Grote Begijnhof

Top choice in Leuven

This idyllic, village-like corner of Leuven would make an ideal film set for a medieval drama. The lantern-lit cobbled streets are lined with step-gabled brick houses with stone window frames. Semi-wild roses scent several green oases, which are richly serenaded with birdsong, and a couple of pretty footbridges cross the central stream.

There is no specific 'sight' here, though the huge church of Sint-Jan-de-Doper can be visited on summer afternoons. The houses are mostly occupied as charming homes for lucky university staff and some PhD students.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Leuven attractions

1. Sint-Antoniuskapel

0.29 MILES

Though originally built before 1329, this chapel is now an archetypal work of 1960s church design, made memorable as the last resting place of Father…

2. St-Michelskerk

0.35 MILES

This church's enormous baroque frontage remains impressive despite considerable age-erosion to the limestone capitals. It's topped with trumpeteer angels…

3. OLV-Ter-Koorts

0.37 MILES

With its unusual interplay of brick and stone work, the exterior of this baroque former church is worth a look as you stroll by. It's now part of a…

4. Stadhuis

0.51 MILES

Far and away Leuven’s most iconic sight, the incredible 15th-century stadhuis is a late-Gothic architectural wedding cake flamboyantly overloaded with…

5. St-Pieterskerk

0.57 MILES

At Leuven's heart is this soaring Brabantine-Gothic church (1425) whose remarkable wooden pulpit is fashioned like twin palm trees that drip with cherubs…

6. M Van Museum

0.58 MILES

This state-of-the-art gallery houses a priceless collection of 15th- to 18th-century religious works, fascinating Leuven-relevant historical objects and…

7. Universiteitsbibliotheek

0.61 MILES

Dominating Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein, this imposingly grand Flemish Renaissance–style palace features a soaring Scandinavian-style brick tower topped with…

8. Stella Artois

1.31 MILES

Just off the main inner ring road around 800m northwest of Leuven train station, this world-famous, highly automated brewery offers mostly group tours,…