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Louvain is an important university city. Its Catholic University is the oldest in the Low Countries, and it is considered the best of Belgium and one of the best of Europe. The city's slogan - "Ancient and Alive" - is very appropriate. The city has a beautiful medieval centre, with the late-gothic city hall from the 15th century that is very much worth a visit. However, it is also a modern and lively city, not least because of the large number of students. The centre of its nightlife is the Oude Markt, the 'longest bar in the world'.
Louvain has over 90,000 inhabitants, among whom a large number of students. The students even have their own statue, Fonske. It represents a student who, while reading a book, pours wisdom (or bear …) into his head. The people of Louvain are also called 'cow shooters'. In 1691, the city was besieged by the French. When at night they saw suspicious shadows, they opened fire. The next day it turned out they had been shooting at a herd of cows.
Louvain is located in the centre of the Belgian province of Vlaams-Brabant, of which it is the capital. It is located 30 kilometres to the east of Brussels, in the valley of the river Dijle. As a result, it is somewhat hilly. The surrounding area is very divers: pastures, river landscapes and forests.
The presence of the university and other higher education in Louvain has meant that the city attracts many knowledge-oriented businesses. In addition, it is a provincial capital, which means that many of its citizens work in public government. It is home to one of the largest beer brewers in the world, InBev, a merger of the Belgian Interbrew and Brasilian AmBv. The brewery makes well-known beers like Jupiler and Stella Artois.
Zaventem airport, near Brussels, is located 21 kilometres to the west of Louvain and it can be reached via the E314/A2 and the E40/A3. There is also a direct train connection between Louvain and the airport. Budget airlines use Charleroi Airport, about 50 kilometres to the south of Louvain. This airport is indicated by the airlines as 'Brussels South'.
The city is a national railway hub. The station is located to the east of the centre. There are direct train connections to other major stations in
Belgium. From this station, most buses depart as well,
virtually all of them making a stop at Fochplein in the heart of the city.
Also, there are high-speed connections to Antwerp and Brussels.
For visitors there is also the Touristic City Tour Louvain, which will take you past the most beautiful locations in the city in about an hour.
The centre of the city is virtually car free, and there are many one-way streets. We suggest you park your car in one of the many car parks or parking areas, which are clearly indicated. Dynamic signs lead you to available parking spaces. There is a free bus service between car parks De Bond and St. Jacobsplein and the city centre. You can also park for free at the Sports Centre (Stade) and at Bodart, which can be reached from the E40 motorway.
If you do want to park in the street, be aware that you have to pay everywhere in the city centre, which is often more expensive than parking in a car park. In addition, you have to pay until 9 pm. The city has done this to keep as many spaces available for its citizens. In some streets you can park using a blue parking disc, but usually no longer than two hours.
A tip: you can park your car at night for € 3 in four car parks: De Bond, parking Supercity, Minkelersparking and parking Heilige Hart. This rate applies when you park after 7 pm and leave before 7 am.
Throughout the city centre there is a reasonable number of hotels, including a few so-called 'boutique' hotels. There are also many bed & breakfast accommodations. Just outside the centre there is a youth hostel. Because the university attracts many foreign visitors, we recommend booking your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Louvain, we recommend Google, and the following sources:
The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
Our rates are all-inclusive. Our reservation department will inform you in advance should additional costs apply. You can always cancel your booking free of charge if you do not agree (this must be done at least 48 hours prior to the start of the car hire period).
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).