"Home" Top 5 Page for this destination Leiden by rsilva

Leiden Travel Guide: 615 reviews and 1,436 photos

Leiden is a relatively small city (120.000 people), conveniently located between The Hague and Amsterdam and it has been my home since the end of 2000.

It is only 10-15 minutes by train from The Hague and about half an hour from Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Although it is small in size, there are quite a few nice restaurants and bars and also some good movie theaters.

It has everything you could expect from a Dutch city: nice canals, windmills and beautiful, often narrow, buildings. The historical center is very old and nice even to walk around in.

You can also find a lot of the famous "crooked" buildings that seem to be falling apart but have been like that for centuries and some narrow, winding streets and, of course, lots and lots of bikes.

Building this page, I realized I don't have any nice Leiden pictures... I will have to work on that.

Some history

It became a city in 1266.

In Leiden you can find the oldest still existing university in the Netherlands, founded by Prince William of Orange in 1575. It was a reward for the city's heroic defense against Spanish attacks the previous year and at the time people could choose between going to the University or getting some tax exemptions.

Many famous people have either attended or been associated to the University, such as Hugo Grotius (or Hugo de Groot), many members of the Royal family (Queen Beatrix, Queen Juliana and Prince William Alexander of Orange) and movie director Paul Verhoeven.

Every year, October 3rd marks the end of the Spanish °occupation° (in 1574) and is celebrated. It is a huge street party with amusement parks and other entertainment.

Points of interest

I will be adding some more tips on what to see, but the city is nice to visit. If you come to the Netherlands and have the time, you will enjoy it.

The picture shows the "de Valk" windmill as seen from the Beestenmarkt.

Finally, just a few interesting facts about Leiden:

- Leiden held the title for "The Coldest Place on Earth": in a laboratory, because of the developments in cryogenics that have happened there. Now, apparently, it is in Espoo at the Helsinki University of Technology. I guess they deserve the title anyway :)

- There is a project called Wireless Leiden that provides Wireless Internet access to its inhabitants (although I never managed to use it...) . For more information, check out: http://www.wirelessleiden.nl/english/ . The idea is really good!

In order to make it easier to find the location of the places mentioned in the tips, I have added a link to a map of Leiden, at the end of the actual tip.

  • Intro Updated Sep 10, 2005
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Reviews (78)

Comments (30)

  • Rosey-K's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Leiden is beautiful in its own way, and no doubt it was the birth place of Rembrandt.

  • Varinia's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Nice city! thanks for sharing.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Breestraat looks like an elegant avenue to stroll down. This city has so much ornate architecture and buildings to gawk at, it would take a couple extra days to enjoy. You did a nice job of presenting this and the comments help a lot.

  • Dec 8, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    This bar is right around the corner from the Fandango tapas bar. People were nice and the bartenders were good.

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2009 at 4:08 AM

    After your page, now, I think leiden is a beautiful city. Thanks for sharing. BTW tips are useful.Bora

  • Mar 18, 2008 at 6:42 AM

    Ricardo ou Rui? Olá, Gostava de visitar o campo de tulipas de Keukenhof. Será boa ideia ficar em Leiden 2 dias?

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2008 at 3:31 AM

    Congratulations! You are no.1 on VT for Leiden and rightly so. I have a special bond with the place. Glad you like living there!

  • Valeggua's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    Leiden is a beautiful city and I have been enjoying your tips. Mooie pages! Groetjes, Valerie

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    I like your photos covering the essence of a beautiful city - Leiden. I have been there for a conference a few years ago. Greetings

  • Apr 26, 2007 at 9:01 AM

    Love your Leiden page Ricardo! I spent too little time here but want to come back now after reading all those restaurant tips -chocolate cake with red peppers!?? Wow! I can only imagine what that tastes like! :)) Great page!

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