City Guide: 5 things to do on a Sunday in Leuven

The city of Leuven slows down on Sundays and many of the shops are closed. Luckily, there are still plenty of things to do in Leuven. Sunday is the perfect day to go out for a lazy stroll, enjoy the parks, and relax in the city! Check out our list of must do activities on a Sunday in Leuven.

Rebecca Poulsen
20 September 2022

5 things to do in Leuven on a Sunday

  • 1. Library Tower Tour

Climb to one of the highest points in Leuven and get a full view of the city. The famous University Library is open for tours on Sunday from 10:00-17:00 (last climb at 16:00). The University Library tour showcases the interesting history of the Leuven library. You’ll learn about how the library was burnt down (twice!) and how it was rebuilt with the help of many nations around the world.

Ready to reserve your time slot? Click here to book your tickets in advance.

  • 2. Relax at a cafe

While the shops may be closed on Sundays in Leuven, the cafe scene is alive and well. Sunday is the perfect time to take it easy, grab a delicious coffee and pastry and enjoy a moment to yourself (or with a friend!). Find a cozy spot indoors or sit outside to enjoy the fresh air and watch as the people of the city stroll by.

Here is a list of wonderful coffee shops that are open on Sundays in Leuven:

  • Onan: Parijsstraat 28, 3000 Leuven
  • Annas: Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 27, 3000 Leuven
  • MadMum: Tiensestraat 38, Brusselsestraat 42 or Vaartkom 33, 3000 Leuven
  • 3. Ice cream on a boat in De Vaartkom

Enjoy a lazy Sunday stroll along the Leuven canal in the up and coming De Vaartkom district. Here you’ll find birds swimming in the water and unique boats making their way through the canal. You’ll also find the old historic Stella Artois factory in this area!

Don’t forget to stop and sniff the air, you’ll likely get a whiff of hops from the current Stella Artois factory, located across the canal from its old location. In fact, you can even book a tour to learn more about how they brew their beer!

Take a 5 minute stroll up the canal and you’ll find an ice cream boat where you can enjoy a delicious treat right on the canal. Coupe Matadi serves high quality ice cream that can’t be beat. Grab a spot on the rooftop terrace of the boat and enjoy the cool breeze from the canal. The ice cream boat is open April-October, so if you need a Winter alternative in De Vaartkom, check out the cozy coffee shop, MadMum at Vaartkom 33, 3000 Leuven.

  • 4. Talk a walk in nature

Leuven offers plenty of green spaces where you can relax on a Sunday. One of the most popular green spots is the Botanical Garden. Here you’ll find all types of plants (and even some animals too!). Pack a lunch and have a picnic at one of the many tables around the garden.

Another favourite green space in Leuven is the Sint-Donatus Park. Located in the heart of the city, many Leuven locals and students alike enjoy bringing a blanket to lounge on, a book to read, and sometimes food for the ducks that like to visit people in hopes of getting a little treat.

If you have a bike or prefer to go by bus, we recommend checking out the Park Abbey (Abdij van Park) just on the outskirts of Leuven. This Abbey has large lakes filled with different birds and frogs that make the place come alive. There are plenty of walking paths to explore the area with benches along the way to kick up your feet when you want to relax and soak in the beauty of the park.

There are plenty more green spots in Leuven if you are wanting to spend more time outside in nature. Check out more Leuven green spots here.

  • 5. Drinks in the Oude Markt

The shops may be closed on Sunday but the bars are always open! Check out Europe's longest bar in Leuven, the Oude Markt. Here, you’ll find plenty of incredible bars for fancy cocktails, classic Belgian beers, and even dance clubs! There is plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the fresh air in the warmer months and cozy indoor seating for when it gets chilly.

Extra tips

  • Shopping on Sundays

Most Sundays, many of the shops are closed in Leuven. However, the first Sunday of every month the stores will stay open so you can fulfil all your shopping needs! Keep this in mind if you’re planning a weekend trip to Leuven, it might be good to plan it at the beginning of the month!

  • Stay the weekend in Leuven

To really get the full Leuven experience, we recommend staying for a weekend. This gives you the chance to see all the shops, rent a bike, and see the city while it’s really alive. Book your stay in Leuven for a fun weekend getaway.