A Travel Price Comparison for Belgium Leuven vs. Brussels for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Leuven or Brussels?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Leuven or Brussels? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Leuven or Brussels?

Leuven

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.

Brussels

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and also the sight of the headquarters of the European Union. Generally speaking, it's an expensive city that sees a good amount of travelers. It is also a highly political city that has an air of importance and power. It's an incredibly international city, with people from all over the world flocking to it due to its political, economical, and cultural significance.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Luxury Tours to Belgium, The Best Tours for Seniors to Belgium, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Brussels, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Belgium.


Which place is cheaper, Brussels or Leuven?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Leuven is €178, while the average daily cost in Brussels is €137. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Leuven and Brussels in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Leuven 93
    Brussels 73
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Leuven 186
    Brussels 146
Compare Hotels in Leuven and Brussels

Looking for a hotel in Leuven or Brussels? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Leuven


Hotels in Brussels


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Leuven Hotel Prices and Brussels Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Leuven 61
    Brussels 17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Leuven

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Leuven:

  • Airport Transfer Brussels To Brussels: $88
  • Airport Transfer Brussels To Ghent: $146
  • Airport Transfer: Brussels Airport BRU to Brussels by Luxury Van: $93
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Brussels Airport BRU to Ghent City by Business Car: $147
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Brussels Airport BRU to Ghent City by Luxury Van: $167
  • Brussels Airport (BRU) to Brussels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $66
  • Brussels Airport BRU to Brussels City all area - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $76
  • Brussels Airport BRU to Brussels City all area - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $86
  • Brussels Airport Shuttle Transfer <-> Brussels (1 to 8 PLACES): $35
  • Brussels Airport Shuttle Transfer <-> SPA (1 to 8 PLACES): $156
  • Brussels Airport Transfer <-> Tomorrowland Boom (1 to 8 Places): $59
  • Brussels Airport(BRU) to Brussels city - Arrival Private Transfer: $33

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Brussels to Ostend Airport (OST) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Airport Transfer: Brussels to Airport BRU by Business Car: $91
  • Airport Transfer: Brussels to Brussels Airport BRU by Luxury Van: $94
  • Airport transfers from Brussels to Zaventem Brussels airport by luxury car: $74
  • BRU Airport Transfer to Brussels City Center for 3 Pax: $150
  • BRU Airport Transfer to Brussels City Center for 7 Pax: $128
  • Brussels <-> transfer from or to Brussels Airport (BRU) by Van: $130
  • Brussels Airport (BRU) To Amsterdam: VIP Transfer: $492
  • Brussels Airport Departure Transfer (Brussels Hotels to Brussels Airport): $107
  • Brussels Airport Transfer (BRU) <-> to or from Brussels (Sedan): $105
  • Brussels Airport: Transfer to/from Gent Sint Pieters Station: $11
  • Brussels City Center to BRU Airport Transfer for 3 Pax: $107

Is it cheaper to fly into Leuven or Brussels?

Prices for flights to both Brussels 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Leuven 49
    Brussels 38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Leuven

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Leuven.

  • Mechelen Small-Group Walking Tour with Lunch or Dinner: $76
  • Mechelen Food Tour: $82
  • Vegan Walking Food Tour in Mechelen: $82

Typical Food Prices in Brussels

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Brussels:


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Brussels.

  • Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $28
  • Hard Rock Cafe Brussels with Set Lunch or Dinner : $30
  • City Center Guided Food Tour with Tastings: $61
  • Food Tour in Brussels - Do Eat Better Experience: $107
  • Brussels Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $131
  • Secret Food Tours Brussels: $140
  • Market Tour and Cooking Lesson with a Belgian Gourmet Meal in a Brussels Home: $160
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $163

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Leuven 23
    Brussels 23

Tours and Activities in Leuven

Here are a few actual costs in Leuven for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Self-Guided Walking Tour with Offline Access: $5.99
  • Uncover Leuven's Past: Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Leuven's Hidden Gems: $13
  • Escape Tour - Self-Guided Citygame: $32
  • Small-Group Mechelen City Guided Walking Tour: $53
  • Mechelen Small-Group Running Tour: $53
  • Guided Small-Group Cycling Tour of Mechelen: $60
  • Small-Group Chocolate Tour in Mechelen: $63
  • Murder Crime Game Self-Guided Interactive City Tour: $74
  • Private 2 Hour Walking Tour of Mechelen : $230
  • Historical Private Tour with Local Guide: $320
  • Soothing Corners of Leuven - Romantic Tour: $413

