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 O que é isto?
O Hospitality Club é a maior organização mundial de troca de hospitalidade. Somos milhares de membros amigáveis espalhados pelo mundo inteiro que oferecem alojamento grátis uns aos outros quando viajam. Fazer parte do clube é gratuito e o registo só demora um minuto - gostaríamos muito que te juntasses a nós!

Travel Guide for Belgium:Vlaams-Brabant:Leuven

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Belgium:Vlaams-Brabant:Leuven that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Belgium:Vlaams-Brabant:Leuven Page.

Basic Facts

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City of Belgium; Capital of the Province Vlaams-Brabant
Population: 89.905 habitants in 2004 for Leuven (inc. Kessel-Lo, Wilsele, Heverlee, Wijgmaal), this population counts 144 different nationalities
Area: The territory of Leuven include the boroughs of Kessel-lo, Wilsele, Herverlee and Wijgmaal which covers 35km²
Neighbouring municipalities: The territory of the city of Leuven is bordered by the cities of : Lubbeek, Oud-Heverlee, Herent and Bertem. ... more

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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TOP TEN of wonders in the center of Leuven

1- Groot Begijnhof (Great Beguinage): This fabulous city in the city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It's also the biggest beguinage of Belgium. A walk into it's wall is a must.

2- Grote Markt, Town Hall, St-Pieter's Church (Great Market Square): Certainly the first place you'll go when arriving in town. The street from the station brings directly to that square. You can enjoy the magnificie ... more

Maps

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map Leuven

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Top things at walking cycling distance from the Center

1- Arenberg Castle and University Campus (Heverlee): The Castle located in the middle of a huge natural domain where are also located many faculties is worth a glimpse. You can also enjoy a walk in this vast natural area and don't miss a look at the little old chapel where students can celebrate their weddings.

2- Abdij van het Park (Heverlee): This natural area at the edge of the city, just ... more

Suggested Itineraries and Walking Tours

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The touristic office has a new department called In & Uit Leuven . The office is at the townhall, side of Naamsestraat. On their website www.inenuitleuven.be you find a lot of tips for trips!

Transport

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Getting there and away

- by train: There are frequent trains per hour to the popular cities like Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges, Liège, Hasselt ...., mostly they are well on time and you don’t have to make a reservation. The city is at the crossroad of the main train lines going direction Hasselt-Tongueren and to Liège and Cologne on the east and to Brussels-Gent-Oostende on the west. A complementary line deserve Antwerp.
- by bus: Leuven is well connect ... more

Accommodation

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Hostels

Youth Hostel "Blauwput", member of Hostelling International, 30 seconds from the railway station by foot on the side of Kessel-lo

Hotels

Klooster Hotel****(175-340 euro room); Begijnhof Congreshotel****, Novotel***; Theater Hotel*** (99 - 169 euro 2 pers.); Jackson's**(70-85 euro 2 pers.); Industriehotel (40-75 euro 2 pers.); De Pastorij, has rooms named after Angels (55-100 euro); Hotel La Royale at the railway station (36-53 euro pp.); Ibi ... more

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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Drinks - Drinks - Drink

Leuven is particularly to beer! One of the main belgian Brewery is located in the city : Stella Artois and its also the hometown of one of the world’s biggest Brewery Co : INBEV-INTERBREW. Then be sure to not miss the chance to have a pills on one of the several city café’s. Another famous drink of the region would be Hoegaarden which is brew in a neighbouring town (Hoegaarden) or Primus which is also brewed in a neighbouring town (Haacht) ... more

Money and Costs

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Money matters: There is no Cambio-Currency Exchange office in town, for that matter you would have to go to a bank. There is several Cash machine in town but none are around the Station, walk further in the center and you may pass next to few ones; Main Bank are : Fortis, KBC,

In most stores you can pay with Proton keycard - Bankcontact or Visa - MasterCard. Remark that in cafés only paying cash is possible. In any situation tipping isn't common (taxis, restaurants, café ... more

Post and Communications and Internet

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Post: The Main Post Office is located at Philips-site, near to Parkpoort at the ringway. But a more central desk can be found in the Jan Stasstraat, close to Match-supermarket at Bondgenotenlaan. Be aware that “De Post” is also playing the role of a bank and that queue can be quite long during the day as well as the opening hours are quite short : mainly open 10h-18h week day.
Communication: Phone booth tend to disappear in Belgium mainly because of the spread of mobile ... more

Nightlife and Entertainment

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A real acitve night life exist in Leuven, we can split it in three different ways:
1. The student take over the town every wednesday and thursday of the academic year, and sometimes on sunday evening too.
2. The local population are enjoying themself free of the student during the week-end or off the academic season.
3. The city is getting overcrowded with visitor during some of the surrounding main events during the summer and many visitor comes to shop on saterday.

more

Hospitals and Doctors

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Emergency-number:
100 or 112 (Ambulance, Fireman) 101 (Police)

Hospitals:
H.Hart Ziekenhuis, Naamsestraat, Leuven (center)
UZ Gasthuisberg, Herestraat, Leuven (ringway)

Central phonenumbers:
for the medics on duty during evening & weekend: 0032(0)70 25 70 25
for the pharmacists on duty during evening & weekend: 0032(0)16 21 06 11

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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*See the regulation applying for Belgium!

