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City Guide Leuven Belgium

We had a wonderful girls' weekend in Leuven. Discover the most beautiful boutique hotels, the best coffee bars, restaurants and the best fashion stores of Leuven. Don't forget the Belgian beers and you know; University City Leuven is fun. Lots of fun! Tip: Upcoming area The Vaartkom in Leuven. Read more about this hotspot at the bottom of the blog.






In Leuven you do have many nice boutique hotels. We stayed at hotel Martin’s Klooster . This lovely boutique hotel is housed in a former monastery from the 16th century where the historical details are still clearly visible. From the hotel you can walk to the Grote Markt in five minutes.



Coffeebar Leuven


Where to drink and buy the best coffee in Leuven? Here is my list with the nicest coffee bars.


Koffie & Staal Leuven - Perhaps the best coffee bar in Leuven? In any case, Koffie & Staal is very popular. At Koffie & Staal you get your coffee fix or order breakfast or lunch with organic ingredients and also lots of vegetarian options. Sucha a nice place for coffee, run by owner Nouchka. Her husband Lino makes furniture and jewelry. A dream couple.


Bar Berlin Leuven  - Bar Berlin is a coffee bar with a cool atmosphere. Here you imagine yourself in the Berlin coffee scene for a moment. Also nice for breakfast, brunch or lunch, when not too busy.


Bar Stan - Leuven has so many great coffee bars. Bar Stan is another proof of that. Delicious coffee, also nice for breakfast. Every two weeks you can also have brunch here on Sunday. Make a reservation in advance.


Onan Coffee & Tea  - At speciality coffee bar Onan you can get delicious coffee and tea. You can also buy the homemade roasted coffee and tea to take it home.


Madmum Coffee Roasters  - This fun coffee bar can be found at 5 locations in Leuven, one next to the Martin's Hotel. At Madmum you can go for delicious specialty coffee, tea and cake. Madmum also has a nice gift shop. It all started at Madmum Bar & Roastery on Tiensestraat in Leuven. Madmum at Leuven Station is perfect for a cup of coffee to go.


MOK Specialty Coffee Roastery & Bar - In the historic center of Leuven, you'll find MOK Coffee. Delicious freshly roasted coffee, teas, fermented drinks and cakes & pastries. Also with an outlet in Brussels.


Noir Specialty Coffee Roastery & Bar Leuven  - You can also go to Noir Coffee for delicious coffee. Nice store with vintage look.


Thelma Koffie & Design  - Thelma is fun. The perfect one-stop shop for fashion, design and lifestyle in Leuven. Here you'll find the cutest brands and everyday clothes with a twist for every woman. When you are done with shopping, you can drink a delicious coffee.



Breakfast Leuven


Bar Stan - In addition to being a very nice coffee bar, Bar Stan also offers delicious breakfast and brunch at this neighborhood bar. Brunch is only every two weeks on Sundays, highly recommended.


Bar Leuv - Oh so nice Bar Leuv. An All Day Brunch and Coffee Cafe. Bar Leuv grew out of a passion for food and coffee and it shows. It all started with a waffle with bacon and egg. And look at it. I Leuv Bar Leuv. They don't do reservations so come on time.


Koffie & Staal Leuven - Maybe the best coffee bar in Leuven? In any case, very popular. Coffee & Staal serves coffee, breakfast and lunch with organic ingredients and lots of vegetarian options too. Too nice place for coffee run by owner Nouchka. Her husband Lino makes furniture and jewelry. A dream couple.


Nosh Leuven - American Bagels, Pancakes, Coffee. At Nosh in Leuven you can have a delicious breakfast and original lunch, all day long. Next door to Slo Leuven.


Bar Jerome Leuven - A great place for coffee and cake or lunch. Or for a beer, wine and a cheese or mixed charcuterie plank for an aperitivo.


Boutique Fashion Shops Leuven


Leuven is super fun for shopping. It is full of multibrand fashion boutique stores like the Liv Store, Les Soeurs Store, Profile Leuven and Wear Store. Pre-loved fashion boutiques like Cyaankali and Rawette should also be on your list. And, of course, the Essentiel Antwerp Outlet Store.


Cyaankali Pre Loved Fashion - At Cyaankali in Leuven you will find beautiful pre-loved fashion and second-hand brand clothing. Delightful shopping and searching for great vintage gems. Also visit Rawette.


Design District Leuven - Beautiful design store with showroom. Here you can find the most beautiful Scandinavian brands such as HAY, &Tradion, Muuto and of course Serax.


Essentiel Outlet Store - The Essentiel Antwerp Outlet Store can be found on the Vaartsestraat in Leuven. When you are lucky there is even discount on outlet prices.


Harvest Club -  Nice fair fashion concept store with beautiful fashion brands for men and women and children. Also shop nice accessories and other great gifts here.


Inlevel5 - At conscisous concept store Inlevel 5 sustainable, eco and hipster fashion comes together. Here you can find sustainable clothing and fun accessories.


Liv Store - Liv is good, Liv is fun. This boutique full of Scandinavian and French brands like Isabel Marant, Roseanne, Iro, Rotate, Forte Forte, By Malene Birger and more. Don't forget sister Ulla by Liv, either.


Les Soeurs Store Leuven - These handsome sisters know what they are doing. Cute fashion store with beautiful clothing, jewelry, accessories and lifestyle gifts. Also found in the cities of Hasselt, Knokke, Antwerp, Ghent and Schilde.


Mixte Leuven - Another great multi-brand store with fashion clothing and accessoires for her.


Profiel Leuven - A nice multi-brand store with nice clothes and accessories with beautiful brands like GANNI, Baum und Pferdgarten, Essentiel Antwerp, Munthe, Ulla Johnson and more. Worth a visit in Leuven.


