Leuven elected as one of the five 'must visit' destinations in Europe
Leuven has been chosen as one of the five top destinations in Europe in 2022 with a whopping 48,000 votes from 77 countries and may now officially bear the title 'European Best Destination 2022'.
Leuven has been chosen as one of the five top destinations in Europe in 2022 with a whopping 48,000 votes from 77 countries and may now officially bear the title 'European Best Destination'. This list of the best tourist destinations in Europe is compiled annually by European Best Destinations (EBD) and EDEN Network, an initiative of the European Commission. Thanks to the 48,000 votes cast by many Leuven residents and anyone with a heart for the city, Leuven finished in the top five, ahead of cities such as Rome and London. "We are extremely proud of this result. Leuven is one of the five best places in Europe. It is a justifiable recognition for our city, which is beautiful in all its facets," said Mayor Mohamed Ridouani.
Leuven was the only Belgian destination selected for this 13th edition of EBD. For the past three weeks, everyone could cast their vote online. Leuven managed to collect 47,947 votes from no less than 77 countries worldwide, landing in fifth place. The Slovenian capital Ljubljana came in first. Marbella (Spain) and Amiens (France) finished second and third. It is the first time that a Belgian city has scored so highly.
Not only Leuven-based residents or Belgians, but also fans from abroad chose Leuven as their favorite tourist destination.
"Europe looks at Leuven as an open, tolerant city, focused on an inclusive future, where everyone is welcome and can find their place, where diversity and cultural richness is celebrated. EBD calls us 'the Belgian miracle'."
Leuven is 'Best Open-Minded Destination'
Leuven was also voted "Best Open-Minded Destination in Europe", ahead of Amsterdam and London. EBD calls Leuven "the Belgian miracle." "Europe looks at Leuven as an open, tolerant city, focused on an inclusive future, where everyone is welcome and can find their place, where diversity and cultural richness is celebrated," says Mayor Mohamed Ridouani.
One of the most attractive cities to visit
Leuven was initially selected by EBD for the top 20 among other reasons because of its rich historical and cultural heritage, its many events, green spaces, its varied offer of restaurants and shops.
"Leuven really has something to offer everyone," adds alderman for tourism Denise Vandevoort. "The town hall, M Leuven, the St. Peter's Church and the historic colleges are of course top locations, but our town also has several hidden gems. Our parks and gardens are a wonderful place to relax, for example, and shoppers can indulge in numerous fun and surprising stores. Our lively and varied catering industry and vibrant cultural offerings rightly have a solid reputation and thus contribute to the unique atmosphere in our city."
"EBD also refers to the quality of life in Leuven", Vandevoort continues: "We excel in bicycle friendliness and commitment to sustainable development. The fact that Leuven is put forward this year as one of the most attractive cities in Europe to visit is in itself a great recognition. This nice place in the top 5 is an extra reward and an incentive to further promote Leuven as a sustainable historical and innovative city to travelers at home and abroad. This remains the focus of the policy that Visit Leuven is developing together with its tourism partners. We are also giving the people of Leuven a central place in this: after all, they are our best ambassadors!"
As one of the top five European destinations in its communication, Leuven may use the title 'European Best Destinations 2022' and can count on an international media reach in important national newspapers, specialized travel press, blogs and websites, social and audiovisual media in more than 170 countries. Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Amiens (France), Marbella (Spain) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) were awarded the other places in the top-5, with the Slovenian capital being crowned as European Best Destination.
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