City of Science
Strolling through the historic streets of Leiden, you can imagine yourself back in the 17th century. It has been home to the famous painter Rembrandt, the American Pilgrims, Dutch royalty and many great scientists. That is why it's known as the "City of Science". Want to escape the city life? The beach town of Noordwijk, as well as the flower fields and classic Dutch polder landscape, are all within biking distance or rent a boat and tour the city's canals or nearby lakes.Leiden Tourist Office
Region of Surprises
From beaches, sea and dunes to colourful flower fields, a historic city and picturesque villages. Zuid-Holland is home to the Region of Surprises, which covers the municipalities of Leiden, Leiderdorp, Oegstgeest, Voorschoten, Katwijk and Wassenaar.Discover the Region of Surprises
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Leiden is a cosy, vibrant city which will quickly feel like home. There is plenty to explore, from hidden courtyards to independent boutiques and award-winning national museums. Then there's the 28km of canals that can be enjoyed by boat, or from one of the many water-side restaurants. With Leiden University, the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden Bio Science Park (Life Sciences and Health) and many international businesses based here, it's no surprise that the Leiden region is popular with internationals, who make up 12% of the city's population!
Leiderdorp is located ‘between town and countryside’, in the middle of the Randstad (the metropolitan area of the western part of the Netherlands). Leiden lies to the west, while Leiderdorp itselfs borders the Green Heart of the Netherlands. The village provides a pleasant living environment for its inhabitants, who number around 27,000. It’s also a great place to visit. As well as a flourishing social climate, a broad range of services across many areas, an extensive selection of shops and a thriving business life, Leiderdorp offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
Oegstgeest is a green, picturesque town with a pleasant and dynamic social climate. Historically, Oegstgeest is part of the Duin- en Bollenstreek, though the bulb culture has become much less important over the past 50 years. Oegstgeest is situated centrally in the Randstad and is easily accessible. It acts, as it were, as a gateway to the city of Leiden, whereas, on the other side, it is a portal to the Duin- en Bollenstreek. Moreover, Oegstgeest is the natural link to the coast and the beach.
Voorschoten has a rich history, which becomes evident when you are in the town. Both in the centre of Voorschoten and in the surrounding area you will find many historic buildings and places that tell the story of Voorschoten. Come and get a taste of Voorschoten’s history and atmosphere: visit one of the many cosy cafés and restaurants in the picturesque Voorstraat, lined with historic buildings and centuries-old linden trees, or go for a browse in the adjacent shopping street.
Zoeterwoude, a municipality which offers a unique view of the typical Dutch 'polder', the flat and lush pastures with their extensive waterworks. Scout around the area on a bike, on foot or in a canoe. Visit a farm where the age-old craft of cheesemaking is still carried out. Go birdwatching. Enjoy the rural landscape with its monumental farms, its mills and the characteristic silhouette of distant church steeples. Zoeterwoude offers a taste of Dutch nature.
International and Connected
While many internationals choose to live in Leiden, the surrounding municipalities of Leiderdorp, Oegstgeest, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude are also very popular with expats. There are several international schools and social groups nearby to cater to families or individuals. Expat Centre Leiden offers free information and support to all internationals living in the area.
In the city itself, biking is an easy and safe way to travel. Whether for day trips or a regular commute, travelling to and from Leiden is simple. Leiden Centraal station has frequent connections to Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport.Explore living in Leiden
European City of Science 2022
Since the first university in the Netherlands was founded here in 1575, Leiden has been a city where innovation and scientific exploration have flourished. It has attracted the world's greatest thinkers, including René Descartes and Albert Einstein. Leiden's reputation for excellence continues to this day, with Leiden Bio Science Park, Leiden University Medical Centre and the European Space Agency all based in the region. Leiden has been awarded the title of European City of Science 2022 and will host the EuroScience Open Forum conference. There will be a 365-day programme of activities, showcasing the city's links to science.Learn more about Leiden 2022
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