Warning for drivers: Make sure that your hotel has a parking lot. In particular for hotels in the Leuven city centre, this is not always the case. In addition, Leuven is not at all designed to drive around in the city by car (plenty of one-way streets). However, going there is easy as it is situated at the two high-ways E40 and E314.
Side view of the ESAT building:
This is a view from the south.
Driving from Leuven to the ESAT building: In general, going by car is a bad idea in Leuven. Hence, only use a car after you are absolutely sure that your hotel has parking and that you do not have to navigate through too many one-way streets to go there.
However, if you do want to use a car, you need to get on the ring and drive until Naamsepoort. Here you go out-bound, choose the right lane (Kardinaal Mercierlaan), and continue by car until Kantineplein. You turn right, follow the street until the stream, and then turn right at the parking lot. Good luck for finding a free spot to park your car!
Bus from the Leuven train station to the ESAT building: At the train station, board a number 2 bus direction Heverlee Campus. Stay on the bus for about 20 minutes and leave at Kantineplein. (Previous stops: Fochplein, Naamsestraat, Naamsesteenweg.) You are now in front of Kasteel Arenberg. Go towards the castle. The first building on the right is the Department of Electrical Engineering.
We want to stress that there are four (!) different number 2 buses, but only one them will bring you to the conference venue, namely Heverlee Campus. Do not confuse this with Heverlee Boskant; that bus requires you to get off at Heverlee station and then walk for about 5 minutes to the ESAT building, taking the Jules-Vandenbemptlaan until it ends.
One ride within Leuven costs 1.5€ when bought on the bus.
If you buy your ticket in advance at one of these shops you
get it for 1.20€. There are blocks of 10 rides (usable also for
multiple people) called Lijnkaarten. You can buy them directly from
the bus-driver for 12€, from vending machines for 10€ and
from shops for
as little as 8€.
In case you are travelling regularly with a group of at least 5 people the Lijnkaart %, only 6€ in shops, is attractive; this is the price reduced version for children, elderly people and groups. For more information on prices and the public transportation system visit De Lijn-Priceinformation (Flemish only).
Walking from the Leuven train station to the ESAT building: Walking from the station will take you about one hour. We describe the whole way from the station, as it is an attractive option to see the city. In addition, if your hotel is situated close to Naamseport, walking to the venue is actually a very attractive option. From the station, you follow the Bondgenotenlaan until Fochplein (big bus station). There, you go until the city hall (stadhuis) / tourist information, and then follow Naamsestraat until Naamsepoort. There you cross the ring. Right after, the Naamsestraat splits in two and also changes its name: the left part is called Naamsesteenweg, the right part Kardinaal Mercierlaan. You take the latter and keep on walking until you reach the Kantineplein. There you turn right. The first building on the right is the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Getting from Brussels airport to Leuven by train: Many airlines fly to Brussels International Airport in Zaventem. From the airport, you can take a direct train to Leuven for approximately 5 €. For comparison, a taxi costs approximately 80-90 €.
Driving from Brussels to Leuven and the ESAT building: Take the outer ring and go to E40, direction Leuven/Louvain and continue until E314. Take E314 and use the first exit on E314 (no. 15). Turn right at the second traffic lights (direction Campus Arenberg, this is the Celestijnenlaan). Drive on for about 500 m, until the bridge over the river Dijle. Just past the bridge, on the left, you can drive into the Arenberg park. Continue on the road parallel to the river until past the Arenberg castle. About 50 m downstream from the castle a public parking lot is available. The building towering above the parking lot is the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Bus+train from Charleroi to Leuven: Ryanair has flights to the Charleroi airport. From the airport, you can take the coach bus to Brussels (around 11 €, goes to Brussels-Midi/Brussels-Zuid), and then a train from Brussels-Midi/Brussels-Zuid to Leuven (around 5 €). For comparison, a taxi will cost you around 100-120 €.
Driving from Aachen/Eindhoven/Hasselt to Leuven and the ESAT building: Take the highway E314 (Aachen - Leuven). Take the exit "Leuven" (no. 15). This is the last exit before the E40. Turn right at the second traffic lights (direction Campus Arenberg, this is the Celestijnenlaan). Drive on for about 500 m, until the bridge over the river Dijle. Just past the bridge, on the left, you can drive into the Arenberg park. Continue on the road parallel to the river until past the Arenberg castle. About 50 m downstream from the castle a public parking lot is available. The building towering above the parking lot is the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Getting to Leuven by train: Leuven is well situated in the Belgium train system. Hence, you have trains going to Leuven every half hour or every hour, depending from where you come. Notice that Belgium is a bilingual country, and depending on the part of the country you are in, names of places change. The French name of Leuven is Louvain. So in the French speaking part, you have to catch a train to Louvain (not Louvain-la-neuve!) instead of Leuven.
The German railway company provides a user-friendly search page in English, French, Italian, and German. The search page knows about Belgian train connections and is far more user-friendly than the Belgian railway site.
Both Luik/Liège/Lüttich and Brussels are reachable by ICE and Thalys. In either city, you can take an IC train directly to Leuven/Louvain.
Brussels has a direct Eurostar connection to London.