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Things to do in

Leiden

Our most recommended things to do in Leiden

From Leiden City: Kaag Lakes Windmill Cruise

1. From Leiden City: Kaag Lakes Windmill Cruise

Embark on a scenic boat cruise on the Kaag Lakes from Leiden and discover the beautiful landscape, known for its shallow lakes, islands, polders, and many windmills. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the views and get to know the Green Heart of Holland.  Sail from the historical city of 'Leiden' for a beautiful cruise through the Green Heart, characterized by shallow lakes and islands. The islands are polders and are still being drained by 18 restored polder mills in operation. Most of these mills can be seen during the cruise. This is Holland in its entirety: polders, cows, windmills, lakes, beautiful views and beautiful Dutch villages. The different areas within the Green Heart of Holland have their own character and appearance.  The captain informs you about all the sights during the trip and in good weather you can of course also enjoy the deck where you have a wide view of the surroundings. Drinks, snacks, and simple lunch items are available to purchase. 

Leiden: Hortus Botanicus Entry Ticket

2. Leiden: Hortus Botanicus Entry Ticket

Discover the unique plant collections of the Hortus Botanicus Leiden in an hour and a half with this admission ticket. Enjoy flowering bulbs in the spring or take a relaxing walk under the colorful ancient monumental trees in the autumn, the garden is worth visiting during any season. After exchanging your ticket at the Hortus Botanicus front gate, begin your adventure through the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands at your own pace. Witness the historical garden founded in 1590 where the first tulips in Europe were grown. Walk through the Front Garden and admire the recently built glasshouse, the Clusius Garden, and the Japanese Garden where the historical exchange of plants between Japan and the Netherlands can be admired. Imagine yourself in the jungles of Southeast Asia while being surrounded by the collection of tropical orchids and more. Unwind in the gardens and have a relaxed walk under the monumental trees. See a collection of carnivorous plants, rare tropical orchids, and seasonal favorites such as the Jadevine (flowering in March-April), the Victoria amazonica (flowering June-September), and the Chinese Lotus (flowering in July). Be in awe of a collection of almost thirty trees, some of which are over a century old and be sure to visit the souvenir shop and Grand Café before your experience is over.

Leiden: Escape Tour - Self Guided Citygame

3. Leiden: Escape Tour - Self Guided Citygame

Marie Swanenburg, also known as Good Mie, is a poisoner and serial killer who was caught one evening in 1883. She intended to serve her cousin and son-in-law a poisonous substance, only this went wrong. As a result, she had to leave her beloved Leiden as soon as possible. Will you help her to find the secret exit? Choose your starting time with your teammates, beginning at anytime day or night. Make your way across the city, checking off tasks to find all the clues you need to reach the secret passage. As you search for clues, marvel at the beautiful sights of the town. Walk past the Pieterskerk, wander through the lovely streets and keep an eye out for the many historic buildings in the city center. Work quickly, and you and your team could set the record for the fastest tour. Good luck!

Kagerplassen: Spring Cruise & Keukenhof Gardens Entry Ticket

4. Kagerplassen: Spring Cruise & Keukenhof Gardens Entry Ticket

Combine a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens with a beautiful spring cruise lasting approximately 1.5 hours on one of the great ships of Rederij van Huls. Journey along the beautiful 'Kagerplassen', also known as the 'Amsterdam Lakes' During the cruise, you can enjoy the beautiful views, historic windmills, and typical Dutch villages in the famous bulb region. The boat is covered and offers an open deck as well, providing great photo opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera. After the cruise, go to the Keukenhof Gardens which are located only 10 minutes by car, transfer is not provided, from the cruise departing point. With the Keukenhof ticket, you will have direct access to the gardens where you'll see plenty of blooming tulips.

Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Electric Dune & Beach Audio Tour

5. Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Electric Dune & Beach Audio Tour

Enjoy a leisurely journey across the coastal region of South-Holland in an electric, 2-person Renault Twizy with GPS navigation. The unique open and contemporary design of electric car will give you a sense of freedom on the open road. You feel, smell and experience where you drive. Ride through nature, sand dunes, and picturesque coastal villages at your own pace. As you explore the area, an onboard audio guide shares additional information and facts about the area. Park the Twizy to see the beach and sea up close for some excellent photo opportunites.

Leiden 2-Hour Walking Tour

6. Leiden 2-Hour Walking Tour

Your morning or afternoon in Leiden will start at your hotel or if you travel to Leiden from elsewhere at the train station. Set off at a relaxing pace to make sure you really get to see, feel and learn all about this town. The most important sights that your private guide will show are the oldest university of the Netherlands, where King William Alexander graduated just like most other members of the royal family. Have your camera ready to take a picture of the 900 year old Saint Peter Church. Find out where Rembrandt was born and where he first started to paint. Admire the 16th century built town hall of Leiden. Discover the wall poems spread throughout the city. These poems are written in many different original languages and can be discovered anywhere. After a great walk through the city of Leiden with your private guide, sit back and relax aboard the boat for a canal cruise of Leiden. Sailing through Leiden in an hour-long boat trip, you experience the very rich culture of the city: many monuments, museums and almshouses are situated on the water. You will also sail past the Botanical gardens, birthplace to the Dutch Tulip. In the wintertime the canal cruise is replaced with a visit to the Museum Lakenhal, the most important art museum in town.

Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Tulip Fields GPS Audio Tour

7. Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Tulip Fields GPS Audio Tour

Experience the enchanting and iconic tulip fields at their purest. You will enjoy a drive-it-yourself trip through the famous flower bulb region, taking in the colors and smells, and stopping as often as you want for a selfie among the tulip and flower fields. You will drive in a tough open-cab Twizy over a 20-kilometer rout among the colorful tulip and flower fields. The road will lead you through the the famous flower bulb region and through to an authentic flower bulb nursery. Throughout your tour, your audio guide will inform you of all the ins and outs of the area, whilst also sharing with you some cool tulip facts. You will cruise down country roads through the flowering tulips and park your Twizy beside the road to admire the sea of flowers up close. Driving a Renault Twizy is super easy and fun, and on the road you will be sure to attract a lot of attention.

Amsterdam: De Tulperij Flowers and Leiden Trip with Cruise

8. Amsterdam: De Tulperij Flowers and Leiden Trip with Cruise

From August till October, the beautiful dahlia flourish the Dutch gardens. Hop on our bus to the Flower region and meet Daan and Anja, the owners of the flower farm De Tulperij. Their Dahlia show garden has more than 600 species of Dahlias. Daan will guide you through the farm, tell you all the secrets about planting bulbs, will show the beautiful Dahlia garden with thousands and thousands of beautiful flowers. You can walk through the fields, make great selfies and even pick your own bunch of Dahlias . Or just enjoy the view while having some home made apple pie, made by Anja. Your visit to De Tulperij will be one to keep in your memory forever. We’ll stay 1.5 hour at the Dahlia farm. After that we’ll bring you to Leiden. A beautiful city from where your boat cruise will sail through the typical Dutch landscape, 5 meters below sea level, cows, fields and working windmills. Program (Subject to change): 09.00 am: Departure from Amsterdam City Center 09.45 am: Welcome at the Flower Farm De Tulperij by Daan, the owner of the company 10.00 am: Behind the scenes tour 11.00 am: Discover the Dahlia fields by your own 11.45 am: Departure to Leiden 13.30 pm: Start Windmill Cruise from Leiden to Warmond 14.45 pm: Departure from the boat 15.30 pm: Back in Amsterdam

Leiden: City Center Private Guided Walking Tour

9. Leiden: City Center Private Guided Walking Tour

The authentic city of Leiden is conveniently reached by train yet so many travellers overlook this gem of a city. Even though the city is significantly smaller than other cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with its world class museums, canals, windmills and historical architecture, Leiden doesn’t fall short to any and is waiting for you to be discovered. Meet your guide right outside the station and set off on an off-the-beaten path tour. Discover ‘secret’ courtyards, pass through small alleyways and be amazed by the elegant architecture that reminds us of the past. Leiden's university is the oldest in the Netherlands and according to many it is the most prestigious university as well. History buffs can indulge themselves as there is so much interesting history. Visit the area around Pieterskerk where the Pilgrim Fathers lived who left the city to settle in a land now called the United States. And since Leiden is Rembrandt’s birthplace, a stop at the Young Rembrandt Studio is not to be missed! Leiden is like an open-air museum; there’s just so much to experience. This elegant city is incredibly photogenic.

Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Summer Flower GPS Audio Tour

10. Lisse: Drive-it-Yourself Summer Flower GPS Audio Tour

Experience the pure and enchanting dune and summer flower show gardens. You will be free to cruise at your own pace through the famous bulb region, with a drive-it-yourself Summer Flower tour. You can sit back and relax in an electric 2-seater Renault Twizy, which includes gps navigation and an audio guide to best allow you to explore one of the most beautiful and colorful areas of the Netherlands. While enjoying the eye-catching colors and pleasant scents, you can park the Twizy at the indicated stops to admire the charming summer flowers up close. This 3-hour trip is more or less 35 kilometers long and takes you through the famous Bulb Region with stops at one of the biggest summer flower and dahlia show gardens of Europe and the summer flower and dahlia show garden of Castle Keukenhof. This tour will also show you the amazing dune area. The GPS navigation with a fixed route ensures you won't miss out on any hotspots, and will guarantee that you come across all of the famous and hidden beauties of this region in South-Holland. The audio guide provides you with all ins and outs about the sights, as well as amusing fun facts. Driving the Renault Twizy will be stress-free and great fun, with guaranteed attention to detail along the way. It iss a quiet and 100% electric vehicle, which makes your tour surprisingly, environmentally friendly too.

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What people are saying about Leiden

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 69 reviews

Really enjoyed this canal cruise around Leiden. We were stating in Sloterdijk so it was only a train journey away. The transport system is fantastic and very well priced. Leiden is a lovely quiet place compared to the busy hustle and bustle of amsterdam. The boat was extremely comfortable with snacks and drinks on board. The tour itself was very picturesque with lots to see eg windmills, boats, holiday homes and lots of people having a great time on the water eg water sking, tubing and swimming. It was such a hot day I would have loved a dip in the water myself. Really great value for money as the trip was 2 hours long.

Great value for money. Two hours and many beautiful typical Dutch sights on the way: windmills, lakes, boathouses, etc. The personnel was also lovely and they serve some refreshments on board too which is great. Finally, the ship was clean and roomy, which I appreciated a lot.

It was a lovely cruise. The only negative was I told the host I would not be going to Keukenhoff Gardens after the cruise and he snatched the ticket away from me before I could say anything. The next day I had some time to go, but no ticket even though I had paid for one.

Attached to the University, it has been collecting samples of vegetation from every place in the world for hundreds of years. Well maintained gardens and hot houses, available for local public to find relaxation and sunshine.. I will go there every time I visit Leiden.

A different experience than when you typically look at old ruins etc.