Day Trip to Leuven from Brussels (Flanders - Belgium)

PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN LEUVEN IN 1 DAY OR 2 DAYS
ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO VISIT LEUVEN

Since Leuven was just half an hour from Brussels, we decided to just start early and get back by night, than trying to find accommodation in Leuven! Since my first trip to Leuven when I was pregnant, I've been on a couple more trips, including solo trip, biking with family and more. Here's all about our perfect day trip from Brussels to Leuven. At the end of this article are a couple of itinerary ideas.

ILUVLEUVEN PASS
First, I got the ILuvLeuven pass which is a combo ticket of 4 different sites and usually, such city cards would include public transport as well, but here it didn’t! When I enquired I understood that the whole city is so tiny that from one end of the city to another is just a 30 mins walk! 

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

PUBLIC STREET ART SCULPTURES & MURALS IN LEUVEN

One of the things I love to do in most cities I visit is to see if it has rich public art/mural/sculptures around the city. Leuven was no exception. After all, hunting street art is one of the free things to do in Leuven and unusual things to do in Leuven.

SCULPTURES IN LEUVEN
We strolled down to the town centre and on the way were some very interesting sculptures including Renee by Armand Loveniers (a studious gal near St.Michael’s church) and Fons Sapientiae by Jef Claerhout (holding a book and pouring knowledge (beer?) on his head)!!! As we reached the town centre, there atop the South Façade of St.Peter’s church was Meester Jan, the golden fellow, who bangs on the bell every hour! The original one was from 1381 but was replaced multiple times till 1573 CE. 
On my way to M Museum Leuven, is another sculpture – Dorre de Bekker! This is a sculpture of a young man carrying a tray of bread dough to be baked. Ages ago, this locality had a tradition of baking craft! This was made by Roland Rens in 1979.
There are 2 other important sculptures, a bit farther away – Balloon of Friendship and Totem near this University Library! The Balloon of Friendship was made by Danny Tulkens in 1987. This originally had 4 people in it of which one has been stolen! This is in front of the Leuven Railway Station. In front of the Library is the Totem – a giant 23m tall needle with a jewel beetle pinned on it! This was made by Jan Fabre, the same guy who made the huge turtle in Namur

Where is Renee sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - Renee
Where is Fons Sapieniae sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - Fonske (standbeeld)
Where is Meester Jan sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - on St.Peter's church
Where is Dorre de Bekker sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - Dorre The Baker
Where is Balloon of Friendship sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - De Ballon Van De Vriendschap
Where is Totem (beetle) sculpture in Leuven? On Google Maps - Totem van Jan Fabre

MURALS & STREET-ART IN LEUVEN
Apart from the sculptures, there are many, many murals & street-art scattered all over Leuven. We managed to actually stop by to photograph just 2. But here's the thing, if you follow the Street-art cities map, you can easily spend half a day just admiring the street art in Leuven.
The one that really really caught my attention was the Birds mural by Super A & Collin van der Sluys. This is located just across the street from the entrance of Park Abbey. This is humongous. Do you realize how small I look in front of it, in the first pic? Another one is the Brugbergpad that runs parellel to the railway track when we biked back from Kessel-Lo. This was an art project where the entire street was filled with murals painted by various local artists. It is the street-art paradise of Leuven. The most intriguing one was the 4th monkey along with the 3 monkeys that don't see, speak or hear, which doesn't contact with the mobile phone!!!

Leuven Street Art Walking tour Map: via Visit Leuven
Where is Birds Mural in Leuven? On Google Maps - Birds Mural
Where is Brubergpad in Leuven? On Google Maps - Brubergpad

Things to do in Leuven Great Beguinage UNESCO

Things to do in Leuven Great Beguinage UNESCO

Things to do in Leuven Great Beguinage UNESCO

Things to do in Leuven Great Beguinage UNESCO

Things to do in Leuven Great Beguinage UNESCO

VISIT BEGUINAGES, ABBEYS &  CHURCHES OF LEUVEN

GREAT BEGUINAGE (GROOT BEGIJNHOF)
Obviously, any monument would open by 9:30 or 10:00 AM, so we went a bit early to check out the Great Beguinage aka Groot Begijnhof, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Leuven which is accessible 24 hrs! From the Leuven station, I walked to the Great Beguinage which was about 30 mins walk away! 

