Weekend in Belgium - Sint-Truiden
Last weekend we were invited to get to know beautiful Sint-Truiden a little better. Admittedly, we had never been to this Limburg city before. But we were curious, because the city is mainly known as a fruit region where you can also take tremendously beautiful walks and bike rides. We wanted to see more of that!
To start our first day of the weekend, we rented e-bikes from Rayvoltbike in Sint-Truiden with which we could already explore the region a bit. Not a typical e-bike but a state-of-the-art, yet with retro look, e-cruzer was waiting for us. The design is similar to a Harley Davidson motorcycle yet it is an electric bike. Wonderful not to have to pedal when going uphill. The biggest plus? There is absolutely no environmental pollution because it remains a bicycle, without exhaust fumes. You can charge the bike’s battery, and a full charge will get you about 100 kilometers. So much further than your daily bike ride.
Through the network of bicycle junctions, we explored the region with our rented e-bikes. It’s so quiet and peaceful there. Great for a day of cycling or walking. When you’re here, you only see how vast the region is. At ‘Look at Haspengouw’ including the viewpoint panorama basin of Velm, you have a breathtaking view of the region. A little further on, you also recently have the viewpoint Helsh(ea)ven. Actually, it is a beautiful work of art of a wooden church, but you also have an incredible view here. It is the ideal stop for a short break or picnic and to enjoy the view of course.
So we went to the farm café Heirbaan 66 where you can taste delicious local wine made from grapes from a Belgian vineyard. Did you not know that Belgium also has vineyards? Neither are we! But the wine that Hoenshof and Jerom Winery make here is of excellent quality, sustainable and, in time, residue-free. As a young entrepreneur, Jeroen has a passion for making wine and, together with his father, he succeeds at it completely. We found their cherry wine to be the most special product as we had never drunk it before. But we also brought home a few bottles of the white Chardonnay and red Acolon. Highly recommended to make a stop here! Also enjoy the artisanal ice cream found at the front of the farm café.
Another delicious drink for which Sint-Truiden is known, other than wine, is beer. With two excellent breweries, Sint-Truiden is known far beyond its borders. Brouwerij Kerkom treated us to a delicious cherry beer. Cherries are, after all, a local product and we love fruity beer, so the choice was quickly made. And it was a good choice!
At Wilderen Brewery, which has its origins as far back as 1642, we were given a tour of the impressive premises where large parts of the original building are still standing. A mix of old and new and that adds a lot of charm. In addition to the tour, we also tasted some local produce. You can go here for tastings and tours but also for a delicious lunch. This brewery is best known for its Omerta rum and Wilderen beer. Definitely recommended!
Fine dining in Sint-Truiden
There is no shortage of good food in Sint-Truiden. We were pleasantly surprised at dinner at Bistro 11 near the Grand Place. You can taste that these dishes are prepared with a lot of love and daily fresh products.v We enjoyed mussels as an appetizer and sea bass as a main course. Both to lick thumbs and fingers! For dessert, we had a delicious lady-blanche.v If you like to have a fresh, decent and delicious meal, you should pass by here.
For lunch on Sunday, we drove to Gelinden, about a five-minute drive from Sint-Truiden. Here you will find Aen Tafel which is run by two super friendly owners. Aen Tafel has a Belgian kitchen where you can enjoy lunch or dinner, but they also provide sandwich meals and takeout. And all with a hearty helping of passion and talent for cooking. And lots of love. They really do go the extra mile for their customers. We felt tremendously welcome here and highly recommend their specialty farmhouse chicken and of course their artisanal ice cream. Definitely try it!
For atmosphere and conviviality Sint-Truiden also scores high points. When we were there we were able to enjoy not one but two festivals. Pit Festival is a paying downtown festival featuring several well-known Belgian artists and local talent. They also hold workshops of various arts at the Pit Academy. Nearby are the Academy Hall and Abbey Tower which are more than worth a visit!
Besides the Pit Festival, Haspengouw Zingt also took place on Saturday on the Grote Markt. Enjoying on a terrace with live music to sing along with? Check! And dancing late into the night assured. The atmosphere was good!
Finally, we had a unique experience at Escaperoom Hooch on the Grote Markt in Sint-Truiden. The friendly proprietor of this establishment has turned a few rooms above his wine and liquor bar into an escaperoom. The idea of an escaperoom is to bring a question, mystery or assignment to a successful conclusion together with friends within a certain amount of time. With a few tips and just out of time, we still managed to “escape”. A fun new challenge for all those who like riddles or games. Extra interesting is the bar downstairs where you can go for a strong drink. Here they have everything you can imagine and much more! You’ll find mostly a lot of exclusive drinks that you can buy or you can order bottles from their webshop.
Hotel in Sint-Truiden
Finally, we were able to sleep like a rose at Hof van Stayen. This farmhouse that was transformed into a hotel is part of Hotel Stayen. The hotel’s spacious rooms are very modern in design yet with an authentic touch. The location is perfect. The hotel is easily accessible by car and the ideal base for a walking or cycling vacation, combined with a city visit. Its location on the Fruit Valley is its greatest asset in our opinion. Along with the extensive and daily fresh breakfast. This is how we want to wake up every morning!
We cannot say enough how pleasantly surprised we were by the charm of Sint-Truiden. Not only is the city center attractive and lively, but the nature around it is also breathtaking. It is the perfect base for a weekend of cycling, hiking or just enjoying the area and its local produce. We will definitely be back!
Would you also like to go to Sint-Truiden? The tourism department will be happy to help you with any questions you may have. You can also consult their website for more information.