The best way to celebrate 15 years of friendship is to go on a city trip together. My friend and I decided to go to Leuven. A lovely, cute city full of students, excellent restaurants and other hotspots. As a result of my city trip, I share all 4 reasons why you should book a city trip to Leuven. Enjoy!
Go back in time at Begijnhof
This area is on the UNESCO world heritage list and I totally understand why. As soon as you enter the Begijnhof, you are in a completely different world. It looks you go back in time. Only the bikes will tell that you’re not. Begijnhof has a free entrance.
Enjoy the historical buildings an architecture
The city hall of Leuven is one of the most famous city halls in the world. The first stone was laid in 1439 and the construction took 30 years. From the outside, the city hall is covered with unique statues. Every weekday you can book a tour where you’ll visit the walking room, the salons, the large and small gothic hall, the wedding room and the council chamber. Every third Saturday of the month you can visit the council cellars under the town hall. There is the collection of the ‘Jaartallen’ since the start in 1890. The entrance is located on the Grote Markt next to the front of the town hall.
Leuven has a lot of historical buildings with a beautiful architecture, such as the St. Peter’s Church, the university library and the old market. Or bring a visit to the Naamsestraat, where many university buildings are found such as King’s College (Koningscollege No. 59), the Premonstratensian College (College van Promonstreit No. 61), Arras College (No. 63) or the St. Michael’s Church (Sint-Michielskerk). Or bring something to eat and drink and relax in Abbey Park.
Nice hotspots for food, dinks and beers
In every street and on every corner you can find a nice cafe or restaurant. Leuven has a lot of terraces where you can enjoy the sun with an ice-cold beer. Here are some nice hotspots:
If you like beer, this is the place to go. Cafe The Capital has 2000 different beers, so there is always one (or more) you like.
Leo Pancakes is the only restaurant in Leuven that serves American Pancakes. The pancake restaurant is located in the Mechelsestraat. You can choose from many different pancakes. Definitely a perfect guilty pleasure during lunch.
A pizzeria, but different. At Otomat they like to encourage you to share your pizza. And at Otomat they like Belgium beer as well. They serve twenty different beers and even the dough of the pizzas are made with Duvel beer. You can choose between pizzas with tomato sauce or without tomato sauce but with white sauce.
Nine Bar is located at the old square. They serve several cocktails and mocktails. During the weekends you can also go for a night out with DJ’s who serve you the nicest urban, lounge and dance tracks
Shopping in Leuven
Leuven is a perfect city for shopping. The center is compact and accessible and offers a variation in different shops. In Dietsestraat you’ll find the well-known retail chains, like Rituals, Hema and Scotch & Soda. The Bondgenotenlaan is 1 km long and offers a variety of stores like Holland & Barret, C&A and Tommy Hilfiger, decoration stores and cafes. The Tiensestraat is a famous street by the students of Leuven, where you’ll find student houses, restaurants and cafes. The university buildings are located in the Naamsestraat, mixed with cultural stores. Parijsstraat and Pensstraat are streets full of restaurants and stores, where they offer handmade and original gifts. Also, the Mechelsestraat, Brusselsestraat and the Vismarkt are excellent places to go if you like shopping.
Plek is an interior, DIY and coffee store located in Mechelsestraat. They want to offer the best items from the whole world for their customers within there store. You can even create your handmade lamp at Plek.
Quite close to Plek you’ll find Animaux Speciaux. A must go if you’re an animal and nature fan. In this store, they offer beautiful creations with animals and nature. You can even buy a stuffed animal.
Harvest Club is a fashion concept store in the heart of Leuven where they collect labels, which stand for honest, sustainable and eco-friendly production. In this store, you’ll find a mix of big and very small labels, with all their own story.
Market on Saturday
Every Saturday there is a market near to the Mechelsestraat. Here you can buy local delicacies, fruit, vegetables, cheese, plants and flowers. The plants are beautiful, from excellent quality and affordable.
Cook & Serve
At Cook & Serve, they select trendy and affordable cookware, like dinnerware, cutlery, glasses and cookbooks.The owner of the store Maurice finds it essential to work with reliable, high-quality products for preparing family recipes and creating new traditions. At Cook & Serve they also take a more conscious approach to food(waste), by offering ecologic and long-lasting cookware.
Recycle and vintage shop SPIT
At Dientsestraat you’ll find recycle and vintage shop SPIT. At this store you can buy unique, affordable and secondhand items. They offer an extensive range of second-hand items like furniture, clothing, household goods, multimedia, toys and books. SPIT uses the income from their sales to give people with little or no chances on the labor market, a suitable job to help them gain experience and get a future perspective.