The 27 most beautiful sights and museums to visit in Leiden

Courtsies, the university, glorious history and numerous museums. Leiden is known for everything! And that's not crazy. In the beautiful city there is plenty to see and experience during a day of city. The 28 kilometres of canals, hundreds of monuments and historical sights give the city a unique and atmospheric character. In museums you can also see masterpieces by Rembrandt, treasures from Japan and special objects from science. Discover your favourite places and experience them during a day at Leiden.

blank Photo Beestenmarkt in Leiden, View, Neighborhood, square, park


From 1616 to 1969 this square was the stage of the livestock market. The ringing of the 'Sheep Bell 'between number 9 and 10 gave the go-ahead for the trade.

blank Photo Zijlpoort in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks


Of the eight city gates, two remain, including the Zijlpoort. The gate dates back to 1667 and is built in classicist style.

blank Photo Museum Het Leids Wevershuis in Leiden, View, Visit museum

Museum Het Leids Wevershuis

The Wevershuis shows 'the other side of Leiden'. Not the Leading of the wealthy elite with their imposing properties, but the Leading of the workers

blank Photo Hooglandse kerk in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

Hooglandse kerk

An imposing, late Gothic cross basilica that has been decorating the heart of Leiden for centuries. A monument with a turbulent history.

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Our recommendations for a delicious lunch in Leiden

blank Photo Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, View, Visit museum

Museum Volkenkunde

A museum about people. Marvel at objects that tell a human story and learn about the world's enormous cultural diversity.

blank Photo Molenmuseum de Valk in Leiden, View, Visit museum, Sightseeing

Molenmuseum de Valk

Curious what a mill looks like inside and how it works? Then discover seven floors full of stories and history at the Molenmuseum de Valk.

blank Photo Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

Let yourself be intrigued by five centuries of science. Discover microscopes, the oldest heliocentric planetarium and visit the anatomical theatre.

blank Photo Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, View, Museums & galleries

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

This museum brings antiquity and archaeology to life. Enjoy ancient civilizations from Egypt, Roman times, Middle Ages and much more.

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Best hotels in the center of Leiden

blank Photo Koornbrug in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks


For centuries, the wheat was traded on this bridge. The canopy kept everything dry and the corn was stored under the roof.

blank Photo Hartebrugkerk in Leiden, View, Sightseeing


An imposing neoclassical monument in the Haarlemmerstraat. A place of rest amidst all the hustle and bustle.

blank Photo Nieuwe Rijn in Leiden, View, Lunch, Drink, Diner, Neighborhood

Nieuwe Rijn

A cosy district with numerous restaurants and eateries. Many have a terrace on or along the water in summer on which it is wonderful to stay.

blank Photo Samuel de Zee's hof in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

Samuel de Zee's hof

Founded by Samuel the Sea who had left no offspring out of four marginals. He put his capital on this in the design of this court.

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10 places in Leiden for a delicious lunch and cup of coffee

blank Photo Rapenburg in Leiden, View, Sightseeing


There are many stately buildings on this most beautiful canal in the city. Some members of the royal family lived here during their studies.

blank Photo Visfontein in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks


The fountain was built in 1693 and was placed by the city council to provide sellers on the fish market with clean water for hygiene purposes.

blank Photo Morspoort in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks


One of the two remaining city gates of Leiden. The name derives from De Morsch, the swampy area on the outside of the city.

blank Photo De Burcht in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

De Burcht

This is one of the oldest existing examples of a castle in the Netherlands. A fenced refuge for people from attackers.

blank Photo Hortus Botanicus Leiden in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

Hortus Botanicus Leiden

The oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands. Landscaped in 1590 and expanded over the centuries. Admire the special diversity of plants.

blank Photo Sint Annahofje in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks

Sint Annahofje

Find peace and quiet in one of the most beautiful and oldest courtyards in Leiden. This is also the only Leiden court that still has its own chapel.

blank Photo Leidse Schouwburg - Stadsgehoorzaal in Leiden, View, Sightseeing, Experience

Leidse Schouwburg - Stadsgehoorzaal

Both locations offer a fantastic backdrop for theatre, dance, music, lectures and cabaret. Experience the classic rooms and the acclaimed acoustics.

blank Photo Japanmuseum SieboldHuis in Leiden, View, Visit museum

Japanmuseum SieboldHuis

Hidden behind a historic Dutch façade you will find the most beautiful of old and new Japan. Collected by the doctor Philipp Franz von Siebold.

blank Photo Gravensteen in Leiden, View, Sights & landmarks


Once a refuge for the counts of Holland, then a prison and execution place, book warehouse and now a university building.

blank Photo Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, View, Museums & galleries

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

With 42 million objects, Naturalis manages one of the largest natural history collections in the world. Until September 2 in the sign of poison!

blank Photo De Leidse Sterrewacht in Leiden, View, Museums & galleries

De Leidse Sterrewacht

Visitors like to convey the beauty of our universe here. You will also learn more about the rich history of Leiden Astronomy.

blank Photo Het plantsoen in Leiden, View, Walk around

Het plantsoen

This landscaped city park is located on the former strongholds of the city. Its location on the water makes it a wonderful place.

blank Photo Marekerk in Leiden, View, Sightseeing


The Marekerk is located in the middle of Leiden and is therefore not to be missed. You can recognize the church by its round dome and special shape. Usually open on Saturday.

blank Photo Pieterskerk in Leiden, View, Sightseeing


For almost 900 years this church has been an important meeting place in Leiden, nowadays used for concerts and events.

blank Photo Pieterskerk in Leiden, View, Coffee, tea & cakes, Sights & landmarks


Leiden's benchmark for almost 900 years. From Catholic Church to meeting place. You will also find the Pieterskerkcafé, a hidden gem.

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