Should you visit Leuven or Bruges?
Should I visit Leuven or Bruges? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Lying just east of Brussels, Leuven is a Belgian city and capital of the Province of Flemish Brabant known for its breweries, historic architecture, and university. Because of the university, the town is at its busiest during the academic year (September through June), but there is plenty to see and do during all seasons.
Located in the northern part of Belgium, in Flanders, Bruges is one of the most charming and well preserved cities in Europe. With its stone streets and charming shops, it is a postcard perfect city that seems to have jumped out of the pages of a Disney fairytale. The city itself is quite compact, adding to the charm and making it easily walkable. Even given its old world charm, it manages to present a cosmopolitan air as well. There's an active nightlife, but during the day the historical city center is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. You can take a carriage ride through the cobblestone streets or you can wander around on your own. Be sure to swing into some of the museums, cathedrals, and churches you'll see along the way. There are now shops everywhere that are designed to appeal to tourists. While some may be easy to walk by, it takes the strongest souls to ignore the chocolate shops you'll see on your way.
Which city is cheaper, Bruges or Leuven?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Leuven is €142, while the average daily cost in Bruges is €99. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Leuven and Bruges in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €74. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Leuven the cost is €148 on average.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Bruges, €94 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Bruges, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is €47, such as in a hostel.
The average price of local transportation around Leuven is €49 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Bruges's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend €13 per person, per day on transportation in Bruges.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Bruges
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Bruges:
Five Day Bus Pass
Bike Rental for Day
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bruges
Also for Bruges, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Belgium and Benelux VIP Transfers limo and luxe minivan service Zaventem-Bruges:
Brussels: Private VIP Transfer to/from Bruges:
Departure Private Transfer Bruges City to Bruges Airport OST by Luxury Vehicle:
Private Airport Transfer: from Bruges to Brussels Airport (BRU):
Private Transfer from Bruges City Center to Brussels City Center:
Private Transfer from Bruges to Amsterdam:
Private Transfer from Bruges to Brussels By Business car:
Private Transfer from Bruges to Brussels or (Brussel Airport = same price):
Private Transfer from ZeeBrugge or Bruges to Antwerp By Luxury car:
Shuttle Transfer Bruges London (1 to 8 Places):
Taxi Transfer from Bruges to AMS Amsterdam Schiphol Airport:
VIP Transfers for groups and families with Luxe Mercedes Benz mini van:
Is it cheaper to fly into Leuven or Bruges?
Prices for flights to both Bruges and Leuven change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
While meal prices in Leuven can vary, the average travelers spends about €39 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Leuven should cost around €16 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Leuven is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in Bruges can vary, the average travelers spends about €41 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Bruges should cost around €16 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Bruges is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Bruges
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Bruges:
Cup of Tea
Sandwich for Lunch
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bruges
For Bruges, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Brussels: Private Trip to Bruges & Food Tour with 6 Tastings:
Leuven's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €18 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Bruges can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around €12 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Leuven
Here are a few actual costs in Leuven for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
From Brussels: Medieval Leuven Walking Tour:
Leuven walking city tour:
Romantic tour in Leuven:
Superleuke gegidste Biketour Leuven:
The best of Leuven walking tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in Bruges
For Bruges, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Bruges
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Bruges.
Bruges History & Heritage Walking Tour with Perfect Introduction:
Historium Virtual Reality Ticket:
Frietmuseum Entry Ticket:
Bruges Beer Experience Entrance Ticket:
Entrance Ticket to Salvador Dalí Exhibition, Belfry, Markt 7, 8000 Bruges:
Skip the Line: Historium Story Ticket:
Zeebrugge to Bruges Return Cruise Shuttle Service:
Skip the Line: Historium Story + VR Ticket:
Private Tour With a Local:
Damme: Electric Scooter Tour with Private Guide:
Architectural Tour of Bruges:
Full-Day Guided Tour from Brussels in English:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Leuven may vary from person to person, on average a person spends €20 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Bruges, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €8.78.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Leuven and Bruges, we can see that Leuven is more expensive. And not only is Bruges much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Bruges would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Bruges and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Leuven would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Leuven than you might in Bruges.
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