Walking around Leiden, the city's glorious history seems to come to life. The Academiegebouw, which is the ceremonial seat of the university, De Waag (the Weigh house), De Burcht (the Citadel), the stately mansions lining the famous Rapenburg canal, the beautiful Pieterskerk (church of Peter), the Hooglandse kerk (Highland church), and the 35 hofjes or almshouses in the city all tell the story of Leiden's history.
Get to know the town by way of a walking tour. A wide choice of themes are available with an English instruction. Buy one of the Leiden city walks at the Tourist Office Leiden:
Cycling in and around Leiden
As well as the city centre, the area around Leiden also has a lot to offer. Cycling is the ideal mode of transport for discovering the region, and there are many different cycle routes starting in Leiden. The following are a few ideas for places to visit.
Leiden is just ten kilometres from the North Sea coast. You can enjoy an exhilarating cycle ride in the dune area with its varied landscape; the tops of the dunes even reach a height of 25 metres in some parts! There are also attractive seaside resorts like Katwijk and Noordwijk to call in at on the way.
The Bulb Region
From Leiden it is a short cycle ride to the Bulb Region, where in spring time you can see vast panoramas of colourful bulbfields in full bloom. You can combine your cycle ride with a visit to the Keukenhof garden. Even outside the bulb season, the area is well worth a visit.
The Kaag lakes and polders
A few kilometres outside Leiden you will find an area of polders and lakes, known in Dutch as the Kagerplassen. The region is famous for its varied landscape; it has large stretches of water with peat meadows, or polders, in between. The Kaag lakes are natural lakes, edged with ragged shorelines. There are many impressive windmills to see in the area.
In the Visitor Centre Leiden several maps and books are for sale.
Guarded bicycle sheds
Bicycle Rental Leiden