This is a ‘runseeing’ tour of Leuven’s beautifully preserved, mainly pedestrianized old town. The route is entirely inside the R23 ring road — the town center is 2.5 km north-south and 2 km east west. Old Town itself is a maze of narrow, winding streets, some lacking names. So, create your own route hitting the highlights or follow the outline of our map below. For a tour with lots of details and specific directions, follow Keith Hauser’s route. Note: some streets are cobblestone.
Start in the center at Grote Market/Saint Peter’s Church. Head north, following the river, and through De Bruul Park. Head back east, following Sluisstraat north into Park van de Abdij van Keizersberg, where you’ll do a loop and then double back, heading south on the narrow Vaartstraat (or other adjacent street), to Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein — a large square with a neoclassical library. Then head southwest, using the linear park path to run through the lovely Sint-Donatus Park, then staying south of the hospital through the pleasant Groot neighborhood. Turn north, along the river, following paths through numerous small parks, to the Botanical Garden (Kruidtuin). Enjoy a loop there, and then use Minderbroedersstraat to return to the start.
Shorter Option: Can eliminate the Park van de Abdij van Keizersberg or Botanical Garden sections.
Longer Option: Combine with our University/River Dye route.
- 9 km (5.6 miles)
- 54m (177 feet)
- Grote Market/Saint Peter's Church
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