×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Leuven 2024
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In


7 Tips for Living in Leuven

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Advice for people moving to Leuven or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Leuven or thinking about moving there.

Living in Leuven as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting and enriching experience. This vibrant city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively student population. However, like any new place, it can take some time to adjust and find your footing. Here are seven key tips to help you make the most of your time in Leuven.

1. Learn the Local Language

While English is widely spoken in Leuven, learning the local language, Dutch, can greatly enhance your experience. It can help you connect with locals, understand the culture better, and even navigate day-to-day tasks more easily. There are numerous language schools in the city where you can take Dutch classes. Plus, locals appreciate it when foreigners make an effort to learn their language.

2. Explore the City by Bike

Leuven is a bike-friendly city with well-maintained bike lanes and paths. Cycling is not only a great way to stay fit, but it's also an efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. You can rent a bike from numerous places in the city, including Velo, a popular bike rental shop.

3. Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Belgian cuisine is more than just waffles and chocolates. Leuven has a vibrant food scene with a variety of restaurants offering local and international cuisines. For a taste of traditional Belgian food, head to Domus or De Werf. If you're a fan of seafood, De Rector is a must-visit. And for those with a sweet tooth, don't miss the delicious pastries at Bakkerij Korst Leuven.

4. Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Leuven is made up of several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The city center, known as Oude Markt, is famous for its historic buildings and bustling nightlife. Meanwhile, Kessel-Lo is a quieter residential area with beautiful parks and green spaces. Mechelsestraat is known for its trendy boutiques and cafes. Spend time exploring these neighborhoods to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

5. Visit Local Museums and Parks

Leuven is home to several museums that offer insights into the city's history and culture. The M-Museum Leuven houses a vast collection of art and artifacts, while the Museum of Leuven showcases the city's rich history. For nature lovers, the Kruidtuin, also known as the Botanical Garden, and the Provinciaal Domein Kessel-Lo are must-visit spots.

6. Network with Other Expats

Connecting with other expats can make your transition to Leuven smoother. They can provide valuable advice, share their experiences, and even become your friends. There are several expat groups and communities in Leuven that you can join. These groups often organize social events and activities, providing a great opportunity to meet new people.

7. Embrace the Local Culture

Belgians are known for their love of good food, beer, and festivals. Participating in local traditions and festivities is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and feel more at home. Leuven hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Leuven Beer Weekend, the Leuven Jazz Festival, and the Christmas Market. These events offer a fun and exciting way to experience the local culture.

Living in Leuven as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding experience. By learning the language, exploring the city, enjoying the local cuisine, getting to know the neighborhoods, visiting museums and parks, networking with other expats, and embracing the local culture, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful Belgian city.

Mondly by PearsonMondly by Pearson
Learn More

Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.

Mondly by PearsonMondly by Pearson

Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.
Learn More

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Contribute to Belgium Network Contribute
Help others in Belgium by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Belgium.

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides