The 4 Best Neighborhoods in Leuven for Tourists
Located in the city centre is the The KU Leuven University, which has maintained the oldest botanical gardens in Belgium. The garden was established for the medical students in the 16th century for medicinal plants. The enormous greenhouse now houses both exotic and ingenious plants as well as aquatic medicinal plants.
The university owns most of the buildings around Groot Begijnhof, a historical quarter in Leuven. The massive street of more than 1,000 buildings shows the rich historical heritage of Leuven and it attracts a good number of visitors every year. Make sure you go up the topmost floors for a panoramic view of the historical buildings that run down to the beautiful parks.
Located at the inner part of the city is the M-museum. It majorly holds the municipal art and craft collections. The collections include sculpture, glasswork, paintings, photographs, videos, and metalwork. The museum also holds cultural events throughout the year.
While Ghent, Bruges, and Antwerp cities are situated on the lower sides of the city, Leuven shopping district is hillier. However, a part of the city is down the Dijle valley built along its banks. Tourists who have trouble walking can board a taxi or more so a train to the neighbouring cities.
Lastly, Leuven is famous for its numerous breweries. If you fancy a good bottle of beer, then you should take a tour to some of the biggest breweries in Leuven such as Brewery Stella Artois, Brewery De Vlier, and Brewery De Kroon.
1. Historic City Centre (Grote Markt, Town Hall, Oude Markt)
Grote Markt is comprised mainly of houses that date back to the 14th century. Grote is live with fun events throughout the year including a phenomenal Christmas market. During summer, there is the flower carpet event that paints the whole old market with flowers. It is spiced up more by live music and food festivals throughout the summer.
Oude market, on the other hand, is well known for its chain of restaurants and bars. It is the best place to experience the Leuven nightlife.
Townhall is the most distinguished landmark in Leuven City with its architecture from the 15th century. The walls are decorated differently to showcase 236 figures in town history. The roof is highly decorated with turrets, while the bases are decorated with biblical reliefs from the original medieval building.
Grand Beguinage area also known as Groot Beginjnhof is the town’s most captivating area in the city. The romantic complex was founded in the 13th century. It is built along Dijle River. The site was bought by the Leuven University and restored as a student residence as well as lecture halls.
Sint-Jan-de-Doper an early beguine church built in the 13th and 14th century serves as the community worship centre.
3. Heverlee (Outside of City Centre)
Heverlee is the suburb of Leuven city with numerous parks. A great place for romantic walks. The best park is Abbey park. It is a historic park founded in the 10th century and was a home for the monastic community.
The park has a chapter house, with both Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The park also has a library and a refectory. You may also choose to visit the Monastery Church built nine centuries ago and redesigned four centuries ago.
Leuven train station connects the city to many other destinations in the north conveniently. You may choose to stay here because of the convenience especially if as a tourist you want to visit many historic sites in Belgium with central accommodation.
Across the station is Naamsestraat where most of the university buildings are. Some of the buildings worth a look are; St.Michael Church built-in 1650, King’s College, Arras college and Premonstratensian college.