This province is worth visiting alone in the summer for Hallerbos, where Belgium’s bluebells are in full bloom. Other than its nature, this province is a must for its cultural sights including museums, castles, and more. Plus, make sure to check out the quaint city of Leuven and stroll through its small alleys. Whether you’re a couple or family, the Flemish Brabant has a little something for everyone.
Belgium is filled with beautiful castles and Flemish Brabant is no exception. Arenberg Castle and Gasbeek are just two highlights of this culture-packed province. These castles always have a park and garden to explore for an easygoing stroll. Head inside the castles for stunning architecture and a bit of a history lesson. Or head to the city centre of Leuven to see the beautiful town hall, art museum M Leuven, and more.
But, more than castles and pretty buildings, the Flemish Brabant is a place that explores all of Belgium’s story. A slow travel trip on the history of Belgium isn’t complete without a trip to the Royal Museum for Central Africa, which exposes Belgium’s colonial history.
The Flemish Brabant is one stop you beer lovers can’t miss. This province has brewed many of Belgium’s best beers over the years. The two you need to know though are Grimbergen and Stella Artois. Grimbergen is a brand of Trappist beer with blond, brown and more available. It was originally brewed in the town of the same name in the Flemish Brabant in Grimbergen Abbey. Then you’ve got good ol’ Stella. Stella Artois is Leuven’s most famous beer. You can go for a guided tour at the Stella brewery in the city's heart.
This province has some of the most beautiful outdoorsy parts of Belgium. Nature lovers can’t miss the stunning bluebells of Hallerbos. And every trekker has to go through the beautiful Sonian Forest at least once. There’s a little bit of something for everyone we promise, beyond the usual walking, hiking and cycling trips. Even the parks have their own little surprises. Discover castle ruins at Sint-Donatus Park and an African museum at Park van Tervuren.
Leuven - a lively university student city and the capital of the Flemish Brabant. Famous for its Stella Artois beer.
Halle - a town dating back to the Middle Ages known for the beautiful Hallerbos and lively carnival during Lent.
Tienen - an industrial city with a 12th century church and belfry. The city has Belgium’s oldest train station and the famous Grimde Necropolis, a church converted into a cemetery.
Sint-Pieters-Leeuw - super close to Brussels. Known for its pretty gardens (the most famous being the Coloma Rose Garden), castles and parks. The green heart of the province.
Leuven gets most of its visitors in the May holidays and the province in general is busiest in its best weather. No matter the season, this province is a treat to visit. Join the crowds and pay a visit at the start of the cycling races that pass through the province, including the Road World Championships in September.
Flemish Brabant is easily reachable in the car. Leuven has good connections from Brussels on the E40 motorway and N3. Leuven is a 1 hour drive from Brussels. From Antwerp, you’ll drive along the E19 or E313 for a roughly 1 hour 30 minute trip. Other major cities of the province are just as easy to reach in the car.
The Flemish Brabant is just a short drive away from the international Brussels Airport, making it an easy place to visit for local or international travellers. Leuven is a 20 minute drive from Brussels Airport and Tienen is a 40 minute drive. You can catch a direct train into Leuven from Brussels Airport- it’s about a 15 minute journey. You can generally get into any city in the Flemish Brabant from Brussels city stations. Some flights might have you landing in the Charleroi airport instead - landing here is cheaper, but is a longer journey into the province without a direct train to Leuven so plan ahead of time.
Getting into the province by train is easiest to Leuven, which is a central location and one of the busiest stations in Belgium. There’s regular trains from Brussels, Ghent, Mechelen, and many more.
Flemish Brabant is pretty cyclist friendly with many routes throughout the whole province. In the cities, such as Leuven, there may be some special rules to keep an eye out for including one way streets (most are accessible both ways for a cyclist, but not all of them in Leuven!). Bike rentals are common throughout the province, including a Velo station in Leuven.
We recommend avoiding parking in the city streets of Leuven as it can get pretty expensive. Look for Park & Ride when you can. There are speed limits when you enter Leuven and certain ones around the city, so drive carefully to avoid getting a ticket.
Buses in the Flemish Brabant are run by De Lijin. Most attractions in the cities are within walking distance and other cities are connected by the train, so you only need the bus for some attractions.
Flemish Brabant is pretty pedestrian friendly and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting around by walking. There are some maps and tourist offices in the bigger cities should you need extra help, the locals are also fairly friendly.
By Taxi/Uber: from the airport, you can easily get a taxi into Leuven to start exploring the rest of the province. It’s around 40€ for the trip (depending on traffic!) Look for the yellow and blue taxis & the red and white ones - these are the official taxis. Taxis are mostly used to get to the airport and back or for nighttime trips. Or get the Uber or Heetch app and order a car!
Languages: Flemish (Dutch)
Emergency numbers: Police urgent: (101), Fire, ambulance, police: 112