An overview of the top reasons to choose Leiden as conference destination.
Why Leiden is the best destination for your conference?
Leiden University, founded in the year 1575, is the oldest university of the Netherlands. It has been one of Europe's leading research universities ever since. Their proud motto is Libertatis Praesidium, ‘stronghold of freedom'. Together with the Leiden Bio Science Park, the university, including the Leiden University Medical Center, is at the centre of science and knowledge in Leiden.
Over its almost 450 year history, scientists associated with Leiden University have produced many scientific breakthroughs. In the 17th century, Slyvius and Boerhaave introduced patient-oriented medical training and research, giving Leiden great international reputation in the field. Around the turn of the 20th century, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity and Willem Einthoven developed the electrocardiograph. Albert Einstein was a visiting professor at Leiden University, where he collaborated with Lorentz and De Sitter. Furthermore, 16 Noble Prize winners were affiliated to Leiden University.
Leiden Bio Science Park is the largest life sciences cluster in the Netherlands, and widely known for their research and innovation throughout Europe. The LBSP houses over 215 Life Sciences & Health companies, from small and medium-sized to large companies, from start-ups to multinationals - and several internationally acclaimed research institutes. The proximity of the medical and natural sciences departments is an important contributing factor to their success.
Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol has direct connections to over 300 locations throughout the world, and is located a mere 15-minute train ride away from Leiden. This airport is amongst the largest of Europe, making it the perfect gateway to the Netherlands. Other great possibilities when traveling by airplane are Rotterdam Airport, 30 minutes from Leiden, or Eindhoven Airport at 1,5 hours from Leiden. All airports have excellent connections to public transport.
Leiden is a city with a rich cultural heritage. World famous Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born here and attended the Latin school. Others greats like Lucas van Leyden, Jan van Goyen, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou and Frans van Mieris also worked in the city. Leiden is the nation's third museum city and boasts four national museums offering extraordinary collections, which find their origin from the discoveries and collection in this city. We have the historic city windmill, the residences of the Pilgrims, iconic paintings and features of the textile industry. No other city in the Netherlands has so many magnificent museums within walking distance from each other.
There is a great variety of unique conference venues in the city. Whether your conference is for a larger audience up to 2500 guests, or a small group of people, Leiden has it all. There are more than 20 extraordinary conference locations, all of which are state of the art. The majority of them are located in the historical city centre with its magnificent canals. The venues are all within short distance from the hotels, restaurants and museums of the city.
Everything that characterises the rich heritage of Leiden's history survives to this day: the great landmarks from the past can still be found in the picturesque historic city centre nowadays. The two medieval churches, the Hooglandse Kerk and Pieterskerk, are surrounded by narrow medieval streets, hidden courtyards and gables. Walking through the city is almost like walking through an open air museum, one can easily imagine how people in the past experienced the city. Shops, galleries, antiques and book stores, fashion boutiques, restaurants and cafes, are all around. And from the top of the hill where De Burcht stands tall, one can enjoy a spectacular 360° view over the whole city.
Traveling by train to Leiden is a very convenient mode of transportation. Most international trains run to Rotterdam Central Station (30 minutes from Leiden), Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol (15 minutes from Leiden), Amsterdam Central Station (35 minutes from Leiden), or Utrecht Central Station (40 minutes from Leiden). All these destinations have direct connections to Leiden running several times per hour throughout the whole day. Leiden Central Station is located right in the city centre. It is at walking distance from all the points of interest, hotels and conference venues that you will want to visit.
The historic city centre entails an enticing 28 kilometers of canals with no fewer than 88 bridges to cross them. Also, the old town centre is surrounded by water, the Singel, with a lot of greenery and parks - the Singelpark. A fantastic way to experience and explore the city for your conference participants is from the water.
Leiden is a true City of Discoveries. However, the surrounding villages, colourful flower fields and the nearby North Sea coast can make for a pleasant surprise! Relaxing cycling routes, even more museums, a lot of nature such as the National Park Dunes of Holland, many waterways, rivers and lakes which are perfect to go sailing, surprising places to stop for a tasty bite to eat, the best beach restaurants or a tour past the country estates. The Region of Surprises is a great short-distance getaway into nature from the city.
The ecological footprint of congress and meeting participants is determined, to a considerable degree, by accessibility, the congress destination, the venue, catering and accommodation. Because of its favourable location, both nationally and internationally, Leiden has the edge. Leiden has one of the larger railway stations in the Netherlands with very frequent connections to the main cities in the Netherlands, to all parts of the country, and to international high-speed rail going east and south. The majority of Leiden companies have a so-called Green Key label. Green Key is a leading, global environmental certification group. Reduction of energy use, waste, emissions and operational costs are monitored. In addition, programmes are provided to promote involvement by personnel, clients and surrounding parties.