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Leidse Schouwburg

The Leidse Schouwburg is the main theatre in Leiden. It was built on the canal of the Oude Vest in 1705. In an era of travelling theatre groups, Leiden was the third city to own a permanent public theatre. The Leidse Schouwburg is still much beloved by Leiden natives and artists and offers a stage for cabaret, theatre, musical and dance performances. It is also the oldest theatre in Holland.

  • The oldest theater in the Netherlands is definitely worth a visit.
  • Enjoy cabaret, theater, music and dance.
  • In the 90s, the theater was brought back to its former glory.
Oude Vest 43
2312XS Leiden
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Conversions and renovations

The theatre was subject to several conversions and renovations through the years. For example, it was given an Italian appearance in the 19th century. In the nineteen sixties, the future of the theatre was uncertain and the building was threatened with demolition. But the Leidse Schouwburg survived everything and was even returned to its traditional style with red velvet, chandeliers and gilded ornaments in the nineties.


If you want to visit the theatre, come to Oude Vest 43. You can buy tickets for the shows or register for a tour. The theatre offers a special behind the scenes tour on Sunday five times per year.

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