The Belgian city of Leuven has finished 5th on a list of Europe’s best destinations for travelers. Every year, the European Best Destinations ranks the best cities to visit in Europe based on a voting system. Leuven received more than 48,000 votes from 77 countries, and became the first Belgian city to make it to the top 5. The first place was awarded to Ljubljana, followed by the Spanish city of Marbella and Amiens in France.
Leuven is a picturesque city in the heart of Belgium and an ideal destination for an exciting city break with your friends, family or individually, all year round. Thanks to its rich and varied offering in heritage, art, culture, science, beer, gastronomy and shopping, this town is an invite to stroll and discover.
The fact that Leuven has achieved such a brilliant result makes me very proud. There is an awful lot to do in Leuven in a unique historic setting. We like sharing this with our visitors from home and abroad.Mohamed Ridouani, Mayor of Leuven
Leuven is very easily accessible and everything lies within walking or biking distance. The moment you walk out the Leuven Railway Station, you can already feel the radiation of a hip & urban vibe in an historical setting, guaranteed to draw you into its vibrancy. 157 nationalities from all walks of life call it home and are the beating heart of this 21st century-old university town.
The Flemish city is also on the first place of the podium of the Best Open-Minded Destinations in Europe, a ranking of destinations actively working on accessibility, social diversity, solidarity, tolerance, respect and living together.
Belgium is the land of chocolate, unique local craft beers and bars, and gastronomy so don’t forget to drop by one of the many cozy cafés and charming restaurants, you can find one around every corner. Home to the legendary and world famous Brewery Stella Artois, Leuven has an incredibly rich brewery history.
Stella Artois has been brewed in the city since 1366 but now the De Hoorn building has been given a new lease-of-life as a cafe and restaurant, shared work-hub and events space. Beautiful copper mash tuns are still in place, and it is possible to hire the space for weddings and other events.
You can take a break in Belgium’s oldest botanical garden or in one of the green gems in the center and outskirts of Leuven. And staying overnight means you can experience a whole lot more and don’t need to hurry. Diestsetraat is the main commercial street, but between the small beguinage and the centre, you can find charming independent shops on Mechelsestraat. Shops are open on every first Sunday of the month.