History of Great Beguinage in Leuven: Groot Begijnhof is believed to have been founded in 1205 CE. So, a Beguinage is where the Beguines lived. So who were Beguines? They were not nuns, but almost nuns! They did not take religious vows or voluntary poverty but took chastity vows. The beguines could work and earn their livelihood and own property. These women lived as a community in the outskirts of the town which was called the Beguinages! This concept was dismantled by the French Govt in 1795 and the last beguine who lived here died in 1988. The property is now under the Leuven University and the rooms have been restored and are now being used as accommodation for students, visiting professors etc!

Where is Great Beguinage in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Groot Begijnhof Leuven
Leuven Great Beguinage Opening Hours: 24x7
Leuven Great Beguinage Tickets: Free

Within this beguinage is Saint John the Baptist Church (Sint Jan de Doper kerk) as well. However, like all the other churches in Leuven, this too was open only in the afternoon and I did not get to visit the insides of the church!

Where is Saint John the Baptists Church in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Sint Jan de Doperkerk
Saint John the Baptists Church Opening Hours: Tue-Sun - 1:30PM to 4:30PM only in April to September
Saint John the Baptists Church Tickets: Free

Klein begijnhof Small Beguinage UNESCO Leuven

Klein begijnhof Small Beguinage UNESCO Leuven

St.Michael's Church Leuven

St.Michael's Church Leuven

SMALL BEGUINAGE (KLEIN BEGIJNHOF)
Bang on the opposite side of the town is the Klein Begijnhof or the Small Beguinage, and this was the 2nd last place I visited for the day on my first trip. As the name suggests, this is in a much smaller size than the Groot Begijnhof! This was first mentioned in 1272 CE. This is located around the St.Gertrude’s Church which again I missed coz by the time I reached here it was beyond 4:30pm! I did see it from the outside and its tower definitely needs a mention. It was built in 13th-15th C CE and the tower was built entirely of stone, incl spire without using iron pins! 
Major portions of this Small Beguinage was cleared in 1954CE to expand the Stella Artois Brewery! Today the remaining 30 Flemish styled traditional houses have been restored and sold to private individuals! 

Where is Small Beguinage in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Klein Begijnhof Leuven
Leuven Small Beguinage Opening Hours: 24x7
Leuven Small Beguinage Tickets: Free

ST.MICHAEL'S CHURCH
St.Michael’s church is located very close to the town centre. This is a Baroque styled church built in 1650-71. I did not have much time to spend here, because I was here at about 2:50 pm and by 3:00pm was my guided tour in Town Hall. However, I did just capture a quick glance of the church! This was built in 1650 for Jesuit College by Jesuit architect Willem Hesius, however only the façade today belongs to that era. The rest of the church was destroyed in 1944 and was entirely rebuilt! This façade is termed as the ‘altar outside the church’ and ‘one of the 7 wonders of Leuven’!  
Built with all Baroque elements incl round pillars, cross vaults etc, the wooden pulpit is a true example of Baroque influence made in 1666 CE! This was brought here from Brussels, while the original here was moved to Brussels in 1776. But what blew my mind were the confession boxes! I hadn’t seen something like this and didn’t even realize they were confession boxes! They belong to the 17th C CE!!!

Where is St.Michael's Church in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Klein Begijnhof Leuven
Leuven St.Michael's Church Opening Hours: Tue-Sun - 1:30PM to 4:30PM only in April to September
Leuven St.Michael's Church Tickets: Free