Tours and Activities in Brussels

Here are a few actual costs in Brussels for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Free Tour of Brussels in Italian (with booking fee): $3.29
  • Evening Tour: The Dark Side of Brussels: $3.29
  • The Most Complete Tour Of Brussels: $3.29
  • BELvue Belgium History Museum Entry Ticket: $5.35
  • Origins of the City Quest Experience in Brussels: $5.72
  • Old Town Capital of Beer Quest Experience: $5.72
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour: $5.77
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Brussels' Secret Places and Untold Stories: $5.99
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.41
  • Land of Comics Quest Experience: $6.41
  • City Exploration Game and Tour: $6.42

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Leuven 25
    Brussels 13

Sample the Local Flavors in Leuven

Also in Leuven, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Leuven Pub Trail: Pub crawl with interactive online game: $12

Typical Alcohol Prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl - Nightlife & Party Experience: $18
  • Pub Crawl and Nightlife Party Experience: $18
  • Beer Yoga at Tipsy Tribe Brewery & Distillery: $22


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Leuven and Brussels, we can see that Leuven is more expensive. And not only is Brussels much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brussels would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brussels 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 Brussels.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Leuven Expensive? and Is Brussels Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Leuven or Brussels?

Brussels has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Leuven. When comparing the sizes of Leuven and Brussels, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Leuven or Brussels?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Leuven or Brussels in the Summer?

Both Brussels and Leuven are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Brussels because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Leuven is generally around the same temperature as Brussels. Daily temperatures in Leuven average around 18°C (65°F), and Brussels fluctuates around 18°C (65°F).

Leuven usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Brussels during summer. Leuven gets 186 hours of sunny skies, while Brussels receives 186 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Leuven usually receives around the same amount of rain as Brussels. Leuven gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 75 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Leuven 18°C (65°F) 
    Brussels 18°C (65°F)

Should I visit Leuven or Brussels in the Autumn?

Both Brussels and Leuven during the autumn are popular places to visit. Also, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Brussels this time of year.

Leuven is around the same temperature as Brussels in the autumn. The daily temperature in Leuven averages around 12°C (54°F) in October, and Brussels fluctuates around 12°C (54°F).

In the autumn, Leuven often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Brussels. Leuven gets 114 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Brussels receives 114 hours of full sun.

Leuven usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Brussels. Leuven gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Leuven 12°C (54°F) 
    Brussels 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Leuven or Brussels in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Leuven and Brussels. Also, many travelers come to Brussels for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Brussels. It's quite cold in Leuven in the winter. In the winter, Leuven is around the same temperature as Brussels. Typically, the winter temperatures in Leuven in January average around 3°C (38°F), and Brussels averages at about 3°C (38°F).

Leuven usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Brussels during winter. Leuven gets 49 hours of sunny skies, while Brussels receives 49 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Leuven usually receives around the same amount of rain as Brussels. Leuven gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Leuven 3°C (38°F) 
    Brussels 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Leuven or Brussels in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Leuven as well as Brussels. Also, many visitors come to Brussels in the spring for the activities around the city.

In April, Leuven is generally around the same temperature as Brussels. Daily temperatures in Leuven average around 10°C (49°F), and Brussels fluctuates around 10°C (49°F).

In the spring, Leuven often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Brussels. Leuven gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Brussels receives 147 hours of full sun.

Leuven usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Brussels. Leuven gets 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Leuven 10°C (49°F) 
    Brussels 10°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Brussels and Leuven

Leuven Brussels
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 3°C (38°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 4°C (39°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 4°C (39°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 6°C (43°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 10°C (49°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 10°C (49°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Jun 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in) 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Aug 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 16°C (60°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 16°C (60°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 12°C (54°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 76 mm (3 in) 7°C (45°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Dec 4°C (40°F) 76 mm (3 in) 4°C (40°F) 76 mm (3 in)