Leuven out-of-the-box: 5 original activities

When you think about Leuven, do the university, the Oude Markt and Stella Artois immediately start to come to mind? That image is true of course, but the city has so much more to offer. Would you like to combine the familiar highlights with an original activity? In this blog we provide 5 ‘to do’ tips for those who want to add an original twist to their visit to Leuven.

29 September 2023

Tip 1: Visitors’ trail Bouts and beyond: the Town Hall, but then a little bit different:

The Town Hall with its iconic Gothic architecture is one of Leuven's most famous attractions. But would you like to look beyond the exterior of the building, no matter how beautiful and breathtaking it is? A good plan; the inside is also worth a visit. Until mid-January 2024, you can let yourself be guided through it by Dieric Bouts, Leuven's most famous Flemish Primitive. He will take you through the various historic halls of the Town Hall. Authentic archive documents and audiovisual installations guide you through stories, figures and perspectives from 1468 until the present day.

Voorgevel stadhuis op de Grote Markt

Tip 2: ‘Pikachu nog aan toe’: out and about with a guide, but then a little bit different

What is the best way to get to know Leuven and its history? It is going out and about with a local city guide. They are happy to show you around the old colleges and new city neighbourhoods.

But what if you are looking for a completely different perspective of Leuven? Then you can call on the guides of Leuven InsideOut. In their offering you can find the ‘Pikachu still on’ walk, which literally and figuratively lets you taste the Japanese influences in Leuven. The guides will take you to the well-known and the more unfamiliar spots in the city while at the same time introducing you to some interesting aspects of Japanese culture along the way.

Tip 3: Freshly tapped jazz & blues: beer, but then a little bit different

We do not need to tell you that Leuven is the home city of Stella Artois. For many beer lovers, a visit to the AB InBev brewery is a must.

Would you also like to explore a more extensive range of flavours? In the Blauwe Kater, one of Leuven’s most famous cafés, the drinks menu lists 100 different beers. As well as the classics, there are also many beers which you have probably never heard of. The Blauwe Kater is also known as a jazz & blues café; so enjoy the tasting here with free (live) music in the background.

Terrasje doen op de Oude Markt

Tip 4: Paddling with impact: nature, but then a little bit different

Nature plays an important role in Leuven. The many city parks as well as the river Dyle, which snakes around the city centre, occupy a prominent place in the streetscape.
Are you looking for something other than just a walk through the greenery? At Leuven River Upcycling, you help to make the canal in Leuven (Leuvense Vaart) a little cleaner. From a kayak, you fish litter out of the water. Some of this waste is later recycled into new (sports) products in Leuven’s High Tech Lab.

Tip 5: Roll up your sleeves: a snack and a drink, but then a little bit different

Looking to relax after a long walk around Leuven? The city boasts a wide range of restaurants and cafés. From local brown pubs to hip Michelin-starred restaurants: you can find them all in Leuven.

Would you like an afternoon or evening at a café to be something a little more for you? Then the place to go is De Maekerij. Besides the tasty snacks and drinks, you will also find an extensive array of creative workshops here. Under the professional guidance of an expert, you can learn a new skill in just a few hours, even if you are an absolute beginner. Whether it is pottery, Ottolenghi cuisine or pyrography: in De Maekerij you can discover the first tricks of the trade.

Workshop in De Maekerij

Ready to experience a different side of Leuven?

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