I visited pupil metropolis Leuven for the space-themed “KNAL! Competition” (“BANG! Competition”), of which you’ll be able to learn extra about over on The Space Tester. Do you know that town was the birthplace and scientific playground of Professor Georges Lemaître: the founding father of the revolutionary “Huge Bang” Principle? Now you do!
Right here on The Journey Tester, I’ll share a few of my different cultural and gastro-tips with you, so while you go to Leuven, you’ll have a good time exploring.
MORNING IN LEUVEN
BREAKFAST AT LEUV
Whereas resort breakfasts are nice, I nonetheless desire to begin the day in a brand new metropolis exploring the native choices. I stumbled upon Bar Leuv, and this was an incredible selection! Whereas it’s known as a bar, that is the go-to brunch spot on the town it appears. They do all-day bowls, salads, massive plates, espresso & tea , eggs… and waffles (simply sayin’). The employees was tremendous pleasant too, which is at all times an excellent signal.
Parijsstraat 6, Leuven – barleuv.be
TIP: Top off on snacks for the day over at Färm, an natural grocery store that permits you to assist impartial producers and household companies and keep away from multinational agricultural firms.
WHERE TO EAT, DRINK AND SHOP?
The Journey Tester likes to evaluate eating places and retailers all all over the world.
From (themed) eating places, bars and cafes with native specialties to the most effective retailers promoting regional or handmade artisan merchandise and distinctive souvenirs… if it appears to be like attention-grabbing to us, we’ll check it!
Regardless of the place you’re going, with our evaluations you’ll know precisely the place to discover a enjoyable hotspot!
EXPLORE LEUVEN’S HISTORY ON FOOT
The town of Leuven dates again to the ninth century. Its historical past is wealthy when it comes to spiritual artwork in addition to world-class structure and infrastructure. At this time, town continues to resume itself with modern initiatives built-in into the age-old settings.
And the most effective factor? It’s tremendous straightforward to discover Leuven on foot!
KU Leuven – The College of Leuven (KU Leuven) has influenced the cityscape for over six centuries with a variation in architectural types within the in any other case primarily Gothic internal metropolis. The scholars and folks of over 155 totally different nationalities carry a buzz to town the place tradition and creativity reigns.
De Oude Markt – With a minimum of 182 eating places and 240 cafés, Leuven has maybe the largest focus of meals and beverage retailers in all of Flanders. And that within the internal metropolis which solely spans about 2 kilometers! They name the Oude Markt (Outdated Market) in Leuven the “Longest Bar in Europe”. The sq. is surrounded by pubs and eating places and actually types the beating coronary heart of town’s nightlife space. No marvel Leuven is so well-liked amongst college students!
Stadhuis Leuven – The Metropolis Corridor of Leuven is likely one of the most well-known Gothic metropolis halls on the planet. Adorned with 236 statues and consisting of three flooring, it took nearly 30 years to finish the constructing, with the assistance of three architects.
TAKE A COFFEE (AND CHOCOLATE) BREAK
In spite of everything that strolling, it’s time to calm down a bit and have a (espresso) break! After all I’ve additionally included a chocolatier, as a result of we’re within the #1 nation in Europe for chocolate after all!
Listed here are some choices for you:
GET CULTURED AT M LEUVEN
M Leuven (“Museum Leuven”) homes a group of each historic and modern artwork. The distinctive constructing, combining the historic buildings with fashionable design, was designed by the Belgian architect Stéphane Beel.
At M Leuven, I visited an exhibition that was a part of the KNAL! Competition (BANG! Competition), you’ll be able to learn extra about it over at The Space Tester.
TIP: From the roof terrace you’ve got an attractive view over town. Additionally don’t skip the internal courtyard!
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven – mleuven.be
AFTERNOON IN LEUVEN
HAVE LUNCH AT BAR JEROME
Along with Simone, a contract author from The Netherlands, I visited Bar Jérôme for lunch and had such an incredible meal right here. We went for a sharing platter made out of some starter dishes and topped it off with a slice of their selfmade cake. Yumm!
Bar Jérôme additionally has a deli part and is nice to go to for both breakfast, brunch/lunch or only a cup of espresso with some cake (positively have cake). All in a brilliant informal ambiance. Can advocate it!
