© TasfotoNL via Shutterstock

The Rapenburg

The Rapenburg is Leiden’s most beautiful city canal. It is lined with the loveliest ‘gentlemen’s houses’ and 18th century geographers once elected it the most beautiful place in the world. Go for a stroll along the Rapenburg and admire the houses, the Academiegebouw, the National Museum of Antiquities, the Hortus botanicus and the Sieboldhuis.

  • Stroll along the most beautiful canals Leiden has to offer.
  • Tour the museums at the Rapenburg.
  • Make sure to take plenty of pictures on the many bridges in the city center.

Royal students at the Rapenburg

Several members of the Royal Family spent their student years in a dormitory on the Rapenburg. Prince Willem-Alexander resided at number 116 and Queen Beatrix at number 45. One famous scene from a Dutch war movie (Soldaat van Oranje or Soldier of Orange by Paul Verhoeven) was recorded on the balcony of Rapenburg 56.

Japanese emperor at the Rapenburg

In 2000 the Japanese emperor visited Holland. He left the Sieboldhuis and walked with his retinue to the Hortus Botanicus when something extraordinary happened. At number 51, the emperor stopped to talk to three students. In Japan it would have been unthinkable for the emperor to chat to ‘regular’ people. Later, a plaque was installed to commemorate this special moment.

Did you find this interesting? Discover more