Studying in Leuven I sometimes need to get away from my books and desk. And what places are better to go to then parks? Imagine a sunny day, friends and some drinks, the ideal combination for a pick nick in Leuven. These are the places I can recommend you to visit, if you want some away time from everything or if you want to organize a pick nick.
In the heart of Leuven, nearby the Begijnhof there is a park hidden between all the buildings and the traffic, the Dylepark. The park itself is not that big and it looks very pretty with the bridge going over the water, but what it makes so special is the fact that not many people come here. It is the ideal place for a quiet pick nick in the summer or to enjoy a drink with your friends in the spring.
This is probably one of the most busiest parks in this list. Situated close to the Ladeuze square a lot of students visit this park and meet up here on a sunny day to have a chat or a drink. Since it is placed in the middle of a lot of campus buildings a lot of students also use the park to walk to another university building. There is also an old tower located in the park and the small pond with ducks in it really gives the place a nice atmosphere. (Please be aware that you are not allowed to feed the ducks in the pond, you can get a fee if they see you feeding them.) The park does have a closing hour so be sure to leave the park before it closes.
I discovered this place in my first year in Leuven. At the time I was living nearby and it was one of the places where I could go to and study. The Botanical Garden was built in the year 1738 by the University KU Leuven for the medical students at the time. If you love herbs and plants then this is the place to go for you. Entry is free and you can enjoy a wide variety of everyday to tropical plants and herbs. Sometimes the Botanical Garden also organizes an exhibition, so you can look beforehand on their website if any are going on when you want to visit.
Just outside the center of Leuven you can find the Abbey Park in Heverlee. This park combines the beauty of the four lakes together with the atmosphere of the old buildings that you can visit. Even without visiting the buildings the park is the ideal place for a stroll in the evening next to the water or to organize a picknick with your friends or family. On the first Saturday of every month, volunteers come to help clean and take care of the park. Sometimes there are also concerts organized in the buildings, you can look up the schedule of all the activities they organize on their website.
Another place well known by students in Leuven is the castle of Arenberg. The castle itself is only open for the students of KU Leuven, but luckily all the green around the castle is free for everyone to enjoy. If you don't mind being surrounded by students then this is another great place to take some time of and relax. You can bring a blanket with you to maybe sleep on and to enjoy the sun if the weather is good.
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