Keizerberg Abbey Leuven

Keizerberg Abbey Leuven


KEIZERBERG ABBEY
The last place I visited in Leuven by about 5:00pm, on my first visit, was Keizerberg Abbey! I was dead tired by the time I reached here and I was in for a relaxing treat – live Gregorian Chant!!! The first time I heard medieval church music (again, live) was in Koekelberg Basilica when I didn’t even know what I was hearing! Next, I heard it in a CD player in Greenwich Chapel, where I got to know the name of this, after which I heard so many of them online! Now, for the 2nd time, I got to hear it live, again in Belgium, here!!! There seems to be a revival and training happening for Gregorian Music in this country!!! 
Duke Henry I had built a fort on the hill here in 13th C CE. By 1782 CE the fort was demolished and by 1897 CE, the abbey was built here by the monks of Maredsous Abbey. In 1969, portions of the abbey were converted to accommodation for the university students (yes, everything in this city revolves around the university)!  The architecture of the church’s interiors looked like cellar for me! I didn’t explore the garden, coz by now, my legs were killing me (you know, being pregnant and all)!!!

Where is Keizerberg Abbey in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Keizerberg Abbey
Leuven Keizerberg Abbey Opening Hours: 24x7
Leuven Keizerberg Abbey Tickets: Free

ST.PETER'S CHURCH
In the heart of the city, bang opposite the Town Hall is St.Peter’s Church! We entered through the treasury which has the most important thing to see – the Last Supper by Dieric Bouts! This painting is supposed to be on the altar, but right now it's here for safekeeping. At the centre is the tomb of Henry I of Brabant and in one of the side tabernacles is the double tomb of his wife Matilda and daughter Marie. The literally towering, sacrament tower is a masterpiece from c. 1450 CE.
This was built originally in 986 CE. But was rebuilt with crypt and Romanesque styling in 1425 CE after a fire in 1176 CE.  The crypt here is perhaps the smallest I’ve ever seen! However the church was severely damaged in both wars and was rebuilt again and again!!! In the nave of the church, the oak pulpit is one thing of beauty, carved in 1742 CE by Jacob Berge! 

Where is St.Peter's Church in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Sint-Pieterskerk
Leuven St.Peter's Church Opening Hours: 10:00AM to 4:30PM 
Leuven St.Peter's Church Tickets: Free
Leuven St.Peter's Church Treasury Tickets: €3

Places to visit in Leuven St.Peter's Church

Places to visit in Leuven St.Peter's Church

Places to visit in Leuven St.Peter's Church

Places to visit in Leuven St.Peter's Church

Places to see in Leuven Abdij van Park Abbey

PARK ABBEY
Just in the outskirts of Leuven is Park Abbey. Apart from the Abbey church is the PARCUM, a museum which is more like a treasury of the Abbey. Though the Abbey dates back to 1129 CE, the current structure was built in 1725 CE. 
I'm still yet to visit Park Abbey when it is open! When I visited here, the abbey and museum were closed, and we only managed to have an icecream at Brasserie de Abdijmolen. That too was on my 2nd visit to Leuven, when I biked from Leuven to visit Wijnkasteel Vandeurzen.

Where is Park Abbey in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Abdij van Park
Leuven Park Abbey Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 10:00AM to 5:30PM
Leuven Park Abbey Church Tickets: €12

MUSEUMS OF LEUVEN

There are 5 major ticketed sites in Leuven – Town Hall, St.Peter’s Cathedral Treasury, M Museum Leuven, University Library and Stella Artois Brewery!

LEUVEN TOWN HALL
The Town hall was built in 1439-69 under 3 different architects! The last one was Matthijs de Layens and he was the one who designed the outer façade as it is today with the 6 octoganal towers (but without any sculptures in the niches)! Unlike other cities in Belgium, a single tower of Belfry couldn’t be built here was the land here is marsh. This building barely escaped the bombing during World War which almost destroyed every other building in the town.

