Wisteria had a rough start of the 2022 season as many buds were destroyed by the late snow in Europe. In Eindhoven the wisteria is less abundant than in other years, because of this. The botanical garden of Leuven is one of the best places in Belgium to spot wisteria, so my sister and I hoped that the wisteria in Leuven did survive the frost and went on a little roadtrip. Besides wisteria, the “Kruidtuin” is also worth a visit by itself.
The Kruidtuin is located a short walk from the city center of Leuven. We parked at parking Sint-Jacob which was about a five minute walk. The garden is free to enter, just make sure to check the opening times as they depend on the season. The wisteria usually blooms in May, but it suddenly appeared in April, so we had to be quick with our visit. I always use Instagram to check whether peak bloom has been reached, so I won’t be disappointed when I arrive. The Kruidtuin has two spots where you can find wisteria. The main lane unfortunately was ruined by the late frost, but the wisteria against the main building was still very beautiful! In the Kruidtuin you will also find several greenhouses, one with palms and one with tropical plants, a sunken garden, a fruit garden, a Japanese area with a pond and many other areas.
The wisteria smelled absolutely lovely during our visit. The wisteria surrounds beautiful windows and underneath the windows you will find little benches where you can enjoy the wisteria. What I always love about flower season is that it really brings people together. So many people come to enjoy the flowers and it really makes you forget about your worries for some time.
The other areas of the Kruidtuin are lovely too and you will find all sorts of seasonal plants, such as cherry blossoms, tulips and rhododendrons. The greenhouse with the tropical plants was a treat as well, my sister was super happy to see many of her favorite plants featured.
Leuven has over 100.000 inhabitants and is mainly famour for its large university and student life. It has a charming old city center as well, in the style of Antwerp and Ghent, so definitely worth a visit. The city center is small, so you can easily visit it on foot. Belgium is famous for its specialty beer, so you will find all sorts of beer pubs serving special beers. The most beautiful building of Leuven is the incredibly detailed Town Hall, which you will see on my pictures below. We didn’t have time to do a full city tour with a hungry kid, but I have been to Leuven before and it is a good destination for a short city break.