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A true student town home to the oldest Catholic university in the world, Leuven is most alive during the academic year; however, there are many events in the summer as well. There are many trains to Leuven from various departure points that can be booked online with Trainline. 

Visiting Leuven

You can travel with a train journey from London to Leuven in around 2 hours 41 minutes. Eurostar operates a train from London to Leuven every 3 hours. You will depart from London St. Pancras International Station and arrive at Leuven's Louvain Station. There is no direct train between the two locations, so at least one change is needed. For most routes, the change is at Bruxelles-Midi Eurostar Station. However, if you plan a multiple-destination trip, book your tickets separately. The lovely historic city of Lille is halfway between London and Brussels and is where you can find many fine arts museums, charming pedestrian streets, and the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle. If you are not pressed for time, consider spending at least one day in Lille before continuing your journey to Leuven. Brussels is another popular stop and is the capital of Belgium. It's a bilingual capital where street signs are written both in French and Dutch and the most famous attraction is a tiny statue of a boy urinating.

Top 5 destinations in Leuven

  1. The Stadhuis, an enormous Gothic building dating back to the 15th century, is the most famous attraction in the city. Construction took 30 years to complete. Stadhuis is now a town hall and features 236 statues.
  2. While wandering the streets of Leuven, you may come across Fons Sapientiae, a beloved sculpture of a little man pouring water onto his open cranium while reading a book. According to legend, the statue signifies wisdom pouring into the man's brain while he is reading.
  3. If you are into art and history, M-Museum is a good place to visit. It has a massive collection of contemporary Belgian visual art, including the work of Flemish Masters.
  4. The University Library, a picturesque building in Flemish Renaissance style, is another highlight of the city. Audio tours take visitors through the remarkable building before they arrive at the top for a 360-degree view of Leuven.
  5. St Peter's Cathedral cuts an imposing figure over the city of Leuven, and dates back to the 15th Century. Despite being overshadowed by The Stadhuis as a tourist attraction, this is still one of the city's most spectacular buildings and is one not to be missed.

Train stations in Leuven

Leuven station is the only train station in Leuven and is operated by NMBS. From here, you can take trains to various destinations in the country. There is a direct train to Brussels airport which takes only 13 minutes. Trains to Antwerp or Lier take about 50 minutes. If you want to get to Ghent or Bruges, the journey is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. After arriving at Louvain station, you can take public transport to your desired destination. Taxies and multiple bus lines are available, even though you won't find any tram lines or a subway in Leuven. The small city is designed in a way that most destinations are reachable on foot, so do not be afraid of walking even if you are totally new here. From the station, walk to Martelarenplein then down the Bondgenotenlaan to get right into the city centre where you can find the Grote Markt tourist information desk.

 

For more information about travelling in Belgium, check out our trains in Belgium page and stay one step ahead with your travel plans.

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