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Leuven

Travel Guide Europe Belgium Leuven

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Introduction

Student Leuven Visit

Student Leuven Visit

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Leuven is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants, located just 30 kilometres east of Brussels, Belgium. Its centre is one of the most beautiful in the country and if you have the time, a daytrip from Brussels or, even better, staying in the city itself, is really recommended! It has a lively atmosphere, thanks to the fact that it is a major student city as well.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Linen-hall in an early-Gothic style
  • The Town Hall
  • The Church of Saint Michael
  • The St. Peter's Church
  • Saint-Anthony's Chapel
  • The Great Beguinage is a the historical quarter containing a streets, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is one of the best remaining examples of a Netherlandish Béguinage and, together with many other beguinages was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.
  • The Church of Saint Quinten
  • Breweries - the well known Stella Artois brewery is located in Leuven, as well as the small lesser known Domus brewery. The latter is located near the Great Market and offers some nice food and beers to taste.

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Getting There

By Plane

Leuven doesn't have an airport, but Brussels Airport is just a 15-minute ride by train or car away.

By Train

Leuven railway station runs frequent trains to Brussels (20 minutes), the international airport (15 minutes), Ghent (1 hour), Antwerp (50 minutes), Mechelen (20 minutes), Liege (1 hour) and Bruges (1.5 hour).

By Car

Leuven is easily reached along the E40 motorway from Brussels to Liege.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
HI De Blauwput LeuvenMartelarenlaan 11aHostel88
Lodging At 8Weldadigheidsstraat 8 3000 Vlaams BrabantGuesthouse-
Leuven City HostelRavenstraat 37Hostel87
St. JacobBrusselsestraat 125GUESTHOUSE-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available in Belgium, but internet cafés are not common, because most people have internet access at home or through wifi. There are multiple internet access points in all cities and it is free in most libraries. Also in multiple gas stations, train stations and diners on the highways there is Wi-Fi available. Many cafés offer free Wi-Fi nowadays and if you can't find any you can always fall back on Quick or McDonalds which both offer free Wi-Fi.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to Belgium is: + 32. To make an international call from Belgium, the code is 00.

Belgium has a modern telephone system with nationwide cellular telephone coverage. Belgium uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are three main companies (Proximus, Mobistar and Base, and a large number of MVNOs) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free. You can get sim cards for the three main companies in dedicated phone shops. Sim cards from the MVNOs are readily available at supermarkets (Carrefour, Aldi, Colruyt to name a few all have their own brand). All networks provide UMTS and HSDPA (3G) mobile internet coverage, and are rolling out a 4G network, mainly in the big cities and eventually in the whole country.

Post

De Post is the national postal service of Belgium, with Dutch, French and German versions. They offer generally fast, reliable services. It's a relatively expensive service though, with normal domestic post (cards, letters etc) up to 50 grams costing €0.61. To other European countries it costs €1.03 and outside Europe it's €1.34. At the post offices, you can buy stamps and they have other services as well, including international money transfers. The opening times of post offices are 9:00am or 10:00am until 4:00pm or 5:00pm, depending on whether it's the main central one or a smaller branch or in towns. Some of them might be open on Saturday mornings, and remember that quite a few still close for lunch break! De Post also offers the sending of parcels, but you could also use private international companies like UPS, TNT or DHL, as they offer roughly the same services and prices, but are generally faster.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 9:42 on Jun 2, 14 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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