Virtual Tour of Leuven Town Hall: The statues were added only in 1850-1900. The ground floor is the people associated with the university, the first floor is of knights & legends and the topmost floor is of dukes & counts, totalling to 236 figures including 16 women! At the bases of the niches are scenes from Bible. Currently, this is not being used as an office, but only for ceremonial purposes. Only some of the rooms are open to the public to see, that too only via a guided tour. My guide was by Mr Van Duyse. 
As soon as you enter is the reception area, the wooden ceiling is unmissable and esp the carved details in the corbels!!! This belongs to the original structure of 1400s!!! Here are 7 flags of the 7 patrician families of Leuven – Knight Bastijn and his 7 son in laws!!!
Our next stop was the Wedding Room which has the paintings of Knight Bastjin and his 7 sons-in-law, followed by the Large Gothic Hall. The beam blocks here belong to 15th C CE and the flooring as well as the chimney belongs to the 19th C CE. Of the several paintings here, the important one is beside the chimney depicting the provost of St.Pieter’s Church handing over the papal sanction for the University to Mayor Vander Kelen. The funny situation – Vander Kelen was the mayor in 19th C, while this incident took place in 14th C!!!
We stopped at the Small Gothic Hall followed by the Portrait Salon which has the paintings of all the mayors since 1790s! The large chandelier here is worth a mention, which was originally lit by gas!
The last room was the most ornate which reminded me of the Arab room in Cardiff Castle and Buckingham Palace. The ceiling has an exquisite painting by Otto van Veen who was the teacher of Ruben who painted the Banqueting House in London (a post on that coming up soon)! The depiction here is Naked Truth discovered by Wisdom and Patience to the disappointment of Jealosy and Ignorance!!!

Where is Leuven Town Hall (On Google Maps)? Leuven Town Hall
Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour: 3:00PM on Sundays; 5:00PM on Mon-Fri; 4:00PM on Saturdays
Leuven Town Hall Tickets: €4
Book Leuven Town Hall Tickets online: via official VisitLeuven website

Things to do in Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour

Things to do in Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour

Things to do in Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour

Things to do in Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour

Things to do in Leuven Town Hall Guided Tour

M MUSEUM LEUVEN
Leuven has had its own Municipal Museum long back. However, in 2009, it was renovated majorly under architect Stephane Beel. The new museum is now called M – Museum Leuven!
The display is quite an eclectic mix of old and modern art, which I didn’t find very pleasing on the eyes esp if you’re trained in art! The first display was an Oil on Panel by Rogier Van Der Weyden in 1440! This was followed by an Oil on Canvas by Robert Devriendt of 2015! The effort is understandable in showcasing the evolution of art for centuries in this town! There were also some products in a display showcasing the evolution of centuries – a silver-gilt case of 1485 which has a relic of St.Gertrude and a modern projection display based art installation. But after seeing a pre-renaissance religious painting or craft, immediately seeing a modern art, back to back was a bit weird!
Another room was specialized for Leuven’s history. Another room was completely filled with pre to post-renaissance paintings with a digital table that helped to explain each and every painting. The one that totally caught my attention was an Oil on Canvas, Joos Van Cleve’s Madonna and Child of 1511. Esp the fabric wrapping infant Jesus was so beautifully painted.
There was another room filled with sculptures of Jesus on cross and Jesus tied up seated on cold stone, all sculpted in wood. Research is on to decipher the actual sculptor behind the masterpieces and the most spectacular ones showing emotions have been credited to the Flemish Renaissance sculptor Jan Borman!
More rooms follow that talk about modern art, films, researches and more! There’s also a room dedicated to interactive art where you are welcome to create your own masterpieces with the objects provided!!! 

Where is M Museum Leuven (On Google Maps)? M Museum Leuven
M Museum Leuven Opening Hours11:00AM to 6:00PM everyday except Wednesday
M Museum Leuven Tickets: €12

Things to do in Leuven M Museum

Things to do in Leuven M Museum

Things to do in Leuven M Museum

Things to do in Leuven M Museum

Things to do in Leuven M Museum

LEUVEN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY TOWER
What’s the best way to see Leuven? No, not to explore Leuven, but to just ‘see’ Leuven. Get atop some very tall structure! The tallest structure here is the tower of the University Library. The viewing platform is 5 stories atop the library and a spiral staircase takes you there! 
As you can see from outside, till the clock face, it’s a relatively broad structure like Big Ben. This is what is split into 4 floors and the 5th floor is the clock room. The rooms are large enough and have a display in each of them with a couple of chairs. 
The last bit after the clock to the viewing platform is a small continuous spiral without break. How hard is it? It isn’t as complicated as Basel or as tall as Copenhagen. Well, in my 7th month of pregnancy, I managed with a small pause on each floor. Totally worth it and the view from atop is stunning and being a small town, has a very different landscape than the other cities which I’ve seen from atop!
The very depressing history associated with this University library was that it was completely burnt down during World War in 1914 and 3 lakh books have been lost forever! The current structure was built with the help of American funds and the same has been inscribed on the bell atop!

Where is Leuven University Library Tower (On Google Maps)? Universiteitsbibliotheek en bibliotheektoren
Leuven University Library Tower Opening Hours09:30AM to 05:00PM in weekdays and 11:00AM to 4:00PM on weekends
Leuven University Library Tower Tickets: €7
Book Leuven University Library Tower Tickets: via official VisitLeuven website

Sculptures Street Art in Leuven One day itinerary

Places to visit in Leuven University Library Tower

Places to visit in Leuven University Library Tower

Places to visit in Leuven University Library Tower

Places to visit in Leuven University Library Tower

STELLA ARTOIS BREWERY

History of Stella Artois Brewery: The origins of Stella Artois brewery began in 1366 with De Hoorn Brewery which Sebastian Artois took over in 1708. In those times, without climate control transport, it was not possible to sell the beer out of Belgium as it got spoilt in 2 days. It was he who started using hops instead of spices to make the beer long-lasting! 
About Raw materials: Raw materials for beer manufacture comes in from the Czech & UK. Earlier it was the canal beside it that was used for the transport of goods. Groundwater is used for beer manufacture in this plant. Earlier the requirement was 10 bottles of water to manufacture 1 bottle of beer (10:1), but now with increased sensitivity and technology, water is being recycled & reused, bring down the ratio to 3:1! 
Why is Stella Artois called so? This was called Stella Artois since 1926 when their special edition of clear Christmas beer called ‘Stella’ (named after the Latin term for ‘star’) became a super hit! Presently ABinBev has brought several beer manufacturing units in Belgium incl Stella Artois, Jupiler, Hoegaarden etc.
Stella Artois Brewery Experience: Well, Stella Artois / Hoegaarden beer as it is, wins hands down compared to Heineken (that's our personal preference!). However, this brewery experience, was a letdown, when compared to Heineken Experience! Though it was a 2 hr visit, most of it was spent showing a video of the history and process of bottling! The factory visit was only the bottling section visit! However finally the 2 glasses of beer tasting & a goodie bag of a bottle each of Hoegaarden, Jupiler and their premium brand Leffe, completely made our day! 

Where is Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven (On Google Maps)? Brouwerij Artois
Leuven Stella Artois Brewery Opening HoursOnly Saturdays at 3:00PM (pre-booking via VisitLeuven necessary)
Leuven Stella Artois Brewery Tour Tickets: €12

Stella Artois Brewery Tour Visit Leuven

Stella Artois Brewery Tour Visit Leuven

Stella Artois Brewery Tour Visit Leuven

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN LEUVEN

SINT DONATUSPARK
What attracted me the most to Sint Donatuspark was that it encompasses ruins of the original 12th C city walls and towers! I spend a short while here before paying a quick visit to St.Michael Church.

TAFELROND
In front of the Townhall is Tafelrond, a French-styled guild house that was destroyed in World War and was rebuilt again. Ahead of it is University Hall, built in 1317 which was a clothmaker’s hall! From 1432 this has been used by the University. 

OUDE MARKT - WORLD'S LONGEST BAR
Behind this is the Oude Markt which is famed as the longest bar in the world! Well, it’s not a single bar, but by evening, all the bars in the street have their seating arrangement on the street itself, making it the longest bar in the world!!!   

Where is Sint Donatuspark in Leuven? On Google Maps - Sint Donatuspark
Where is Tafelrond in Leuven? On Google Maps - Tafelrond
Where is Oude Markt in Leuven? On Google Maps - Oude Markt
All three at free to enter and are open 24x7. Oude Markt becomes a bar from about 5:00PM.

