Curious to discover some of the best things to do in Leuven? You have come just to the right place. So keep reading to get sa cool guide for stuff do and activities in Leuven, near Brussels
We teamed up with the fabulous team of Cube Hostel. The Cube team knows the students city like the back of their hand. Unfortunately, CUBE Hostel closed its doors – a big pity, it was fantastic place to stay in Leuven.
Either way, here you can find all hostels in Leuven.
Let’s talk about the secret Leuven tips!
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flanders, Belgium.
Not really a surprise, Leuven has a rich beer culture, and it is known for being the birthplace of several beers.
Neither surprising: Leuven also has lots of bars priding themselves in offering a wide variety of local and international beers. One bar offers even more than 3000 different beers – cheers to that!
Best Things to do in Leuven, Belgium
- Visit Historical Leuven Town hall
- Saint Peter’s Church
- Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis
- Brewery Tour with Stella Artois
- A Flemish restaurant to enjoy the local cuisine (vegan dishes available)
- Turn into an artist: art place with great coffee
- Get a delicious Belgium craft beer on a roof top terrace
- Hipster place to get the best brunch
- yummy food
- How to get the best of the city during Summer!?
1. Visit Historical Leuven Town hall
The #1 sight and you will instantly see why.
The Town hall in Leuven might be Europes most beautiful Town Hall.
There is no real need to look for this place. You will stumble upon the town hall every time you walk through the small city center.
Good to know: At night the town hall is illuminated. Beautiful! Stop by at night when you can. Bare in mind, the town hall is only illuminated until 22pm, 23pm or 24pm.
2. Saint Peter’s Church
Obviously, a church is something you have to add to your bucket list when traveling Belgium.
As for Leuven, the msot famous church is the Saint Peters Church.
3. Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis
Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis is a historic botanical garden dating back to 1738 – seriously! Visit a greenhouse & thoughtfully tended plant displays.
This is one of the things to do for families when visiting Leuven.
4. Brewery Tour Stella Artois
Stella Artois is one of the most famous beer companies from Belgium. And yes, it is located in Leuven.
So, if you are into beer, join a brewery tour of Stella Artois. It’s fun – and you get to taste the beer too.
5. A flemish Restaurant: Balls & Glory
Now, after the 3 absolute must things to do in Leuven, here’s a few more insider tips.
This one is a cozy restaurant owned by the famous flemish TV-Chef Wim Billie.
This restaurant is the place to taste… Meatballs!
They come in different preparations, and they are very tasty. With the menu, you get a meat or veggie ball of your choice plus potato puree or salad. There is also free Water and fruits on the table.
Even-though range is very limited (they do only offer meatballs), the decoration is awesome, and staff is very friendly.
Address: Tiensestraat 31, Leuven
6. Openbaar Entrepot voor de Kunsten (OPEK): Art Place and Café
Awesome art place which offers a lot of exhibitions, events, music…
There is also a Café located in the same building, which is also a great place to lunch or have a great coffee. Check the facebook page of OPEK to get more events information.
Address: Vaartkom 4, Leuven
7. A Rooftop Terrace Bar with Craft Belgian Beer: The M-Café
The M-Café is a rooftop bar located on top of the Museum Leuven.
You do not need a museum ticket to get into the M-café. They do offer a deep and broad list of local beers chosen with care, including a guest list of temporary and rare beers.
They do also have great food. Every Friday evening from October to May, a beer connoisseur will guide you through the range of local beers in ‘An Hour of Beer Culture’.
Address: Savoyestraat 10, Leuven
8. The place to brunch with your friends: De Werf
Located in the coziest square in town, De Werf is a cozy pub serving simple but great food.
It has an outdoor seating area with blankets and heat lamps to enjoy the terrace also in winter time.
It is very popular between students because the food is good and not expensive. The wraps and pastas are good value, and salads are huge. The nice little decoration elements make it a very original place to enjoy your lunch or just relax.
Address: Hogeschoolplein 5, Leuven
9. Great Italian restaurant: La Baracca
Amazing Italian restaurant in the city centre of Leuven.
Excellent for sharing dishes and very yummy pizza! La Baracca serves top quality food in a very nice atmosphere. Try the Bitter Spritz cocktail, they prepare it in their trendy way.
This restaurant has also a heated comfortable terrace.
TIP: We highly recommend to make reservations in advance, as it is usually fully booked.
Address: Tiensestraat 34, Leuven
10. Extra: HET GROOT VERLOF
Try to get the best in the city if you head to Leuven in Summer.
Het Groot Verlof is one giant event-calendar with different offers: from big performances and concerts to cozy markets, the city gets very lively! You can check all the events in their website or Facebook profile.
Hostels and Where to stay in Leuven
Are you looking for a great Hostel in Leuven?
Unfortunately CUBE Hostel closed its doors. Here you can find all hostels in Leuven.
We also wrote up handy guides for more cities in the area:
- best hostels in Brussels – compared
- best hostels in Bruges
- best hostels in Amsterdam
- best hostels in Paris
Learn everything you need to know about Hostels in the Full Guide to European Hostels.
Hostel Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries