When you arrive in Leiden, you’ll have the chance to wander along endless waterways, bask in the centuries-old architecture, and escape the crowds of Amsterdam… And that’s not it, that’s all! Here are some of the top reasons to visit Leiden.
Water and canals In Leiden
Canals are an essential part of almost every Dutch city and Leiden is no exception.
On a sunny day, there’s no better activity than walking around, camera in hand, ready to capture every great moment of this city.
Visit the filming locations of Miniaturist
For those who haven’t seen Miniature Soldier, this is a historical drama based on a book of the same name. Set in the 17th century, the film tells the story of the newly married Nella Oortman and is based on a doll’s house in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The city’s historical nature and the filming incentives that were only available in Amsterdam in previous years have attracted many film crews to the small university town. Little has changed in Leiden’s street planning since the 17th century.
Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands and dates back to 1575. Legend has it that as a reward for defending Leiden against Spanish attacks, the city’s inhabitants were given a choice between no taxes for some time and establishing a university. The residents chose the university.
Drinking wine on the boat terrace
Although a feature of many cities in the Netherlands, this city is most famous for the boat yards that line the city’s central canal. Therefore, one of the best things to do on a warm summer evening is to sit out with friends and have some local beer on a boat!
Wander along the cobbled lanes
From the architecture of the waterfront homes to the bars that spill out onto the streets, there’s no denying that this city is adorable. As pretty as a postcard, Leiden is so picturesque that once you take your camera out, you’ll find it hard to put it away again!
Enjoy beer culture in Leiden and visit the Heineken Star Bar
Belgium and the Netherlands are famous for their beer culture. What you might not know, however, is that the red star on the Heineken logo was literally ‘spotted’ on a bar sign in central city.
The star represents the 5 elements for beer production: water, hops, barley, yeast and the art of brewing.
Take a day trip to Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof is known as the most beautiful garden in Europe and is only open a few weeks of the year during the tulip season.
During Keukenhof’s opening hours, a special bus goes from Leiden Centraal directly to the entrance of Keukenhof. The bus takes about half an hour. Buy your Keukenhof bypass ticket and save valuable exploration time exploring the gardens.