ARENBERG CASTLE
Arenberg Castle has its origins in the 12th C CE. Today, the castle is a part of the Leuven University and used as classrooms! It is not open to the general public to visit.

Where is Castle Arenberg in Leuven? On Google Maps - Kasteel van Arenberg

KESSEL-LO PROVINCIAL DOMAIN
I'm yet to visit Provincial Domain Kessel-lo. It  has so many things to do in it, incl. a huge waterbody, boating, skating area, playgrounds, outdoor swimming pool and more!

Where is Kessel-Lo in Leuven? On Google Maps - Provinciedomein Kessel-Lo

UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN LEUVEN WITH KIDS

ANIMAL FARMS AROUND LEUVEN
There are 3 major animal farms in and around Leuven, two of which are Alpaca farms: Sint-Alpaca-Rode and Alpaka Sport and one is majorly cattle farm: 't Silsomhof. While the 2 alpaca farms can be very interesting for adults & children alike, 't Silsomhof may not interesting for adults. But for kids, to be able to pet and feed cows & goats & horses, is interesting and my daughter loved her visit to all these places.

Where are the Kinderboerderij near Leuven? Read my article on Animal Farms in & around Brusssels.


Sint Donatuspark Leuven Places to visit

Sint Donatuspark Leuven Places to visit

Cloth Hall Leuven Places to visit

Oude Markt Leuven Places to visit

Leuven one day itinerary

LEUVEN ONE-DAY ITINERARY (FIRST TRIP)
Groot Begijnhof, M Museum Leuven, St.Peter's Church, University Library, some street art, Stella Artois Brewery Visit, Oude Markt

LEUVEN ONE-DAY ITINERARY (SECOND TRIP)
Town Hall Tour, St.Michael's Church, Sint Donatus Park, Klein Begijnhof, Arenberg Castle (from outside), Kessel-Lo, Park Abbey & PARCUM and more street art

LEUVEN TWO-DAYS ITINERARY
Day 1 - Groot Begijnhof, M Museum Leuven, St.Peter's Church, University Library, some street art, Stella Artois Brewery Visit, Oude Markt
Day 2 -  Town Hall Tour, St.Michael's Church, Sint Donatus Park, Klein Begijnhof, Arenberg Castle (from outside), Kessel-Lo, Park Abbey & PARCUM and more street art

DAY TRIPS FROM LEUVEN

LEUVEN HOTELS
There are many Leuven hotels at all price points. The most charming one is the Hotel Tafelrond - The Fourth which is a heritage hotel in Leuven. Martin's Klooster is also a charming heritage hotel housed in a monastery built in 1531. It belongs to the same hotel chain as Martin's Dream Hotel in Mons. Since I visited Leuven on multiple day trips from Brussels, I've never stayed there in a hotel and cannot review any for you!


HOW TO REACH LEUVEN
Being the capital of Flemish Brabant province, it is the heart of the region and Leuven is served well by the Belgian train SNCB-NMBS. By train it takes just 30 mins from Brussels and frequency of trains is also pretty high. 

Pinterest Leuven places to visit Pinterest Leuven things to do

Pinterest Leuven in one day itinerary Pinterest Leuven travel guide


P.S: I was invited by VisitLeuven and Discover Flemish Brabant to experience the city for review purposeshowever, the opinions are my own and this post does not advertise the product/service.
P.S.2: Stella Artois beer is an alcoholic beverage. You must be of legal drinking age to consume it, as stated by your country. Excessive drinking is injurious to health. Drinking & Driving can be lethal. 

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

27 comments:

  1. I agree with you completely. The best way to see a new city is to climb atop something very high and look around. I usually found, too, that churches were the best way to get a great bird's-eye view of the cities. So sad about the library being burned down during WWI!

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  2. I love the architecture - would be amazing to photograph! The totem sculpture with the jewel beetle is definitely unique. A wonderful list of things to do on a day trip to Leuven.

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  3. I love the sculptures at the town centre. I am amazed at how much you managed to do in a single day. Hope you treated yourself to a pint as well ;) Cheers!!

