|<map lat='50.8772608626931' lng='4.70867156982422' zoom='12' view='3' float='right' height='370'/>|
|Major roads:||E314, E40|
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Leuven (French: Louvain) is the capital city of the province Vlaams-Brabant in Belgium at about 30km east of Brussels. It is mainly a calm administrative and university city with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven which includes some magnificent historic buildings and cityscape.
West towards Brussels
Just walk on the ring of Leuven to the Tervuursevest and hitch along the Koning Boudewijnlaan. You will see many cars parked along the road, so you can start to hitch from there.
Another option is to walk or take the bus (351, 352, 358) to the Brusselsesteenweg (the N2) and hitchhike from there (just hitchhike on the bus stop). The N2 goes straight to Brussels.
The best option is however to walk a bit further down the N2 to hitchhike on the entrance to the E314 direction Brussels / Luik. There is place for the cars to stop and there are many cars going to Brussels from there. The waiting time is usually not longer than 20 minutes.
The E40 is passing at quite a distance on the southern side of the city, but there is a service station which can be a good spot to hitch a quick ride east towards Liege and Germany or west towards Brussels or Gent. The service station direction west is also the last one before the ring of Brussels.
To reach the service station from Leuven: Take bus #395 direction Overijse-Groenendal and go out at stop Rotspoelstraat. Alternatively try the buses #7-8-9 in direction Bertem and get out at Egenhoven and then walk down the St-Jansbergsesteenweg.
A very good spot to get to the service station is to start from the entrance of the E314 direction Brussel / Luik on the N2 (Brusselsesteenweg). You can get there by walking (about 20 minutes from the city center) or take the bus 351, 352, 358 and get off at the stop 'Herent Diependaal'.
Another option, if you are already in the Eastern Part of the city (such as Bierbeek or Kessel-lo), is to walk to the junction of the N25 (Tiensesteenweg - Meerdalboslaan) which leads to the E40 at Exit 23. You can either try to hitch a ride at the junction or simply walk the 2-3km along the Expressweg to the E40 itself and hitch on the On-Ramp (which is having a large shoulder).
If you're heading east into the city, you can get off at one of the main highway service stations and just ask people there if they are continuing on to your destination. i.e. Genk is the next major city heading East.
Another way to get to the East is via the E314 leading to Aarschot, Genk and then to the Netherlands. A good way to enter the highway is to hitchhike on the ramp on the N2 (Brusselsesteenweg). You can get there by walking (about 20 minutes from the city center) or take the bus 351, 352, 358 and get off at the stop 'Herent Diependaal'. You can also ask people to drop you off at the petrol station in Rotselaar and continue your journey from there.
North towards Mechelen
To hitch from Leuven in direction North, you simply have to walk out of the city to the Mechelsesteenweg. The best would be to walk a bit further out of town, passing the viaduct of the Ring of Leuven (Singel) and then a bit further passed the E314 junction. From there you can hitch both the traffic coming from Leuven and from the motorway. There is a petrol station nearby, where you could possibly ask or at least where cars can pull over. Once you reached that spot it is pretty useless to walk further to Herent as the road forms a by-pass around the hamlet, but do not refuse rides going to the neighborhood of Haacht as it is easy to hitch further from there as well from the huge roundabouts.
You can also possibly try to reach the E19 by changing at the junction with the N21 (Haacht), which can lead you also to the neighbourhood of the Airport or the N267 (Schiplaken)
South towards Luxembourg
You may follow the instructions for going to the direction of Brussels and then continue from there. Alternatively, you could walk from the Leuven ring road to Naamsesteenweg. For example near the Heverlee station there is place for getting a ride. It is pretty easy to get to Louvain-La-Neuve this way and from there you can take the motorway south.
If you happen to pass around Leuven by the E314, you can simply ask to be dropped at any of the town or its suburb's exit (Exit 16 - 17 or 18) and walk into downtown.
Although if you are approaching Leuven through the E40, you might have to be dropped at the Leuven Services (Shell) or Heverlee (Texaco) and walk toward the local road into town, which is still quite a distance. Alternatively, you might get dropped at the exit 23 (Haasrode) and try to hitch along the local road into town, or walk the 4 remaining km.
Coming from direction Antwerp, your last stop before Leuven might very well be rest stop 'Waarloos' on the E19. From here, you have two option for getting to Leuven. Number one is a ride via Brussels to Leuven or Liège along the E19, Brussels Ringroad and E40. You will end up at the Heverlee service station. However, at Waarloos there seem to be very drivers that go toward Liège. Alternatively, you could accept a ride to Mechelen. Quite many people are headed for Mechelen, a city just off the highway after Waarloos. The local road N26 leads directly from Mechelen to Leuven. Negotiate with the driver before you agree to be taken to Mechelen: they should drop you off on the far side of the city, where the Leuvensesteenweg originates at the Mechelen city ring. You'll need a sign on this road as a big portion of traffic is likely to be local.