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Extended Stay Options in Leuven, Belgium and Central Europe Camping

I will be attending the University of Leuven- KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) in September of 2015 for my yearlong master program and am trying to get a game plan for my housing options. I do see university housing as a possibility, but would like to explore the options of living in apartments/renting something for that year. I would love any suggestions or websites for finding long term and affordable housing would be much appreciated!

Also, I am a backcountry trekker and tent camper and am curious of any suggestions for best National Parks in Belgium/ or countries near Belgium (weekend trips). And would like suggestions for longer weeklong backpacking trips in Central/Eastern Europe countries (Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Czech Republic). These could be hikes in parks or scenic strings of cities/villages.

Thanks for your time and feedback.

Posted by
12040 posts

I'm very familiar with Leuven and the surrounding area.

I believe KU Leuven housing is mostly small apartments ("kot" in Dutch).

If you want to live a little bit outside of Leuven, I would recommend the small village of Vaalbeek just to the south. There's some apartments available. You might need a car, though. You could take the bus into Leuven, but there's no grocery store within walking distance. There's plenty of short hikes available in the immediate area in the Heverleebos ("Heverlee Forest"). It's a large woods with criss-crossing trails.

Look into the lake called "Zoet Water". There's several good casual restaurants surrounding it.

I've walked around Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen, but most of the hiking loops only last an hour or two at most. It's kind of interesting because of the unexpected sand landscapes, but nothing that would keep you backpacking for a whole weekend. For that, head into Germany.