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  4. University Tower Library looks incredible, the views must have been amazing. I love Stella, but never knew about the factory in Leuven. Interesting about the park with the walls, who knew!

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  5. Such a lovely place to visit.. All the architecture of the building is really amazing! Lovely trip you have there!

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  6. what a cool place Leuven is, i actually never heard of it before. fascinating sculptures there too and such fascinating contributions to food and beer. cool post!

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  7. It must have been tiring climbing the tower whilst being 7 months pregnant! I wouldn't like to be up there when the bell chimes, especially if it's 12 o'clock. You were correct not to do the Stella Artois tour whilst being pregnant. You'll be able to visit all these places again when your girl / boy is born as traveling with kids!!

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  8. Brussels is boring! This is the answer you will get from people who have travelled around Europe, and surely they didn't check other places near the city. I've never heard of Leuven before and looks like a really nice alternative for the "boring" Brussels.

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  9. The statues look so cool! I can already imagine how I should pose with each of them for my photo. I have only been to Brussels in Belgium but upon reading this, I feel like I should have opted for Leuven instead!

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  10. I haven't been here, but I love Belgium because there are so many wonderful opportunities for a beer tour, experience or festival.

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  11. Wow, congratulations for being nominated for the Indiblogger Awards! On other note, your day trip to Leuven seems really meaningful and efficient as there's a lot of places you visited in one go.

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  12. Leuven looks like a place for heritage and art lovers. Architecture looks stunning. It's so sad that the University library was burnt during the World War. Wish we could have saved those 3 lakh books.

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  13. The structures look so cool! I can't believe that someone actually stole one of the people from the balloon. I wonder what they did with it? Yes, I agree that getting on top of something really high is one of the best ways to see a place. There seems to be lots to see and do in Leuven. We will definitely keep it in mind. It sounds like you had a great time.

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  14. I am not sure if I will ever get the chance to see this place Leuven so I thank you for bringing me there. Mix of old and new, like it was in Brussels.

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  15. I would live to travel to these places, and get to see the things that I only come to know in magazines, online websites, and pages of books from the school days.

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  16. Wow, even on your 7th month of pregnancy, you're still on the go for this trips. There is a lot of beautiful sites in Belgium.

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  17. Your photos look amazing! I'd love to go to Belgium someday :)

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  18. I visited Belgium last year and it was amazing. Flanders was a highlight for me. I love your photos it brings back great memories.

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  19. Oh its amazing that you've visited the Stella Artois brewery :) I like their beers.
    I can't help feel amazed with the Totem art. I wonder what is his inspiration.

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  20. The library looks so gorgeous! I'm so impressed you managed climbing up when you're seven months pregnant!
    Viola xo | A Piece of Viola

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  21. The only place I visited in Belgium was Brussels. It was quite nice but nothing spectacular. I liked however, the beer and the pubs! I'd like to see other villages in Belgium too and Leuven seems so lovely with the colorful architecture.

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  22. Been to this place. It was a very good experience. I really like seeing preggy travelers. It's like no one can stop you from traveling. It's somehow healthy as long as you're feeling happy which is good for the baby.

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  23. This is the 5th time I have tried to comment...hopefully it goes through otherwise IDK what to do hahah. I had no idea Stella Artois had originated from there! It would be amazing to go see their brewery since it's one of my favorite beers. I was not too fond of Belgium as a whole, but would love to explore the lesser known cities!

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  24. Depressing stories are always part of history. But the good thing is that it is now a history. And its nice to look back at it once in a while. Anyway, I'm interested with that Balloon of Friendship. Why is it called such? Anybody?

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  25. It looks very charming actually, which is why I'm confused that it was never on my radar! Well, it is now, so thanks! Those sculptures are pretty intriguing I must say.

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  26. Completely agree that the best way to get the views of whole place is by climbing somewhere on the top. Sad to know so many books were burnt away. And Hats off to you girl for roaming around and climbing in the seventh month of your pregnancy. Be safe, take care and keep travelling.

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  27. Its quite sad that the library got burned down during the world war. But leuven has some really cool scultures and I like sculptures so this looks like my place!

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