The thriving city of Leuven presents a compelling cultural confection of architecture, art and atmosphere. As the capital of one of Belgium’s most remarkable regions, the cosmopolitan city exudes an irresistible energy that is contributed to by the energetic student population. Visit imperial palaces or picnic upon the picturesque riverbank; absorb the ecclesiastical elegance of the cathedral or sample delectable dishes in a Michelin starred restaurant. However you decide to spend your spellbinding sojourn, Leuven is sure to deliver on both culture and class.
Leuven offers visitors a rich and varied sightseeing programme that encompasses everything from beer to boy scouts. The Groot Begijnhof is considered the city’s historic heart due to its status as a UNESCO world heritage site. Sleek sandstone houses neighbour picturesque parks and ambient squares, all of which date back to the 17th century.
The sacred city of Leuven presents the beholder with one of Europe’s finest collections of ecclesiastical elegance; the eclectic collection of churches straddles both time and style. The city’s oldest church is Saint Peter’s, a remarkable Romanesque structure whose talismanic turrets and glistening façade create an arresting vision.
Leuven boasts an unrivalled collection of museums that provide insight into every cultural crevice; the M Museum Leuven is housed in one of the city’s most impressive structures, a building which combines existing historical buildings with modern design. Through a captivating collection of late gothic paintings and Flemish sculptures, Belgium’s artistic heritage is revealed.
Leuven’s culinary centre is unanimously hailed as the Muntstraat, a cultural and cosmopolitan stretch home to some of the city’s best restaurants. Appease an appetite for authenticity at Essenciel, a glamorously gourmet restaurant that draws its inspiration from region delicacies. The tantalising tasting menu showcases the skills of the chefs and the freshness of locally sourced produce by serving redfish sashimi, Parmesan broth, matured beef and salty asparagus. (23 Muntstraat, Leuven, Belgium)