How can you recognize a true Leuven resident?

Are you curious about the locals?
Find out all you need to know here.

Leen Tyrions
15 July 2022

My home is where my Stella is

Leuven is home to the largest brewery in the world, AB Inbev. Most famously known for the Stella Artois beer, first brewed here in 1366. And while we’re on the subject, did you know that Leuven residents will often order their beer without actually saying anything? Raising your little finger means: “a pint please!”

't Leives

’t Leives is the dialect of Leuven. Older Leuven residents like to speak it among each other. Would you like to learn a word or two? If so, you can still attend classes at “de Akademie van ’t Leives” (’t Leives Academy). Would you like to hear the dialect? Then visit one of the typical Leuven beer cafés.


On Sunday afternoon, you will find many Leuven residents at Den Dreef, the football stadium of the local football club Oud-Heverlee Leuven (OHL). Recently, the team has been playing in first class again, much to the delight of the enthusiastic supporters. The only thing left to do now is to convince Leuven native Dries Mertens to leave Galatasaray behind him.

Love/hate relationship with the students

Leuven is a real student city. Leuven residents are fans of the unique coexistence between city residents and students, even if there are complaints about too much night-time noise now and again. But hey, what would we be without the students?

Cycling is king

As you will undoubtedly have noticed, Leuven residents are enthusiastic cyclists. They like to get around in a sustainable and ecological manner. And what’s more, on your bicycle you can reach one of the green places around the city in a jiffy.


The nicknames for residents of Leuven are “Pietermannen” and “Koeienschieters” (Cow shooters). The first nickname refers to the inhabitants of the oldest parish, Sint-Pieter (Saint Peter in English), and the second nickname to an event in 1691 when the city’s inhabitants opened fire one night on (what they thought were) enemy soldiers. The next morning, however, it turned out they had in fact shot a herd of cows.

For an even more chill visit, book a nice place to spend the night in the student city.