Belgium's most famous student city, Leuven is also the birthplace of Stella Artois beer, and home to the world's oldest Catholic university, established in 1425. Leuven occupies an enviable location in the province of Flemish Brabant, just 20km east of Brussels. The city adapts itself wonderfully to both business and leisure travellers, with various breweries and industries. Cycle-friendly biking routes and friendly locals add much to the charm of Leuven. A hotel here is an excellent base for exploring the rest of Belgium.
Why should I visit Leuven on my business trip?
The historic centre is easily explorable on foot – look out for gems such as the ornate Gothic City Hall on Grote Markt, the 'Fountain of Wisdom' (Fochplein), and the War Monument on Martelarenplein. A guided tour is recommended while visiting St. Peters Church and the University of Leuven.
Don't miss the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Groot Begijnhof (Grand Béguinage) and the Belfry at St Peter's Brabant Gothic Church. Summertime heats up in Leuven with a profusion of music and cultural festivals, such as Beleuvenissen and Rock Werchte. Business travellers should try the bicycle routes that connect the historical abbeys or take a beer bike trip to taste house beers. Leuven also offers walks such as ILUVLeuven and the Coxcie Walk (Michiel Coxsie was the Flemish Raphael). Information is available at the tourist office.
Where will I find big business events around Leuven?
With the capital city of Brussels a short 1.5-hour drive away, and Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp within driving distance as well, Leuven is a great base for business travellers. The Brussels International Airport (BRU) is connected by train to Leuven, and offers flights to America, Asia, and Africa.
Leuven is home to industries connected to beer brewing and technology. It's also easily accessible to internationally-acclaimed trade fairs and shows held in the business powerhouse cities of Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent.
How can I enjoy my downtime around my hotel in Leuven?
Leuven is a city that comes to life after dusk – exactly what the business traveller needs. Step out of your Leuven hotel after work and go pub-hopping in the Old Market area of Leuven. Visit the world's largest brewery, InBev, which was established here. A trip to the Kruidtuin Botanical Gardens or a bike ride through the lush Meerdaalwoud woodland are also recommended.