"Home" Top 5 Page for this destination Leiden by rsilva
Leiden Travel Guide: 610 reviews and 1,421 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.
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.
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.
There are quite a few "fast-food" Asian restaurants in Leiden and they all offer fast meals for a reasonable price.... more travel advice
I had been ignoring this place for a long time - big mistake. A few weeks ago, we decided to go there for an early... more travel advice
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