With the Katholieke University Leuven being the largest university in Belgium, it's no wonder that Leuven is known as THE country's student capital. There’s a continuing buzz in the city thanks to its young and vibrant population. So why include it on your bucket list? We listed a few prerequisites Leuven meets for a fulfilling weekend getaway: heaps of fun, culture and plenty of great food and drink!
What makes Leuven so remarkable? Read more about this renowned city of beer and discover what you should definitely include on your to-do list!
1. Leuven: The Place to Beer
With a large portion of Leuven's inhabitants being students, it comes as no surprise that Leuven is crowned as ‘beer city’. A total of five breweries have made their mark here, producing over 250 different beers. Leuven Beer Month starts at the end of April and lasts through till the beginning of June with numerous events taking place. Two of the most common are the Zythos Beer Festival (ZBF), one of the largest beer tasting events in Europe, and the Leuven Innovation Beer Festival. The latter is where the most original and pioneering beers are presented. In other words: Leuven is the 'place to beer'!
2. Inspiring art and culture
Leuven is 'hip & happening' and this is equally reflected in what the city has to offer culturally. Art centres OPEK and Stuk are perfect examples of this. Both are cultural hubs and serve as meetings places for young and creative minds. OPEK is home to several cultural organisations that together give way to a varied selection of exhibitions and festivals. Stuk is a melting pot of different activities, from lectures to art-house film and alternative music. Be surprised by the diverse menu in dance, image and sound. Can’t get enough of music and film? Visit Het Depot, the musical summit of Leuven or Cinema ZED for the supposedly 'better film'.
3. Kitchens of the world
When it comes to choice in cuisine, Leuven will not disappoint. Make your way to the Muntstraat for a bustling fusion of pretty much every kitchen you can think of. The pleasure in food and drink is what counts the most here. Set foot on a culinary world tour from Japanese sushi restaurants to Indonesian and French cuisine. Up for some drinks to wash it all down with afterwards? The Muntstraat is also home to a number of cafés and lounge bars that are open till the early hours.
Bonus: shopping in Leuven
If you’re not an art fan and prefer refreshments of another sort, then head for the shopping areas instead! Leuven has an ideal and compact size with scores of shops and boutiques. Wander round the Vismarkt and Mechelsestraat for exclusive goods from independent brands or head to the Bondgenotenlaan and the Diestsestraat for the mainstream fashion chains.