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Exploring Leiden – The Top 10 Things to Do

For those looking to explore the sights and sounds of the Netherlands, Leiden is one of the top destinations. This beautiful university town is full of culture, history, and great food. With its canals, cobbled streets, and historic buildings, it’s a great place to visit. Here are our top 10 things to do in Leiden.

1. Visit the Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. It was founded in 1590 and is home to over 4,000 species of plants. It is a great place to explore, with a variety of plants, trees, and flowers. There is also an impressive collection of medicinal plants, as well as a butterfly house. The Hortus Botanicus is a great place to spend a few hours, and learn about the history of botany.

2. Visit the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is a museum dedicated to the history of the Netherlands. It houses one of the world’s largest collections of artifacts from the Dutch Golden Age. Inside, visitors can explore the different eras of Dutch history, from the Roman period to the present day. There are also numerous interactive exhibits, such as a theater, a model of the city of Leiden, and a sculpture garden.

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3. Take a Boat Tour of the Canals

The canals of Leiden are a great way to explore the city. There are several boat tours available, which take visitors on a leisurely cruise through the canals. Along the way, you can admire the beautiful houses and bridges, and learn about the city’s history. The boat tours are a great way to relax and take in the sights of the city.

4. Visit the Leiden Observatory

The Leiden Observatory is one of the oldest observatories in the world. It was founded in 1633 and is home to a variety of astronomical instruments. Visitors can explore the different exhibits, including a telescope, a planetarium, and a solar observatory. There are also regular lectures on astronomy and space exploration.

5. Shop at the Leidseplein

The Leidseplein is the heart of the city, and is a great place to shop. There are several stores, ranging from high-end designer boutiques to vintage stores. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

6. Visit the Lakenhal Museum

The Lakenhal Museum is one of the most important museums in Leiden. It is home to an impressive collection of Dutch and Flemish art from the 15th to 19th centuries. Visitors can explore the various galleries, and admire the works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other Dutch masters.

7. Explore the Burcht

The Burcht is an old fortress located in the centre of Leiden. It is a great place to explore, with a variety of historical buildings, including a castle, a church, and a windmill. The Burcht is a great place to spend a few hours, and learn about the city’s history.

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8. Take a Tour of the Old University

The Old University of Leiden is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1575, and is home to an impressive collection of historic buildings and monuments. Visitors can take a guided tour of the university, and learn about its fascinating history.

9. Visit the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum

The Leiden American Pilgrim Museum is dedicated to the story of the Pilgrims and their journey to America. It is a great place to explore, with a variety of interactive exhibits, as well as a reproduction of the Mayflower. There are also regular lectures and workshops.

10. Enjoy the Nightlife

Leiden is known for its vibrant nightlife. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to explore. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a wild night out, there’s something for everyone. The city also hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, so there’s always something new to experience.

Conclusion

Leiden is a beautiful university town, full of history and culture. From visiting the Hortus Botanicus to exploring the canals, there’s plenty to do in this charming city. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or a wild night out, Leiden has something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore!