Romance is in the air in Leuven. And you can take this quite literally, because your romantic weekend starts high above the city at the top of the tower of the University Library in Ladeuzeplein. Turn up the collar of your coat to protect yourself against the wind as you look out across the bustling city and see the city lights sparkle. So close and yet there is plenty of space to be alone, just the two of you. How many proposals have been made here, do you think? Did you know that you can also attend a live carillon concert in the carillon room?
Heartwarming times in nature
Take your time to enjoy a walk through the city, and discover some hidden gems and quieter spots. Dijlepark is definitely our favourite because it has everything you’d expect from a romantic park: an elegant arch bridge over the water, a pretty pavilion, and all the privacy you are looking for. Still feeling a bit chilly? From there it’s just a short walk to the Botanical Garden. Belgium’s oldest botanical garden is also the warmest, with its tropical greenhouse being particularly cosy.
In all likelihood the monks who lived in Leuven’s abbeys did not have much time for romance. But they managed to compensate for their lack of it by developing some magnificent estates. Our tip? Rent a bike and visit the four abbeys of Leuven. Park Abbey is a unique 12th century heritage site and an idyllic oasis on the city’s fringe. From here you can cycle to the garden of Keizersberg Abbey which boasts stunning views of Leuven. Move on to St Gertrude’s Abbey in the centre of Leuven and enjoy the silence, after which you can stop at In den Rozenkrans near Vlierbeek Abbey for a drink on the terrace or near the crackling fire.
Have a candlelit dinner
Leuven has several great places for a candlelit dinner for two. The enchanting interior of Pakistani restaurant Raffat is too dreamy for words. At Zarza, Chef Gert Cordemans has all kinds of culinary treats in store for you. Meanwhile, at Rossi, Felice Miluzzi dishes up the most delectable Italian food in the most romantic setting: served on a red and white check tablecloth with candles on the table.
Champagne and chocolate
When booking, don’t forget to inform your hotel or accommodation that you are planning a romantic getaway. Many hotels offer a special package that includes a complimentary glass of champagne, some time in the spa, or even rose petals on your bed when you arrive. Want to score some extra points? Chocolates are always a good idea. Artisanal chocolatier Bittersweet has just what you’re looking for: try their Passion, Hot Love, or Hot Truffle chocolates.
Saturday traditionally is a day for weddings in Leuven. Can you think of a more romantic place to get married than in the most beautiful town hall of the world? Unfortunately you have to be from Leuven if you want to get married here. What you can do, however, is find a bench in the square and enjoy the happy faces of newly-weds as they walk out of the town hall.