Oude Markt (Old Market Square), Leuven

Oude Markt (Old Market Square), Leuven (must see)

The Old Market Square holds a special place in the heart of the vibrant student city, earning its affectionate nickname as the "longest bar in the world" among locals and students alike. Dating back to 1150, this historic square served as the city's primary marketplace, bustling with activity long before the construction of the newer market square in the 15th century. Despite its unofficial title, the Old Market Square remains the focal point of social gatherings and nightlife in Leuven.

Spanning an impressive 174 meters in length and 34 meters in width, the Old Market Square boasts a rich history intertwined with the city's cultural heritage. However, the square faced adversity during the onset of the First World War in 1914 when the houses lining its perimeter were ravaged by fire. Despite the destruction, the resilient spirit of Leuven prevailed, and the square was meticulously restored to its former glory in the aftermath of the war.

Today, a visit to the Old Market Square offers a quintessential Leuven experience, reminiscent of pulling up a chair at Europe's longest bar. With an array of catering establishments dotting the square, ranging from cozy cafes to lively pubs and trendy bars, the Old Market Square exudes a dynamic atmosphere that captivates visitors day and night. Particularly during warm weather, the numerous terraces lining the square quickly fill up, making it the preferred gathering spot for locals and visitors seeking to immerse themselves in Leuven's vibrant social scene.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Leuven. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Oude Markt (Old Market Square) on Map

Sight Name: Oude Markt (Old Market Square)
Sight Location: Leuven, Belgium (See walking tours in Leuven)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Leuven, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Leuven

Create Your Own Walk in Leuven

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leuven is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Leuven Monuments and Statues

Leuven Monuments and Statues

Leuven, Belgium is a city steeped in history and culture, embellished with an assortment of monuments and statues that mirror its abundant heritage. Ranging from age-old landmarks to contemporary sculptures, each of them narrates a tale and contributes to the city's distinct allure. Whether paying tribute to historical luminaries, commemorating artistic triumphs, or simply enhancing the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Leuven Introduction Walking Tour

Leuven Introduction Walking Tour

Nestled in the heart of Belgium, the picturesque town of Leuven has no shortage of historic and cultural attractions. Its name is thought to originate from the Old Germanic word "Loven," meaning “to love or praise”, an explanation of which may be found in the Leuven slogan, “Always praise God.”

Leuven's roots date back to 891 when it was first mentioned after a Viking...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles