always longing back to his own international year in Italy.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The Stella Artois brewery is here and has a good tour with samples at the end. Right next door to the train station! Only running tours on Saturday and Sunday.

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