Stop by Kruidtuin Leuven, the oldest botanical garden in Belgium


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Amidst all of the student hubs and buzzing bars in the city centre of Leuven, there are nevertheless a lot of pockets of calm to be identified, such as that of the Kruidtuin Leuven (i.e. the Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis), the oldest botanical garden in Belgium.

Wander out to the fringes of the historic city centre of Leuven and you can count on to locate hidden gems such as a secret beguinage and a forgotten Roman door. Other highlights contain several a vegetarian restaurant, as nicely as the type of bars that serve drinks all evening lengthy and the type that you do not leave till the sun comes up. On the other hand, if you make it your mission to frequent just a single spot on the edge of Leuven, make it the botanical garden!

Kruidtuin Leuven Address | Kapucijnenvoer 30, 3000 Leuven

Kruidtuin Leuven in Belgium, the oldest botanical garden in Belgium

A short history of the Leuven Hortus Botanicus (Kruidtuin)

Founded as early as 1738, the gardens had been founded by the University of Leuven, prior to Belgium was its personal independent nation. Believed to be founded with the intention of expanding herbs to be applied in a medicinal manner (certainly ‘Kruidtuin’ actually suggests ‘herb garden’), the garden was then transformed to be applied to develop ornamental plants and shrubs for university research.

Although the gardens passed into the ownership of the city of Leuven in 1835, even these days, student life dominates the city, with ancient college buildings becoming dotted about the city, and even the Grand Beguinage and Kasteel van Arenberg becoming owned by the University.

These days, the garden covers an location of two.two hectares, such as greenhouses, numerous benches, and sprawling green lawns. Well known amongst vacationers and locals alike, as opposed to most other Botanical Gardens, there is no entry charge and you can merely wander in at your personal leisure throughout opening hours, no cost of charge. Exhibitions and modern art is frequently displayed inside the gardens, which means that no two visits are ever the identical!

Hortus Botanicus Leuven entrance How to visit Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis

Highlights of the Leuven Botanical Gardens

Wisteria wall

For anybody who loves snapping pictures (or, certainly, is hunting for an Instagrammable place in Leuven), the wisteria wall is an absolute need to. Ordinarily in flower about mid to late April, the mature wisteria plants bloom purple flowers, can be identified on the Southern wall of the Orangery, and are surrounded by benches, offering the ideal spot to loosen up with buddies or merely chill with a book.

wisteria wall in the Leuven Kruidtuin


Image ideal and traditionally exactly where the ‘orange trees’ had been kept in decades gone by, therefore the name, these days the orangery remains a haven of plants. Soon after all, this is exactly where the significantly less hardy of the potted shrubs and trees are overwintered throughout the colder months of the year. For the duration of the rest of the year, the orangery of the Kruidtuin is frequently applied to home modern art shows so retain an eye out on your subsequent take a look at!

Daffodil borders

The vibrant yellow bulbs of the daffodil ordinarily flower from the finish of February via to the finish of March and are a single of the initially signals that spring is nicely on its way. Properly, at the Kruidtuin of Leuven, these yellow blooms are in several of the borders about the outside regions of the gardens, offering the ideal framing for the nicely manicured gardens.

daffodils in Leuven, Belgium

Succulent home

Truth be told, a single of my favourite spaces in the garden was in fact closed to the public throughout my take a look at. On the other hand, I nevertheless produced positive to peer via the misty glass, only to be rewarded with views of the mass collection of succulents and cacti that are in the possession of the Leuven botanical gardens.


For these who are hunting for a small bit of wonder throughout their time in the oldest Botanical Garden in Belgium, a stroll about the Greenhouses are an absolute need to. Filled with bigger than life leafy greens, winding pathways, and several a flowering Bird of Paradise plant, you can not aid but snap a photo and smile when wandering about. In total, the greenhouse complicated covers some 450 m².

The greenhouses of the Leuven Kruidtuin also home a series of sub-tropical and tropical specimens. Possibly most impressively, there’s also a quantity of aquatic plants that are delighted and at household inside the indoor location!

Greenhouse interior in the Hortus Botanicus Leuven

How to take a look at Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis

Situated about a ten-minute stroll from iconic Leuven sights such as the Grote Markt (exactly where the Stadhuis is to be identified) and the Oude Markt (i.e. the longest bar in the planet), the botanical gardens are open on a day-to-day basis, although they’re closed on each Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The most effective time to delight in the gardens are in late spring or early summer time when the crowds are nevertheless fewer than in the summer time, and but the climate is at its most effective, although quite substantially every thing is in bloom!

interior of the oldest botanical gardens in Leuven, Belgium

Enjoyed reading about the Kruidtuin in Leuven? Pin it now, study it once again later:

A Plant-Filled Visit to Kruidtuin Leuven, the Oldest Botanical Garden in Belgium

About Sophie Nadeau

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, although not necessarily in that order. A fan of all items France connected, she runs when she’s not chasing right after the subsequent sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet meals.


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