Stella Artois Brewery
The Stella Artois Brewery is located in an industrial area on the east bank of the Vaart, a quintessential Belgian canal ideal for exploring on foot or by bike. Though slightly out of the way, the brewery is a popular stop on city tours—an easy way to get the lay of the land before taking a closer look at the factory’s interior. Interior tours can be booked via the brewery or Tourist Information Center websites.
Things to know before you go
- Wheelchair users should contact the brewery ahead of time to confirm access arrangements.
- Interactive elements make this a great choice for families with older kids, as well as beer lovers and engineering enthusiasts.
- It can get hot in the factory hall, so wear layers or cool clothing.
- Book your interior tour ahead of time as availability is limited.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking, as the tour takes you across the factory grounds.
How to get there
Leuven is a 20-minute train ride from Brussels Centraal. The brewery is a 20-minute walk or 5-minute bike ride from both the station and the city center. The visitor’s entrance and parking lot can both be tricky to find, so arrive in plenty of time or plan your journey in advance on a city tour. The #333 and #335 buses both stop at Leuven Vaartvest, just a few minutes’ walk from the brewery.
When to get there
Group tours take place at fixed times throughout the week, while tours for individual visitors are also available on select days—usually during the weekend. It’s recommended to check the latest tour schedule before visiting.
Den Hoorn Brewery and Belgian’s Beer Capital
Stella Artois’ claim of 12th-century origins does have some truth, as the brand’s original home was Den Hoorn Brewery, which supposedly dates back to 1366. Now a hip cafe bar emblazoned with the Stella Artois logo, this is another must-see on a tour of Belgium’s so-called beer capital. Other highlights include Domus Brauhaus microbrewery and the lively Old Market (Oude Markt), affectionately referred to by locals as “the longest bar in Europe”.
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- Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History
- Art & History Museum
- Cinquantenaire Park (Parc du Cinquantenaire)
- Train World
- Autrique House (Maison Autrique)
- Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
- European Parliament
- Museums of the Far East
- Herge Museum
- Belgian Comic Strip Center
- Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)
- BELvue Museum
- Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)
- St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral