Leiden’s compact city centre is a gem. Historical architecture and academic life smoothly blend with cheeky coffee boutiques and artsy shops.
The museums on offer are downright spectacular: Naturalis, de Lakenhal and Boerhaave all deserve a spot on your must-see list.
There’s a museum for all of us
- At Museum Volkenkunde you travel around the ethnicity of the world in a day.
- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden or National Museum of Antiquities displays ancient art and archaeology, including regional finds and treasures from all over the world.
- Lakenhal Museumthe official Leiden museum, is housed in a 17th century city palace. Key piece of art is the 16th century painting by Lucas van Leyden. The renovated museum was re-opened by King William-Alexander in 2019.
- Boerhaave Museum: Here science is made tangible. The museum was recently renovated and named European museum of the Year (most prestigious award for museums) in 2020.
- Naturalis. This home of the dino T-Rex Trix and institute for biodiversity makes all ages marvel at nature in the most accessible way.
Don’t forget to enjoy the impressive architecture of the new building, finished in 2019.
- Corpus: Travel the human body from the inside. Be sure to book tickets in advance.
On any sunny day ...
Right behind the Academy building of Leiden University, you’ll encounter the Hortus Botanicus (1590). In this scientific garden park you’ll be met by beauty, serenity and harmony and, if you’re lucky, by the Victoria Amazonica in the greenhouse. All located at one of the idyllic Leiden canals.
The Leiden Star Watch, or observatory, was founded in 1633 and is still part of the highly acclaimed Faculty of Science of Leiden University. The building stems from the early 19th century – a jewel, majestically located next to one of Leidens surrounding canals.