In the seventeenth century, Leiden was one of the most important and wealthy cities in the Netherlands. It was home to many old masters, including Rembrandt. As you walk through Leiden you can still feel the historic atmosphere. Leiden is a picturesque university town with many canals, almshouses and museums. The city center boasts cafes and restaurants.
First of all, Leiden is a great place to walk around. The local tourist information office (VVV) can recommend you several great walking tours. Secondly, Leiden is home to the Hortus Botanicus,an impressive university garden with many plant species from all over the world. Thirdly, there are several museums with great collections about art (Lakenhal), history (National Museum of Antiquities), nature (Naturalis), science (Boerhaave Museum) and the human body (Corpus).
The Festival of Leiden
Once a year, on October 2 and 3, the city transforms into one great festival area when Leiden celebrates ‘Leidens Ontzet’ (the Relief of Leiden). The fair, parade, fireworks, musical performances and many parties attract hundreds of thousands of people every year.