Wandelingstraat 10, Leuven – barjerome.be
In search of extra tasty hotstpots in Leuven? Take a look at:
VISIT THE SINT-PIETERSKERK
The Sint-Pieterskerk (Saint Peter’s Church) within the coronary heart of Leuven didn’t have a simple time rising up. Inbuilt 986, in Romanesque fashion, it’s the oldest church within the metropolis, however it was twice destroyed by fireplace.
Demolition of the Romanesque constructing started within the fifteenth century and the development of the present Gothic church began, however a variety of towers continued to break down throughout development as a result of unstable floor. They had been by no means rebuilt. Thankfully, I suppose, as a result of an earthquake in 1750 prompted issues once more.
The largest blow nevertheless got here through the two world wars, during which the roof and a big a part of the inside had been decreased to ashes. In consequence, many valuable artworks had been misplaced ceaselessly.
Over the previous century the church has undergone a variety of thorough restoration campaigns, which implies that it could now be admired once more in its full glory. The church with belfry was acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Website in 1999.
One of many highlights within the church is Dirk Bouts‘ painted triptych: The Final Supper. It dates from the fifteenth century and was extensively restored within the Nineties. Bouts is taken into account one of the vital Flemish Primitives and metropolis painter of Leuven.
Was is exclusive about your go to to the church is you could hire a so-called “hololens” for a mixed-media expertise. With some type of a ski-helmet with glasses, you will notice 3D photos projected onto artworks within the church, together with spectacular animations and storytelling. A superb method to uncover the tales behind the church, its artwork treasures and the bustling Leuven of the previous and current!
The church is open day-after-day and there’s free entry. You pay additional to hire the hololens.
Grote Markt 1, Leuven – mleuven.be
GO SHOPPING AT LOCAL & VINTAGE SHOPS
Let’s be actual: procuring is enjoyable. However on the identical time I’m not a fan of huge overconsumption and positively not of quick style tradition.
Fortunately, Leuven gives a large selection of native, aware and sustainable retailers the place you’ll be able to store guilt-free!
Take a look at:
DISCOVER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LISTED BEGIJNHOF
Escape the busy metropolis heart for an oasis of peace at Het Groot Begijnhof (The Nice Beguinage). This space full of historic homes has been named UNESCO World Heritage since 1998. It’s an incredible place to wander round in silence.
A begijnhof is a group of particular person and/or communal dwellings owned by beguines, often within the neighborhood of a chapel or church and infrequently surrounded by a wall with a number of entrance gates.
Beguines had been single girls who emerged all through Western Europe across the finish of the eleventh, early twelfth century. They pioneered by establishing a brand new way of life and being the inventors of a brand new literary style; vernacular theology.
The ladies who lived within the beguinages had consciously chosen this type of cohabitation, as a result of it preserved their private freedom alongside their spiritual and day by day practices. Not like those that entered the usually closed monastic orders, beguines had been in a position to maintain their private belongings and rights and use them inside the constraints of the principle. Many owned their properties and likewise had private belongings outdoors of it.
EVENING IN LEUVEN
TASTE BELGIUM BEERS IN THE PUB
Beer is synonymous to Belgium and in Leuven, visiting the native Stella Artois brewery is a should for beer lovers. It’s open each Saturday for guests.
Aarschotsesteenweg 20, Leuven – breweryvisits.com
Whereas I’m personally not an enormous beer drinker, I did take pleasure in my go to to Domus, a so-called “home brewery”, which serves home-made beers in a comfy ambiance. The craft home beers run by means of a copper tube straight from the brewery (throughout the road) to the faucet!
I’m positive you’ll discover one thing you want right here, particularly paired with a comforting meal.
Tiensestraat 8, Leuven – domusleuven.be
GO FOR DINNER
There are many dinner choices in Leuven and with the 2 nights that I spend right here, I can advocate visiting De Hoorn in case you’re searching for an off-the-cuff night time out (their burgers are superb). This restaurant is positioned in a former brewery, the place they produced the primary Stella again in 1926! The kitchen makes use of natural meat and seasonal veggies. Closed on Mondays and Sundays.
Sluisstraat 79, Leuven – dehoorn.eu
For those who’re trying to actually spoil your self, make a reservation over at restaurant trente. You gained’t remorse it! Simply take a look on the pictures beneath to see the superb dishes that we bought served. All paired with wine and explanations from the chef. Positively a memorable expertise. You may also go for lunch right here. Concentrate that they’re closed on Sunday, Monday and Saturday afternoon.
Muntstraat 36, Leuven – trente.be
WHICH ACTIVITIES TO DO?
The Journey Tester likes to evaluate various kinds of excursions and actions all over the world.
From well-known vacationer sights to bucket listing experiences and from guided excursions to self-guided visits of historic locations, interactive museums, viewpoints, native occasions and rather more… if it appears to be like attention-grabbing to us, we’ll check it!
Regardless of the place you’re going, with our evaluations you’ll know precisely the place to seek out enjoyable actions!
GOT MORE TIME IN LEUVEN?
CYCLE TO ABDIJ VAN PARK & PARCUM
Abdij van Park (Park Abbey) is likely one of the greatest preserved monasteries in all of Belgium and continues to be inhabited by Norbertines. The buildings, gates, church, watermill, barn and walled vegetable backyard have remained virtually unchanged for the reason that seventeenth century!
You’ll be able to spend a complete afternoon right here and particular exhibitions and performances are offered all year long.
Museum Parkabdij, or PARCUM, showcases non permanent exhibitions combining faith with artwork and tradition. The main target lies on beginning a dialogue between folks of various religions, beliefs and ages, in addition to modern themes and historic heritage.
TIP: Go to the Abbey by bike! There’s a particular cycle route that takes you previous all 4 Leuven abbeys, in case you have the time.
CLIMB THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY TOWER
Begin your go to on the College Corridor, initially the material corridor of town. The anatomical amphitheater, the herb backyard (Kruidtuin – one of many oldest botanical gardens in Belgium) and the Arenberg citadel are additionally a part of the wealthy previous of the college.
Climbing the tower of the college library in Leuven is spectacular! As you go up the steps, a photograph exhibition exhibits the turbulent previous of this constructing.
When you attain the highest, you’ll be able to take pleasure in a panoramic view of town from the balcony. Hope you’ve got good climate after all!
TIP 1: Throughout the educational 12 months, the carillon within the tower is performed twice every week. You’ll be able to go upstairs for a novel live performance.
TIP 2: Obtain the Heritage App (App Store / Google Play Store) and uncover the recognized and lesser-known sides of the constructing at your personal tempo with the audio tour, or go to the college on a 360° virtual tour >
Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein 21, Leuven – bib.kuleuven.be
WHERE TO TRAVEL NEXT?
There may be a lot to discover on the planet, how do you determine the place to go subsequent?
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Are you excited to go to Leuven after studying our journey tales? Make sure that to take a look at the sensible ideas beneath that may aid you plan and guide your journey with ease.
FLIGHTS TO LEUVEN
The closest airport to Leuven is Brussels Airport. Make sure that to check out Skyscanner for the most effective offers on flights >>
Are you flying by means of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam? Make sure that to download this € 5,- voucher for a pleasant low cost at See Purchase Fly. A fantastic airport resort at Schiphol is CitizenM (do you know that Nick’s architectural agency designed the idea of those motels all the world over?!), or go for the funds choice with YOTELAIR.
Lower your expenses by taking a look at reserving different airport additional’s reminiscent of parking, airport transfers or lounge entry on Holiday Extras.
Flight delayed, canceled or overbooked? You may be entitled to €600 in compensation!
TRAIN TRAVEL TO LEUVEN
Leuven is greatest reached by prepare. I travelled from Amsterdam to town in beneath three hours, which was straightforward and comfy. You’ll be able to take the Intercity (IC) or the Thalys from Amsterdam or Rotterdam and alter at Brussels South for an area prepare, which can take you to Leuven in beneath half an hour.
CAR RENTAL IN LEUVEN
The town of Leuven has been car-free for a couple of years now, so in case you’re arriving by automotive it’s greatest to park it on the outskirts. There are so-called “P+Bus” parking choices, the place there’s a bus service between a public parking spot and town. More info here.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN LEUVEN
There’s a tram and bus service in Leuven, however to be sincere, it was really easy to stroll all over the place that I don’t see why you would wish this. The town heart is compact and the small side-streets make for an incredible day of exploring on foot.
One other tip is to hire a motorcycle, which you are able to do proper subsequent to the station over at Leuven Leisure or Fietspunt Leuven (more info here). Nice in case you’re trying to go to areas on the sting of town!
TRAVEL GUIDE TO BELGIUM
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