City centre Leiden
During wintertime Leiden is beautifully illuminated with fairy-like trees, small lights alongside the bridges, garlands in the streets and a large Christmas tree in the mid-centre. All these aspects make a pleasant atmosphere. A floating Christmas-fair next to an equally floating, striking ice ring with music, hot chocolate and Dutch green pea soup make up for a lively hustle and bustle. Leiden is a safe town, without tourist traps and above all: everything can be visited by foot, the centre is accessible, small scale, and with its canals and monuments a typical example of the Dutch wealth of the 17th century.
Arrival of Sinterklaas
On Saturday November the 25th, Sinterklaas will arrive in Leiden! With the pre-program at the Beestemmarkt, we will make sure that Sinterklaas and all his Pieten get a warm welcome.
10.00 - 16.00 hrs
House of Sinterklaas
From Sunday, November 26th the brand new refurbished Waag will be transformed into the "Huis of Sinterklaas". Sinterklaas and his helpers will all stay here for 12 days.
12.00 - 17.00 hrs
Visit the Pakjesboatdays in the harbour of Leiden on 30th of November or on the 1st of December at 15.30 hrs. On board of the boat, you can play various games and watch how the Pieten wrap all the presents.
Lights Parade December
The start of the Winter Wonder Weeks (Winter Wonder Weken) will be marked by that magical moment when the lights of the festive holiday season are switched on in the city centre. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy this festive moment at the Nieuwe Rijn on the 15th of December.
The event will begin at 18.30 hrs.
Ice-skating rink Dec 8th - Jan 7th
Experience a winter fairytale beneath the Christmas lights that shine on the large ice rink in Leiden’s city centre. Join the fun on the ice-skating rink situated on the Nieuwe Rijn. From the 8th of December, the wonderful ice rink in the heart of Leiden’s historical city centre will be open to all. When you’re done skating, pop into the city centre for some shopping or a nice hot drink. Or even better, visit the only floating Christmas market in the country (which happens to be situated right next to the ice rink!). The entry fee will allow you to skate the entire day! Forgot to bring your skates? No problem! Rent a pair at the ice-skating rink.
Open: 10.00 - 22.00 hrs
From December the 15th, the floating Christmas market will be the hotspot for Christmas activities in Leiden. In the numerous Christmas chalets you will find a wide variety of presents, ingredients for your Christmas dinner and special offers.
Open: 12.00 - 21.00 hrs
From December the 17th till the 30th , the Singels of Leiden will be lit with fifteen different kinds of lights. The light boxes are made by artists, neighbourhood residents and employees of relevant institutions.
Nostalgic carnival - December 8th - January 7th
This fair is full of beautiful nostalgic attractions for children. There is always something to do for young and old.
Joris' Christmas Tree - December 15-27
From December 15-27, you can admire the giant Christmas tree at the Beestemarkt. In the tree you can hang a special message for a loved one during the holidays.
During the Korenweekends various choirs and Christmas bands, spread throughout the city centre, will make sure you get into the right mood for Christmas. The ideal opportunity for your last-minute Christmas shopping.
You can enjoy various choirs in the weekend of 16th & 17th of december and 23th & 24th of december
Kinder Doeza Festival
A festival in ‘Het Van der Werff park’ between 12.00 and 18.00 pm, with various activities for kids such as: arts and crafts and delicious food.
For additional information, visit Leiden.nl