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Tourist attractions Leiden

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  • 1 Museum Volkenkunde Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    Steenstraat 1

    This museum, renowned for its rich collections dedicated to non-Western civilisations, displays items from many sources: Africa, the Arctic, Indonesia, Chin, Japan, Korea, the Americas, Asia and Oceania. It hosts exhibitions and its surrounding garde..

  • 2 Naturalis Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Darwinweg 2

    Seven permanent exhibitions illustrate in a lively and interactive way the richness and complexity of nature: the Prehistoric Parade, the Theatre of Nature, the Earth and Life exhibitions, the Ecosystems room, the Visions exhibition on Nature and the..

  • 3 Museum De Lakenhal Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Oude Singel 28-32

    In the old cloth market hall, this museum of decorative arts (furniture, silverwork, enamels, glass, gold and silversmith's work, pottery tiles) also has an attractive painting section. The entire history of Leiden revisited: the textile industry, th..

  • 4 Rijksmuseum van Oudheden Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Rapenburg 28

    As well as a particularly interesting Egyptology section, this museum has collections of antiquities (Near-East, Greece and Rome) as well as an archaeology section dedicated to the Netherlands. You can see the Temple of Isis of Taffeh from the August..

  • 5 Rijksmuseum voor de Geschiedenis der Natuurwetensc Interesting

    Museums and art

    Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10

    This museum is in the old Caecilia hospital, where the renowned professeur H. Boerhaave taught medicine. Forceps, microscopic slides, massage instruments, electrostatic machines, astronomical, surgical and microscope instruments give an insight into ..

  • 6 Rapenburg Interesting

    Nature and gardens


    Rapenburg is the prettiest canal in Leiden, crossed by three arched bridges and flanked by trees and, on the west side, by attractive houses. Worthy of note are nos 19, 21, 25, 29, 31, 61 and 65.

  • 7 Museum Boerhaave Interesting

    Museums and art

    Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10

    This bears the name of the famous Doctor Boerhaave and has scientific instruments and documents concerning the development of science and medicine, particularly from the 17C onwards.

  • 8 Molen De Valk

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    2e Binnenvestgracht 1

    This rampart mill (1743) is the last one in Leiden. It was saddled with the name of a bird (valk: falcon) and it has seven storeys of which the first ones are used as living quarters. Ten successive generations of millers lived here up until 1964. No..

  • 9 View

    Nature and gardens

    From the south of the Turfmarkt, there is a pretty view over the basin and the mill. Beyond, from the Prinsessekade, there is an old restored warehouse looking over the Galgewater basin.

  • 10 Universiteit

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The seat of the university was set up in the chapel of a former convent in the 16C. It has preserved some of the old rooms and especially, on the first floor, a "sweating" room: the students went there to take their exams.

  • 11 Hortus Botanicus

    Nature and gardens

    Rapenburg 73

    It was in this pretty botanical garden, founded by the university in 1587, that Clusius grew the first Dutch tulips. The garden is adorned with flowers, rare plants (giant Victoria amazonica waterlily) and large trees. In spring and summer, the garde..

  • 12 Gravensteen

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    This former prison is a law school today. The building has an attractive classical façade on the church side.

  • 13 Pieterskerk

    Religious buildings

    The church of St Peter is a vast and heavy Gothic church with five naves. Its construction began at the end of the 14C. It contains commemoration stones of the painter Jan Steen and of Professor Boerhaave, as well as of the Pastor of the Puritans, Jo..

  • 14 Jean Pesijnshofje

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Built in 1683 on the site of John Robinson's house (Pastor of the Puritans), with a plaque in his memory, this hospice was intended for the members of the Walloon church. It took the name of its founder, Jean Pesijn, a French Merchan who was a Huguen..

  • 15 Breestraat

    Architecture, castles and historic districts


    This very lively street is the main business street in town. You can see the lue stone where executions used to take places.

  • 16 Stadhuis

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Built around 1600 and destroyed by fire in 1929, the town hall was rebuilt in the original style. It has a flight of steps in front and is topped with a much decorated gable and a belltower.

  • 17 Burcht

    Architecture, castles and historic districts


    At the start of Nieuwstraat, you will see the 17C entrance doorway of the Burcht topped by a lion proffering the coat of arms of the town (two keys). Located at the confluence of the old and the new Rhine, it was formerly a fortress built on an artif..

  • 18 Hooglandse Kerkgracht

    Nature and gardens

    Near to this filled-in canal is the former orphanage (Weeshuis), its doorway topped by a bas-relief depicting some orphans.

  • 19 Loridanshofje

    Religious buildings

    Oude Varkenmarkt 1

    The courtyard of this 1655 hospice is sober. Notice the round chimney. Not far from there, the Doelenpoort is a 1645 doorway crowned by the equestrian statue of St George, the patron saint of the old shooting society or "doelen".

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