Leiden City Centre

Nice little boutiques hidden in the narrow backstreets

Leiden’s atmospheric setting has many unique shops, which makes it an excellent city for a shopping trip. Of course, you’ll find nearly all the national chain stores here, but it’s those individual, ‘special’ shops tucked away in the small streets and alleys of the historic city centre that make shopping such fun. And, of course, the good service, friendly staff and attention to quality.

You can look, choose and buy at any of the charming antique shops, well-stocked bookstores, stylish clothes shops, boutiques delicatessens, gift shops and galleries.


In the heart of Leiden’s city centre you will find over a kilometre of shopping pleasure. The Haarlemmerstraat is Leiden’s main shopping street, and a must for everyone who likes shopping. Besides the nationwide chain stores, there is also a wide variety of individual, specialist shops in this popular shopping street.


Running straight through the city centre you will find the Breestraat. This street used to be called the ‘Breede Straete’ and since the beginning of the 20th century the long and elegant ‘Broad Street’ has been a prestige shopping area. You will find a wide variety of shops here, but it is particularly known for its bookstores. The Breestraat is also popularly known as the book boulevard of South Holland.


This historic district lies between the Breestraat to the north and the Rapenburg to the south, and centres around the Pieterskerk. It’s the perfect area for a relaxing stroll through the charming alleys, taking in the courtyards of the authentic Leiden almshouses. You’ll find all those special shops here that are unique to Leiden. With its historic setting and its distinctive shops, a visit to the Pieterskwartier is an absolute must for every visitor to the centre of Leiden.


Originally an old embankment along the Nieuwe Rijn, Hogewoerd has been a lively shopping street for over a century. This typical Leiden neighbourhood lies just outside the centre; you can find many specialty stores in this friendly, bustling area.

Shopping area the Catharinasteeg in Leiden

From september 2017 there's a news shopping area available for visits. Several buildings have been renovated. The new Catharinasteeg and the Catharibabridge now connect the Aalmarkt and the Breestraat, to create a new shopping experience in the city centre.  

Photo: The Catharina area in Leiden

Opening hours

Some shops are closed on Mondays and Sundays, or are open only in the afternoons of these days. On other days shops are usually open from 9am/9.30am until 5.30/6pm. Thursday evening or Friday evening is late opening, and most (if not all) shops are open until 9pm.

Most shops open on one or on all Sundays of the month.

Opening hours of most shops can be found here. 


A visit to the Leiden market is a real 'must-do'! Vegetables, fish, fruit, flowers, clothing and delicatessen from across the globe. The market gives Leiden an extra dimension as a shopping city. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the quays of Botermarkt, Vismarkt, Aalmarkt and New Rhine offer an extensive produce market.

  • Saturdays: City Centre This market has some thirty fruit and vegetable stalls. Also the fresh fish stalls make this market worth a visit. The market is held from 08.00 - 17.00 hours.
  • Wednesdays: City Centre In addition to the regular produce market, Aalmarkt also offers a
  •  'farmer's market' with various eco products. The market times are from 08.00 - 17.00 hours.

For an extensive description of each shopping area, please visit the Leiden website



The area around the shopping centre is also where you will find historic Katwijk, with its winding streets and fishermen’s cottages. In the shopping area, there are lots of opportunities to take a break from shopping, for a bite to eat or something to drink. And the promenade? It is never more than a five-minute walk away. Check out the local shopkeepers’ association website Winkelhart Zeezijde for more information.

Other shopping centres in Katwijk: 
- shopping centre Hoornespassage in Katwijk (indoor shopping mall with free parking!)
- shopping centre de Hoftuin in Rijnsburg 

Weekly markets 

The Katwijk weekly market takes place every Friday between 11:00 and 17:00 at Marktplein (Piet Heinlaan, next to swimming pool Aquamar). Rijnsburg has its own weekly market, on Tuesdays from 13:00 to 17:00, at shopping centre de Hoftuin. 

Tourist market 

In the summer months of July and August, every Tuesday, the shopping heart of Katwijk aan Zee is taken over by the Tourist Market. This market is not just about shopping and strolling past more than one hundred and thirty stalls selling sunglasses, clothes, food, leather goods, hobby and gift items. There are musical performances and demonstrations of old crafts, there is a focus on traditional dress and fishing, and there is always a special activity for children. Every week, there is a different theme and the fun continues until late; the Tourist Market is held from 13:00 to 21:00.

Find this, and more information on the Katwijk touristcentre website