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Leuven Town Hall | © glasseyes view/Flickr
Leuven Town Hall | © glasseyes view/Flickr
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The Best Museums In Leuven, Belgium

Picture of Ester Meerman
Updated: 27 March 2018
Leuven is a small town in the centre of Belgium, best known for its historical centre and large student population. With Brussels only 25 kilometres away, most tourists skip Leuven’s cultural sites and head straight for the big names in the capital. Here‘s a list of six museums that are well worth staying around in Leuven for.

M-Museum

Art Museum
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Part of the collection at the M-Museum can be viewed on interactive installations.
Part of the collection at the M-Museum can be viewed on interactive installations. | © Dirk Pauwels
This art museum in Leuven’s inner city has a collection of some 52,500 works, which range from late-Gothic paintings and sculptures to pieces by 16th-century local artists, with a special focus on post-1945 Belgian art. M-Museum was designed by renowned Belgian architect Stéphane Beel in 2009 and is a work of art in itself with its white pillars, glass accents and majestic entrance. The museum has three floors and measures 13,500 square meters, so you might want to take some time to cover it all.
More Info
Sun - Tue:
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Kid Friendly, Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Instagrammable, Touristy

Parcum

History Museum
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The exterior of the Parcum museum in Leuven, Belgium.
The exterior of the Parcum museum in Leuven, Belgium.
Parcum is situated in an old abbey a stone’s throw from the centre of Leuven, and is one of the best-preserved abbey complexes in Belgium and the Netherlands. The museum offers temporary thematic exhibitions at the crossroads of religion, art and culture, focusing on heritage from churches, abbeys and monasteries. A visit to the museum takes you along the former chapter house of the abbey, past the reception halls of the abbot and through the attic of the abbey’s west wing.
More Info
Tue - Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Photo Opportunity

Histaruz

History Museum
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A visit to Histaruz will transport you decades back in time.
A visit to Histaruz will transport you decades back in time. | © UZ Leuven
The academic hospital in Leuven is one of the biggest academic hospitals in Europe and has a rich history dating back to 1080. Histaruz displays the historical archive of the hospital and holds over 9,000 items and as many photos and documents. It shows how the medical world has evolved over the past 100 years. Some of the old medical instruments on display will give you the shivers, such as an amputation saw, a hand-powered drill for the skull and a small plug with a blade on a spring which would be inserted into the bladder to cut up stones.
More Info
Thu - None:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sat:
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Instagrammable

M-Treasury of Saint Peter

Art Museum
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ONDERWERP:  M Museum Leuven
DATUM : 02/03/2018
PLAATS : Leuven
ONDERWERP: M Museum Leuven DATUM : 02/03/2018 PLAATS : Leuven | © Rudi Van Beek
In 1980, the impressive ambulatory of the Saint Peter’s Church in Leuven was turned into a museum housing numerous statues, paintings and a collection of gold and silver pieces such as reliquaries, monstrances and chalices. The Last Supper, painted by Dirk Bouts, is on display here, which is an absolute masterpiece in Early Netherlandish painting.
More Info
Mon - Tue:
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Thu - Fri:
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 4:30 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark

Museum of Zoology

Natural History Museum
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The skeleton of a bowhead whale is the eye-catcher of the Museum of Zoology in Leuven.
The skeleton of a bowhead whale is the eye-catcher of the Museum of Zoology in Leuven. | © KU Leuven
This museum holds the zoological collection of the Catholic University of Leuven. The objects have been collected since 1850 with the purpose of giving students an overview of the diversity of the animal kingdom. The museum is open to visit during the university’s operating hours and has free entrance. On display are lots of (partly) dissected animals in formaldehyde and the complete skeleton of a bowhead whale.
More Info
Mon - Fri:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Local, Instagrammable

Scouts and Guides Museum

History Museum
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© Scouts en Gidsen Museum Leuven
The scout movement is big in Belgium, so it’s only fitting its history would get its own museum. Located in a former abbey, this institution is widely considered to be one of the top scouting museums in the world and lets you discover the history of the Scout Movement through insignia, flags and documents. Only open on Sundays.
More Info
Sun:
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Local