05 Apr Leuven in three hours
I must admit that three hours are not enough to fully experience Leuven, far from that. But it’s enough to at least get a first impression and to feed your travelling soul 🙂
I was on my way from Vise to Brussels, when I decided to make a pitch stop at Leuven, which is conveniently located on the way and is around 20 km out of Brussels. It was Saturday and I was coming with a rental car, so I needed to find a good place to park the car at low cost. Saying at low cost I mean for free, if possible. It’s Belgium, I know. But you know what they say – the word impossible says itself already i’m possible 😉
And so I found a free parking place a bit outside of the city. A bus, connecting this parking and city center, departs every 10 minutes from 10.00 till 19.00 and it’s also free of charge in both ways. But note, that this is valid only on Saturdays in the mentioned time frame. If you are coming during the week or on Sunday, there are plenty of parking garages in the center of Leuven, but they are quite expensive – 2.20 eur/hour is the cheapest one. Which on the other hand is not that much, if you’re staying just for three hours, but with this amount of money saved you can enjoy the coffee at the heart of Leuven.
If you are not visiting on Saturday, read here about your parking options.
My waking tour covered these points:
Pay attention to the yellow marks on the map. By clicking on each, you’ll see an extra comment by the side.
Now let’s go to Leuven! 🙂
Right after you jump off the bus, the road will lead you directly towards Saint Peter’s Church. Start your visit here. Go in and take a few minutes to look around. Entrance is free, but there are no visits during mass.
Just around the corner you will bump into Gothic City Hall. Built in 15th century it majestically stands at Grote Markt, surrounded with cafes and historical buildings. Unfortunately it is closed for public, so you will continue your way after taking a few pictures. Don’t forget to take a shot of neighbouring buildings as well. They are typical Belgian, but currently host mainly restaurants.
Take a 10 minute walk by the street Naamsestraat (between city hall and typical Belgian houses from above photo) and you will arrive to Groot Begijnhof. It’s a lovely mix of old and new, nature and bricks, bikes and pedestrians. Take some time and explore each corner of this former city.
Unfortunately it will already be the time to head back. But don’t take the same route – cross Old Market when walking back towards your starting point.
Finish your tour at plaza, this time with no sightseeing, but coffee and people watching on your agenda. There are bunch of cafes at the market, but I found Bar Louis as the most charming one. Of course, instead of having coffee, you can grab a beer – you’re in Belgium, after all!
Enjoy Leuven and thank you so much for reading!
All photos were taken with OnePlus 5 phone.