Leiden has a compact and straightforward inner city and is easy to explore by yourself. A city walking tour allows visitors to immerse themselves into Leiden's story. The gables, streets, alleyways and almshouse courtyards; each tell their own story. There are a number of original walks for discovering the city.
There is also plenty to explore in the wider region - from lakes and polders to dunes, sandy beaches and old country houses.
When 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 Information Centre or ask for a guided tour through the city in a group or privately.
National Park Hollandse Duinen (‘Dutch Dunes’)
Between Hoek van Holland and the Langevelderslag in Noordwijk lies a brand-new national park in a centuries- old landscape. Recorded by Dutch master painters, loved for its water, space and light. A paradise for cyclists, walkers and nature lovers. National Park Hollandse Duinen comprises dunes, parks, estates such as Duivenvoorde, Voorlinden and Keukenhof, woods and bulb fields. Significant wildlife areas such as Meijendel, Berkheide, the Panbos, the Coepelduynen, boswachterij Noordwijk and De Blink are also part of this national park, situated right in our backyard.
- Follow the Singel canal and walk the circular Singelpark route, taking in many of the city's parks and historic sights along the way. The route is well signposted, but you can also find themed maps (nature or history and culture) on the Singelpark website and an illustrated map here (all in Dutch).
- Go on a voyage of discovery with the free Leiden Discoveries app. Many extraordinary and important discoveries have taken place in Leiden. Roam the city and discover the fascinating stories behind them on the spot. The only thing required is your smartphone!
- Did you know Leiden has over 120 wall poems? Choose a walking route and check them out at muurgedichten.nl/en
- Natuurmonumenten's website has many routes, as well as outdoor activity ideas for kids
- More walking tours in the region can be found at the Bikemap website, the Routeyou website, routiq.com and the AllTrails website.
- The Visit Leiden website has information in Dutch, which you can translate using Google Chrome. The VVV (Tourist Information) also sells map routes.