Leiden has much to offer. On this page, you will get an extensive overview of all there is to do in your spare time before, during or after your conference. A great feature of the city centre is that everything is within walking distance — strolling along beside the many canals, past the historic churches and courtyards, you will feel as if you are walking through a living museum. Enjoy!

Inspiring Cultural Heritage

Culture, alongside science, has always been at the heart of Leiden’s DNA. Many famous Dutch painters, including Rembrandt, grew up in Leiden and learned to explore their talent here. This cultural heritage has lived on and is still visible today. Leiden houses a remarkable number of high-quality museums which showcase the cultural history of the city: thirteen to be precise! From ethnology to biodiversity, and from medical history to fine arts, you can find it all within walking distance. Did you know that two of Leiden’s museums have been consecutively awarded the title “European Museum of the Year”? Click here to see our event calendar, an extensive list of all there is to do in Leiden.

Foto Weddesteeg Kees Hummel

28 kilometers of canals

The canals that run through Leiden give the city its unique character. Boating on these waters  provides you with a one-of-a-kind view of the city. Hop on a canal cruise or rent your own boat to experience the luxury feeling of sailing through Leiden for yourself.​

You cannot miss out on having a waterside dinner! It's a unique sight: terrace boats in the canal packed with people enjoying the sun. It’s always five o’clock somewhere! Have a bite at one of the many restaurants in Leiden. You can find cuisines from all over the world. ​

Leiden From the Water

Walking through Living History

Walking through Leiden is like walking through a living museum. With more than 3,000 officially recognised monuments, 35 almshouse courtyards, 28 kilometers of canals and 88 bridges connecting the streets, the lay-out of the city has not changed much over the past centuries. Rembrandt would still be able to navigate the current city. Discover the most beautiful and noteworthy places in Leiden through one of our themed walking routes. These guided routes are available in an app and as booklets at the Tourist Information Office (VVV).

City Walks
Stadswandeling met Gids - van Simone Both

Getting Around the City

Leiden is ideally situated. It's just a stone's throw from major cities like The Hague and Amsterdam, and nearby you can also find the North Sea coast, the Keukenhof Gardens and the Green Heart of Holland. Schiphol Airport is less than twenty minutes away, and Rotterdam - The Hague Airport just twenty-five minutes. If you are arriving by public transport, the city centre is only a few steps from Leiden Central train station. You can take a bus or taxi to the coast, and many other places in the region. And for those who prefer to come by car, it is easy to park in one of the large underground garages in the city centre.​

Getting Around The City
Reizigers wachten op de bus Leiden Centraal

Discover the Best Shops

From vintage boutiques to well-known fashion stores, Leiden is home to the most surprising shops. Treat yourself to a new outfit or shop the best Leiden gifts in the historic city centre.

Best Shops in Leiden
COEF men Foto

Staying a Little Longer

With all the museums, intimate shopping streets, city tours and canal views, you will soon find yourself wanting to spend more time in this lovely city. Leiden offers a great variety of hotels, many of them at short walking distance from the most visited spots in the city. From wellness hotels to small-scale boutique hotels, there is an option suitable for everyone. Many conference delegates choose to extend their stay by arriving in Leiden a few days before the conference or staying a little longer after the conference is finished.

Overnight Stay
Foto van kamer Boutique Hotel d'Oude Morsch

Region of Surprises

From beaches and world-famous tulip fields to picturesque villages and a historic city centre, there is plenty to see in the region around Leiden. The best way to explore is by bicycle, which you can easily rent from several locations in the city. There are many different routes to discover. Hop on and you'll find scenic cycling paths, delightful farm shops and outdoor cafes in idyllic locations. A warm welcome awaits you in the Region of Surprises!​

Region of Surprises
Foto van Katwijk Sfeerbeeld

Discover What Leiden Has to Offer