Hello everyone. Have you already figured out what we are going to talk about today?? Whatever the answer is, let’s discover together the new destination.
Leuven (Louvain) is the state capital of Flemish Brabant (one of Flanders’ provinces). Almost in the center of Belgium, it is a few kilometers far from Brussels and is located on the Dyle river. The city is divided into 5 municipalities: Leuven, Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, Wijgmaal and Winksele. Leuven is the “University City”, right here, it was created the first University of Belgium. The city is also the capital of beer (here is produced the famous beer Artois) and its train station is considered the fifth busiest station in Belgium.
To know more (to eat, what to eat, where to have fun, acculturate …) continue to read.
If you are ready, we would start with the knowledge of typical dishes of the city. So, are you ready? Come on!
We begin by saying that traditional dishes include cheese, sweets but also wine and beer. The dish that occupies the place of honor is the meat and sausages, including pietermanworst (spicy sausage made of veal with mustard and cheese).
- Leuvense Paté – dish made of chicken liver and rabbit with rhubarb and gingerbread.
- Leuvense Metteköu – typical local meatballs.
- Paepthoonsla – fresh salad with ham and onion.
- Frikadellenkoek – ready-sliced meat made from chopped meat and spices.
- Leuvense Ham – typical local ham.
- Leuvens Fonske – savoury pie made from turkey meat with herbs and spices.
- Leuvense pralines – chocolates with different tastes (white chocolate, dark or milk chocolate) stuffed with hazelnut and with the distinction of having designed over the image of the town hall of Leuven.
- Lovania and Hete Mie – typical local wines.
- Oude Geuze e Stella Artois – local beers. Stella Artois is the most famous beer in this city, because the factory that produces this beer, it is located at the city center near the station. Every April takes place an important festivals, the Zythos bier(beer) festival.
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’..)
Forks in hand it’s time to get some good food, we are going to see where.
- Zarza– French, Belgian, European, international and fusion cuisine.
- Bistro Tribunal – French cuisine, steakhouse but you can also taste the fish.
- Royal Indian Food (Take Away) – typical Indian, Asian cuisine.
- Sakura Sushi & Sashimi – Japanese and Asian cuisine.
- La Filosofia – Italian, Mediterranean cuisine and pizza.
- Restaurant EssenCiel
- Sticky Fingers BBQ – American cuisine.
- The Loving Hut – vegetarian food ( after all this meat, we managed to find this little place for vegetarians!).
- De Werf – pub.
- Donki – Mexican cuisine.
P.S. Have you noticed the variety of restaurants, not only with the local culture cuisine but also with a mix of the others cultures cuisine too?? A great opportunity to get to know different customs from ours.
PLACES TO VISIT(MUSEUMS/THEATERS..)
It ‘s time to get lost in the city streets and admire the fantastic monuments and learn about its history.
- Grote Markt – the ancient square of the Great Market in the heart of the city center, is considered one of the most beautiful squares of Flanders. This is the center of the economic and religious power of Leuven.
- Stadhuis – town hall. A building in Gothic style, of great importance. A masterpiece located in the central square of Grote Markt (mentioned above).
- Sint-Pieterskerk – is the main church of the city, located in the central square of Grote Markt. Inside there are remarkable works of art, such as the famous works of Dirk Bouts, the great Flemish painter. The church is part of UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Sint-Michielskerk – is a large church, the maximum example of Baroque architecture in Belgium.
- Groot-Begijnhof – a small village, located in the south of the city. This consists of a complex of old houses, next to the Dyle river. It is part of the UNESCO heritage.
- University Library – a beautiful building in the Flemish Renaissance style, located in Ladeuzeplein (square in the center of Leuven). The building has a high tower with the largest carillon in the world and shows signs that recall the United States (such as the reference to the number 48, the states that at the time of construction of the building, were part of the US or the clock that has 48 stars instead of the numbers of hours) this is because the library was built, by an American architect with the financial support of the United States.
- Keizersberg Abbey – Benedictine monastery, situated on the hills Keizersberg. Here is the famous statue of the Virgin Mother and Child.
- Totem – is a statue in the middle of Ladeuzeplein square, in front of the University Library.
- Fonske – statue/fountain near the center of the city. It represents a guy who is reading a book and lets wisdom flow into his head as liquid from a glass.
- M – Museum Leuven – museum of modern art and classical art.
- Spoelberchmuseum – a museum that hosts an art galleries and collections of jewels, furniture and a collection of European and Oriental porcelain.
- Art galleries
Now we are going to see the most important theaters of the city.
30CC , TUK Arts , Het Depot (music center).
Ready, fun, goo!
- Oude Markt – the most touristic square in Leuven, for its proximity to the central station and for its beauty. A place full of cafes and restaurants along both sides of the road.
- Botanical Garden – is located in the historic center. A perfect place to rest and admire the beautiful flowers and learn about new types of plants.
- Abbey park-Norbertine Park – meadows, small lake and relax; but also a place for walking routes or exploraion on bike.
- Dijlepark Pretty – a local park with a small bridge. A very romantic place.
- Provinciedomein Kessel-Lo – a park that offers: playground; a zoo; swimming pools; boating; tennis courts, volleybal, basketbal, skating, football field and walking routes.
- Sint-Donatuspark (Donatus Park) – a beautiful park in English style.
- You can also see the many markets that take place in the squares of the city.
- Touristic Train – a ride on an open-air train full of windows that will offer you the opportunity to see the city in a all its beauty.
- Kinepolis – cinema.
- Cinema ZED – cinema.
DON’T FORGET: Mechelsestraat en Vismarkt,Tiensestraat,Parijsstraat, Muntstraat,Oude Mark, in these streets you will find many places to eat and lots of shops.
For a night of fun, here is where you can go.
- Barvista– bar and night club.
- Café Den Brosser – cafè.
- Bar Nine and MATTIZ – local specialized in cocktails.
- Villa Ernesto– bar
- Bar Del Sol
- Downtown Jack – pub.
- Café Belge – bar.
- Out Of Office After Work Party Leuven – night club.
- Fuifzaal Albatros – night club.
- Club Montreal – night club.
The Exploration is over, but don’t worry because we are already towards our next destination. Stay tuned to find out where. Do you have some ideas?
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you have been or are you going to go? What did you like least and what more? We are curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.