LeidenRembrandt's birthplace, tulips and history.
Explore Leiden's rich history, its oldest university, Rembrandt's art, historic windmills, and open-air markets.
Welcome to Leiden. This historic city in the Netherlands, famous for its old university and charming canals was also the birthplace of the famous painter Rembrandt.
Leiden's history is deeply intertwined with academia. The University of Leiden, founded in 1575, is the oldest in the country and has significantly shaped the city. You will see university buildings scattered around the city and students give Leiden a young and lively atmosphere. You may want to visit the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, maintained by the university since 1590.
It's easy to explore Leiden by foot or, to do as the Dutch do, by bike. Cycle along the canals, cross the more than 50 bridges and admire the 17th and 18th century houses. If you're not much into biking, you can take a boat tour and see the city from the water.
The Museum De Lakenhal specializes in fine art, including works by Rembrandt who was born and studied in Leiden. If you're interested in ancient history, visit the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden which displays ancient artefacts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the early Netherlands.
The city is also known for its historic windmills, some of which still stand today and are open for the public to explore. Molen de Valk is a windmill museum, where you can learn about the history and importance of windmills in the Netherlands.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, the city center turns into a large open-air market where you can buy fresh produce, flowers, cheese, and try local specialties such as raw herring or stroopwafels.
Make some time for a stroll in the Leidse Hout, a small city park where you can find deer, watch waterbirds on the pond or just sit in the sun. If you happen to be there in spring, you will be rewarded with a beautiful display of tulips, daffodils, and other spring flowers.