Plek Leuven - A furniture store in Leuven with the Slow Living concept and timeless and honest design with brands like Fest, Ferm Living, Studio Henk and Moebe.


Rawette Leuven - You can also find the most beautiful vintage pearls at second-hand brand clothing store Rawette. Pre-loved fashion is also hip in Leuven. Also visit Cyaankali.


The Natural Beauty Club - For all women who find Natural Beauty important. The Natural Beauty Club offers clean cosmetics and natural beauty makeovers.


Thelma Koffie & Design - Thelma is fun. The perfect one-stop shop for fashion, design and lifestyle in Leuven. Here you will find the cutest brands and everyday clothes with a twist for every woman. After shopping, drink delicious coffee in the cozy café.


Ulla by Liv - Little sister of fashion boutique store Liv Store.

Wear Store - Another fun multibrand store in Leuven, Mechelen, Ghent and Antwerp. Here you will find the cutest clothing, shoes, accessories for women and men with brands like Modstrom, Numph, MbyM, By Bar and more.



Restaurants Leuven


Restaurant Alfalfa Leuven - Alfalfa is a modern bistro bar where you can eat delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. Great for lunch, dinner and/or drinks


Restaurant Baracca Leuven - Baracca is a nice and cozy Italian restaurant serving wood-fired pizzas and cocktails.

Café Entrepot Leuven - Entrepot is located in the OPEK building, a cozy eatery with a spacious terrace in the hip Vaartkom district. You can come here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Nice in combination with a show.


Convento Wijnhandel en Bistro - Fun fun fun. Convento is a Bistro and Wine Shop in 1. If that goes well.

Restaurant Cuore Italiano - At Cuore Italiano in Leuven, you can visit the restaurant for typical Italian food. Also nice is the Bottega, a bar and shop with delicious Italian wines and delicacies.


Dewerf Leuven - Low key bar for a delicious drink with some simple dishes on the menu.Or as the Belgians say, nibble and chat.

Restaurand & Bar De Hoorn Leuven - Housed in an old Stella brewery, restaurant the Hoorn in Leuven is kind of an all in 1. A co-housing and co-working space, but also a place with a restaurant and bistro where you can go for breakfast, lunch or dinner and delicious pints. It really reminds me of Cafe - Restaurant Amsterdam in Amsterdam.

De Optimist - At the Optimist in Leuven you can go for a big or small hunger with meals in three different sizes; to share, something small to eat or a full dish. Something for everyone. The Optimist is also nice for an evening of beer or wine.


Restaurant Brasserie Domus - At Domus you taste authentic Belgian dishes in a living room setting. Here you eat traditional 'Vlaemsche' dishes and drink beer from their own brewery.

Florida Foodbar - In the hip Vaartkom neighborhood, you can visit restaurant Florida Foodbar for lunch or dinner.

Florida Foodbar - At Gastrobar Hop you can enjoy a five-course dinner with matching natural wine or a selection of Belgian and international beers.


Hop Gastrobar - Bij Gastrobar Hop kan je terecht voor een vijfgangen diner met bijpassende natuurwijn of een selectie Belgische en internationale bieren.


Eetcafe Noordoever - An organic and plant-based eatery in Leuven. At Noordoever in the Vaartkom you can go for all things healthy and organic. Eat from the buffet or have a delicious coffee or juice.


Slō Leuven - I love the concept of this is Slō with casual wining and small plate dining. Slow wine & food.


Restaurant Zoff Leuven - An Italian restaurant and store serving authentic Italian food. Next door to an Italian deli. Also a lovely outside terrace for an aperitivo.



Things To Do in Leuven


During your walk through the city center of Leuven you will certainly pass the gotic town hall and the majestic Sint-Pieterskerk and the the Groot Begijnhof of Leuven, a very well preserved beguinage and completely restored historical quarter containing a dozen streets in the south of downtown Leuven. Or walk around the Abdij van Park.


TIP: with an ILUVLEUVEN ticket of 17 euro's you get access to the Town Hall, University & Tower and M Leuven or Abij van Park.


Brewery Stella Artois - In Leuven and in the surroundings of Leuven you will find several breweries worth visiting. So you have the small beer brewery Domus and the famous Stella Artois. Nice to do a beer tasting of course.


Cinema ZED Leuven - A small and quirky cinema. Cinema ZED can be found in the center of Leuven and Hasselt. Here everything is still really about the movie. No advertising, no popcorn. Real film.


De Maekerij - At the Maekerij you can have lunch, but also participate in some nice workshops.


Hall 5 - The best events and activities also take place in Hall 5. Keep an eye on the calendar. You can have fun eating and drinking at Antico Pizza, Falafel Habibi or drinking beers at Malz Kiosk. Leuven is fun.


Kruidtuin - Belgium's oldest botanical garden is a green gem in the city with a colorful collection of trees, shrubs and plants. And also beautiful greenhouses and an old orangery.


M Leuven Museum - The great M Museum in Leuven has a mix of ancient and contemporary art exhibits. Beautiful building.

University library and tower - The reading room of the university library is beautiful. Climb the tower and enjoy the beautiful and unique view of the city.


Urban Art Bike Tour and Street Art walks - Leuven is also full of Street Art. What could be more fun than discovering Leuven by bike. LUA's guides will take you past the graffiti hotspots and introduce you to the urba art scene. The street art walk will take you past 11 works of art in the city center.


Vaartkom Leuven - The Vaartkom district in Leuven has grown from an old industrial neighborhood to a lively green, hip and creative hotspot in Leuven. Here you will find the nicest eateries such as Florida Foodbar, Restaurant Noordoever, Gastrobar Hop and Cafe Entrepot. You can drink coffee at Madmum Coffee. Before or after that visit M Leuven.


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