You are spending a week or more in Brussels ? Or you actually live in the capital city? You have decided to take just a day to do some sport and breathe fresh air from the surrounding flemish countryside ? This page provides you with a suggestion : get your bike ready, and engage on a cycling round-trip between Brussels and Leuven. It is approximately 30 kilometers each way (between the centers of both cities), pretty flat, meaning it’ll take you 2 hours to get it done, even if you are an amateur. To enjoy Leuven once you are there, I advise you to go early in the morning, like 8 am, so that you have enough time for lunch, walk a bit in Leuven, see some landmarks then come back.
The path (called HST-route, number « F3 ») is very well marked, with precise indications all along the way, which you can not miss. There are seven interim points between Brussels and Leuven : Sint-Stevens-Woluwé , Zaventem, Nosseghem, Kortenberg, Erps-Kwerps, Veltem and Herent (everytime at the village's station). Starting point in Brussels is the Evere cemetary, entry gate to the Woluweveld. You can have a precise view of the path itself here.
Once you have left the Woluweveld behind you, this clearly-marked cycling path remains close to the high-speed railway line all along, between Brussels and Leuven. So, making sure you never go to far from the line is a good way not to get lost (we never know 😊). Very early on the way to Leuven, you will approach the runways of the Zaventem National airport (see picture on the right: landing lights). Afterwards, you will be in the countryside, going across villages, leaving a village for the next one, always 3 to 5 kilometers away.
Leuven is a an old university town, with a pretty relaxed atmosphere in summer time, rather busy during the year, that can go completely wild and crazy when academic year starts, as of September. Like in many other belgian towns, you may want to wander around the main square, admire the city hall, have lunch in one of the numerous brasseries or restaurants, or just relax. There are plenty of activities to do in Leuven, for which you can find suggestions here below.
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