Leuven in one day

Grote Markt of Leuven

Belgium is a small country so we can move with great ease. After having visited places such as Brussels, Bruges and Ghent, I decided to spend my next day in Leuven, university city par excellence, very lively, and with so many attractive from a historical and architectural point of view.

To get to Leuven

From Brussels is taken half an hour by train to get to Leuven (the price of the ticket is about EUR 5 roundtrip). There are very good frequency of trains, so we got up very early, and we went to there, already with our train tickets previously reserved. From the train station of Leuven to the historic center there are about fifteen minutes by foot, along a broad avenue, the Bondgenoten-Laan, although you can also take the public transportation.

Once in the center you have the option to enjoy walking through the city, the most recommendable way, or to go on the tourist bus. I prefer to go on foot because I can take photos quitly. The adventage of the tourist bus is that you can visit too the surrounding area, but the best of Leuven is in the historic center.

To see in Leuven

The Grote Markt or Market Square is the heart of the city. This is the point that you can take as a reference, since, in addition to all the streets come out and feed into it, it’s a place where there are lots of bars, terraces and restaurants to eat. Me, just arriving, I sat down to take a cup of coffee in front of the City Hall building of Leuven, possibly the most beautiful city hall in the world. In the place there is also the Saint Peter’s Church, built in the fifteenth century.

City Hall of Leuven

City Hall of Leuven

The City Hall and the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter will cost us a long time because it’s very important to visit in. If you do this, you can spend the morning and then, after that, to eat. Belgians use to eat about 1 p.m., and if it is summer weekend of even before, then the terraces will be full to that hours.

After lunch you can take the Naamsestraat, a long street going out of the Grote Markt. During your tour you will see the building of the Hallen, of the XV century, the College of the Holy Spirit, of the eighteenth century, the Church of Saint Michael, from the 17th century (if you find open the interior is fascinating), and later we will arrive to the Begijnhof or Beguinage, declared Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO.

On this evening tour we will spend at least a couple of hours, time to return back to the Market Square and enjoy a Belgian beer. It is also a custom in Belgium, to this hour, take a coffee or a beer. In Leuven I encourage you to go the Brewery Domus, the most traditional and genuine of the city. It has a great amount of beers, as that produced them, La Nostra Domus.

Domus Brewery

Domus Brewery in Leuven

If you like the botany, I recommend you to go in the afternoon to the Botanical Garden, about ten minutes walk from the center, known to be the oldest in Belgium. You will have time to catch the train to Brussels, and enjoy a dinner in Ramberghof, an old manor house of the XVII century, very romantic.

Sure that with this day of tourism in Leuven you will enjoy a lot, as I did.

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