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LeidenNetherlands

This quaint city in the western Netherlands is ornate, with small canals, green parks, rivers and old, but intact, monuments.

The charming city of Leiden sits on the Old Rhine River in the Netherlands’ South Holland region. It is just north of the country’s political capital, the Hague. Explore the rivers, parks and canals that decorate the city. Many historical buildings have survived for centuries in the city center, including an impressive university dating back to 1575.

Visit the triangular-shaped plaza known as the Beestenmarkt (Cattle Market) in the city center. Dine at one of the many restaurants and cafés in the area.

See the Burcht, an 11th-century castle atop a grassy knoll at the point where branches of the Old Rhine River convene. The castle was once used as a refuge from floods and later turned into a water tower. Enjoy views of the picturesque city from the castle.

Make your way to the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating back to the 16th century. See the exotic plants and flowers on the grounds. Nearby, browse the intriguing exhibits at the National Museum of Ethnology in the University of Leiden. Intriguing objects from around the world tell stories of cultures and humanity.

Marvel at the 16th-century Pieterskerk, a gothic church. Admire the 328-foot (100-meter) tower, which is known as the “King of the Sea” because it can be seen from the North Sea.

Study archeological items in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Dutch National Museum of Antiquities). Find out how ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans lived. Take a trip to the Stadhuis (Town Hall). Capture photos of its majestic façade of Renaissance design. Locate the Waag (Weight House), dating back to 1657, to learn about its intriguing history.

Leiden is known for its annual 3 Oktober Festival. The area is warm in the summer and cold in winter, without much variation between the seasons. After discovering the gems Leiden has to offer, relax with a picnic by one of the charming canals.

Top Hotels in Leiden

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Holiday Inn Leiden
Holiday Inn Leiden
4 out of 5
Haagse Schouwweg 10, Leiden
The price is $87 per night

This family-friendly Leiden hotel is located in the suburbs, within 1 mi (2 km) of Corpus and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Leiden Bio Science Park and Morspoort ...

4.2/5Excellent! (990 reviews)

"Good family hotel. Lots of space for the children."…"

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2020

Holiday Inn Leiden
Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
4 out of 5
Bargelaan 180, Leiden
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $85 per night

Located in the heart of Leiden, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Leiden Bio Science Park and Leiden University. Naturalis Biodiversity Center and National ...

3.9/5Good! (473 reviews)

"Clean comfortable and excellent customer service"…"

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
3 out of 5
Schipholweg 3, Building B, Leiden
The price is $87 per night

Situated in Leiden, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Museum of Ethnology, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and Museum Boerhaave. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (367 reviews)

"I have stayed at TI before and its convenience to the romantic city of Leiden, closeness to Railway station and eating places; I just love to stay at Tulip Inn. But this time I was not upgraded to an executive room for price of standard room as I was the previous time over a year back. That will ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

Tulip Inn Leiden Centre

Popular places to visit in Leiden

National Museum of Ethnology
Image for National Museum of Ethnology

National Museum of Ethnology

Investigate a wealth of cultural heritage from every continent and learn about the traditions, art and religions that make human culture so diverse.

Hortus Botanicus
Image for Hortus Botanicus

Hortus Botanicus

Giant water lilies, carnivorous pitcher plants, rare and endangered plants and a host of colorful flowers await at Leiden’s botanical garden.

Waag
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Waag

The classical building by the canal is where merchants once sent their goods to be weighed before market. These days it’s a music venue and gallery.

Beestenmarkt
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Beestenmarkt

Once full of cattle and sheep for sale, this pretty square overlooking a canal is now the starting point for canal boat cruises and a great spot for morning coffee.

Stadhuis
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Stadhuis

The Town Hall’s Renaissance façade, saved from fire, is the crowning glory of the old quarter of Leiden. 

LVC
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LVC

Enjoy a performance at LVC, a storied theater in Leiden. Discover the area's fascinating museums, or seek out its local tours.

Top things to do in Leiden

I amsterdam City Card
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I amsterdam City Card

$74
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Private Full-Day Customizable Tour of Holland
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Private Full-Day Customizable Tour of Holland

$794
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Private Sightseeing Tour to Keukenhof and the Windmills
Image for Private Sightseeing Tour to Keukenhof and the Windmills

Private Sightseeing Tour to Keukenhof and the Windmills

$528
Per adult
Small group full day trip to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague
Image for Small group full day trip to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague

Small group full day trip to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague

$180
Per adult
Private Tour: Cheese, Clogs & Windmills, full day
Image for Private Tour: Cheese, Clogs & Windmills, full day

Private Tour: Cheese, Clogs & Windmills, full day

$817
Per adult
Luxury Private Transfer from Leiden/Noordwijk to Schiphol
Image for Luxury Private Transfer from Leiden/Noordwijk to Schiphol

Luxury Private Transfer from Leiden/Noordwijk to Schiphol

$123
Per adult

Reviews of Leiden

4.9

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
26
5 - Excellent 89.65517241379311%
4 - Good
2
4 - Good 6.896551724137931%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 3.4482758620689653%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 12, 2020

I love this small, but big town. I come here frequently. It has everything to offer that a big city does, but very friendly and walkable.

5/5 - Excellent

June

Aug 16, 2019

Picturesque, relaxing, quaint, walkable, a bit expensive.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jul 21, 2019

Beautiful small city without a lot of tourists. Close to Den Haag, which has an outstanding museum.

5/5 - Excellent

Yona

Jul 21, 2019

Nice and quiet.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 4, 2019

Leiden is amazing! It is both historic and modern and has an immense amount of charm and character.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 21, 2019

Wonderful city! I hope to return again. It was such a safe, fun, and entertaining environment. Never far from anything.

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