I am a travel enthusiast! I love to travel to learn about different cultures, histories, and beliefs. I believe that traveling is imperative to global peace, for without traveling one is subject to a myopic life. Traveling introduces you to places you would have otherwise never seen, cultures you would have never come to understand, and people you would have never met. Through this, perspective can change and travelers develop a deeper understanding of the world. When we as people come to understand each other, humanity succeeds. Whoever you are and wherever you live, get out and travel!
24 years old
Things to do in Leiden
While traveling throughout The Netherlands, Leiden is a must see city. It is situated perfectly in between Amsterdam and The Hague, making it easily accessible from either city. Leiden is a charming city full of character and history that overtakes your senses and makes you wonder if you have been transported back into the 1700s. It’s numerous streets, alleyways, and canal bridges make it easy to aimlessly wander the city. It has been home to Leiden University since 1575, making it a lively international city bustling with students. It is a prominent scientific city in Europe, and it has been nicknamed “The City of Discovery” due to the amount of significant discoveries made there. It is also a city rich in art culture as the famous artist Rembrandt was born, raised, and taught in Leiden.
Place of interest in Leiden
Leiden is not a city short of museums. There is a museum for everyone in this city, whether you are interested in science, art, or even plants! Leiden’s most prominent museum is Museum De Lakenhal, which is home to works by Rembrandt. It has been closed since 2016 due to major renovations but is reopening this year in 2019, so check online to make sure it has officially reopened before you go! Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is a top museum in Leiden, which houses the Rijksmuseum’s collection of Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian artifacts. It is home to the reconstructed Temple of Taffeh, mummy cases and ancient Near East treasures. Definitely a fascinating museum to check out! Leiden is also home to the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. It is said that Leiden is where some of the first Pilgrims who traveled to Massachusetts and New Amsterdam (New York) came from. The museum building is a restored one-room house that was occupied by the soon-to-be Pilgrims around 1610. This museum is an interesting cross section of Dutch and American history. Another top choice museum in Leiden is Museum Volkenkunde. This museum is home to more than 300,000 artifacts from across the globe with galleries dedicated to almost every world part: Africa, Asia, Central, South, and North America, the Arctic, and Oceania. It also holds impressive temporary exhibitions. Leiden is home to another Rijksmuseum called Rijksmusem Boerhaave, which is a science and medicine museum. It shows major scientific discoveries from the Netherlands and has a hands-on interaction exhibit. The museum I am most interested in is Hortus Botanicus Leiden. This is one of Europe’s oldest botanical gardens, founded by the University of Leiden in 1590. Most of its collection has come from Southeast and East Asia, making it a great place for research, education, and public enjoyment. This is a great place to relax in the beauty and tranquility of nature after walking through the city all day!
There are two main churches in Leiden, Hooglandse Kerk and Pieterskerk. Hooglandse Kerk was declared sacred in 1366 as the collegiate church of St Pancras. It is built on the Hoge Land, or High Land, of Leiden and was not completed until 1842. It has an enormous vaulted ceiling and its transept is 65 meters long. If you would like to attend a service there, they are held every Sunday at 10am and 11:45 am. The second church is Pieterskerk, noticeable by its large steeple. It was built in 1121 and has been under constant construction ever since! A notable fact about this church is that Rembrandt attended Latin School at this precinct from 1616-1620.
Culture and History of Leiden
3 Oktober: If you happen to be in or near Leiden on October 3rd it is your lucky day! Every year since 1886, an annual festival has been held in Leiden to celebrate the end of the siege of the Eighty Year’s War. Carnival rides, games, food vendors- anything and everything you would find at a typical carnival- lines the streets of Leiden. The main day of the festival takes place on October 3rd but also runs the day before and / or after. Be sure to ride the Ferris Wheel to get a beautiful panoramic view of the city and the vast flatness of the Netherlands.
Tours in Leiden
If you are someone who enjoys learning about a place through an expert, tours throughout Leiden might be something for you! There are some great private and non-private tours in Leiden. Here are links you can follow if you are interested in a tour: Leiden Ancient and Medieval History: Private Tour with Art Historian. This is a three-hour private tour led by an art historian where you will visit places of significant historical value in Leiden. If you are in the Netherlands during tulip season, the Keukenhof and Flowerfields & 100 Highlights Canal Cruise is a must do! Do not miss the unique beauty of the massive Dutch tulip fields in full bloom. If you are looking for a general tour of Leiden, the Leiden Private Tour and Canal Cruise is perfect for you! It is a private guided walking tour of Leiden complete with a canal cruise. If your hotel is in central Leiden, the guide will even pick you up from your hotel to begin the tour.
Interesting Facts about Leiden
If you are looking to continue on your European adventure from Leiden, FlixBus offers many routes to various countries and cities all throughout Europe. For example, you can travel to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Luzern, Vienna, Luxembourg, Milan, and Paris on Flixbus from Leiden, just to name a few! Check out FlixBus’ routes to see all of the other cities you can reach on FlixBus from Leiden!
Due to the small size of the Netherlands you can pretty much get anywhere in the country in less than three hours. Pay a visit to the Netherlands’ fourth largest city Utrecht.Utrecht’s tiny streets and weaving canals made me feel like I was wandering through Venice. It is a quaint and charming town full of that Dutch character that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else. You can get to Utrecht from Leiden in less than an hour. Other notable cities that I highly recommend visiting are The Hague, Haarlem, and Delft. You can get to all of these cities in less than 20 minutes. If you are in the Netherlands, definitely take advantage of its tiny size and visit as many of its unique and gorgeous cities as possible!