- Italia is having a temporary Consul in the city on the Naamsestraat

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Feel free to ask any particular question about the city, region or people in here!! Someone will gladly try to answer you as best as he can!!

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Want to get in touch, organise a meeting in town. Let it know here!

Travelogues

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Photos

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http://www.flickr.com/groups/leuven/

Activities and Sports

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The local Football team (OHL stands for Oud-Herverlee - Leuven) plays lower league in Heverlee.

The city has just opened a multi-sports complex on the edge of the old town which offers swimming pool, squash, badminton, etc... But sadly at a high cost.
The local ice-ring is affordable and makes a disco-skating-night every friday. But ut is located in a borough.
The University sports installation are also located on the edge of old town and include a swimming pool, athletics fi ... more

Culture and Local Customs

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Things we like:

*Have a coffee or soup & read a newspaper in a typical bar like De Commerce (corner of Hooverplein & Ladeuzeplein)

*Eat a local breakfast at café De Werf (Hoge Schoolplein) or at Het Dagelijks Brood (Parijstraat)

*Enjoy Belgian (special) beers at café De Blauwe Kater (Naamsestraat) or at café Libertad (Muntstraat)

*Eat french fries or curryworst-special at Fonske (Muntstraat) before you go ... more

Events and Holidays

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Main events: (Festivals, Concerts and Carnaval)
- Rock Werchter: One of the belgian biggest music festival located in the the neighbouring village of Werchter, occur yearly around end June - begin July (with name as Foofighters, Lenny Kravitz, ManoNegra, Metallica, REM, Prodigy and thousands more have been seen over the years).
More info: www.rockwerchter.be
- MarktRock: The city music festival transform the old center into a major o ... more

Dangers and Warnings

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Leuven is a remarquably safe city. Violent crimes are inexistant and even if robbery or pick-pocket aren’t active in the town, precaution applies.
The only reported crimes involves stolen bikes.

Tourist Traps

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None are actually known, since Leuven is generally off the main touristical beaten track.

Just be aware that the most in the center you are, more expensive are your drinks or fries gonna cost you... but it’s just a matter of few cents.
During the major events though (aka MarktRock) the center is becoming a huge budget rip off for food and beer, plan it in advance!

History

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Taken from the City official website

Leuven is very proud of both its past and its heritage, and rightly so. There is so much to see and to do in and around Leuven that one visit is simply not enough.

Although the first references to the town can be traced back as far as the 9th century and in spite of its strategic location on the river Dyle, it was not until around the 11th-12th century that Leuven began to develop as an important trading centre within the Duchy of ... more

Economy

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Leuven is on a economical growing trend. The city center remains keptly saved from the industrial development and orientate on HORECA and offices development while a technological park and a industrial park exists on the edge of town near the highway.
Its population is one of the most educated of Belgium since lots of graduate from the university settle in town afterwards.

Arts

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Check out the STUK-artcenter at Naamsestraat 96! A fresh and experimental place for music, performing arts, dance, theater, exhibitions, multimedia, non-commercial cinema etc.. And it hosts a stylish bar! www.stuk.be

Media

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The local city free newspapers are the Passe-Partout and De Streekrant. Both have offices in town.

All major Belgian newspaper and most major European ones can be bought in newspaper stands.

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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If you like music/culture/art you can volunteer for STUK as well as Het Depot. www.stuk.be & www.hetdepot.be

Stuk is an artcenter with daily programming, Het Depot is a music-center which organises concerts on regular base and also offers workshops related to (rock)music.

Organized Tours

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Shopping

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Leuven is quite a regional centre for shopping. Lots of boutics lies in the center and might bring joy to those who likes walking in shopping streets and you may find things that will suit your taste. The main shopping streets are : Bondgenotenlaan, Diestsestraat, Mechelesestraat and Parijsstraat.

In matter of souvenir boutics: look up the Parijsstraat, the University shop on the Oudemarkt or the tobacco kiosk on the Fochplein. Postcards are likely to be found on the different newspape ... more

Books and Further Reading

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Other Information

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The University play a major role in the city. It’s also the biggest belgian university and many young belgian lives here week long during the academic period. This fact gives a particular atmospher to the city. Keep in mind that many of the Leuvenaar subscribed to HC are student and might go home to their parents on the week-end.

Leuven is also an completely safe city, crime rates are particularly inexistant and the police deal most of the time with bicyle matter.

External Links

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Official Leuven Homepage

Offtopic Messages

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Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.

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