Surprising Leiden: the most beautiful spots
Leiden, city of windmills
Leiden has more than nine windmills within its borders, which earns it the name of ‘city of windmills’. Leiden’s windmills are also very diverse, both in type and purpose. There are two grain mills, two saw mills and five polder mills. Apart from one polder mill, the Rodenburg mill, they are all still in operation today. Visit the De Valk windmill museum to see, read and hear about the technical skills, the history, the craft and the life of Dutch millers.
Discover Leiden from the water
After Amsterdam, Leiden has the most water flowing through it. The city’s historic centre has a total of 28 kilometres of canals and waterways. To cross all these waterways, you obviously need bridges, and Leiden has no less than 88! A good way to see Leiden is from the water. The Leiden tour boats offer a range of different options. Leiden’s canals will take you past museums, almshouses and the many historic buildings, all with their beautiful façades. You can also go by boat from Leiden to the Kaag lakes, to the Green Heart or to the resort of Katwijk aan Zee.
Leiden walking tours
Leiden’s historic city centre is compact and accessible, and is easy to explore on your own. Or you might prefer to have the expert knowledge of a city guide. The following is a small selection of the different walking tours available to help you get to know the city:
Rembrandt van Rijn, possibly the most famous artist in the world, was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden. Until 1631 this miller’s son remained in Leiden, where he took his first tentative steps as a painter. Take the Rembrandt tour and learn about Rembrandt’s early years and the Leiden of the seventeenth century.
The Leiden Loop
The Leiden Loop is the ideal walking tour to introduce you to the most beautiful spots in Leiden. Many of the city’s historic monuments and special sights could be difficult to find on your own, soat a number of places along the route there are signposts giving background information about the location. Using your mobile telephone and an internet connection you can listen to audio clips telling you more of the history of these special places.
Leiden has no less than 35 almshouses, almost all in the city centre. These almshouses set in charming courtyards offer an idyllic respite from the bustle of the city, where it seems as if time has stood still. This town walk will take you to a selection of Leiden’s many almshouses. Experience for yourself these oases of peace and calm!