uit dagje leiden tips

Leiden

24 Hours in Leiden: Tips for a Day or Night Out

20 January 2024
Photo credit: © Leiden

One of the cities that surprised me the most during all my staycations in the Netherlands is perhaps Leiden. A city that, for me, immediately conjures up associations with students and student-like pubs and less as a destination for a weekend getaway. But let’s say that Leiden has grown up. And it’s really great! With its charming old town, the canals where you can also go boating, the narrow streets around the Pieterskerk, the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, and hotspots that seem to be popping up everywhere. Keep reading to discover our tips for 24 hours in Leiden!

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LEIDEN CITY GUIDE: ACCOMMODATION, FOOD & DRINK, AND FUN THINGS TO DO

CHARMING BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN LEIDEN

In Leiden, there are several charming boutique hotels, but a favourite is Hotel D’Oude Morsch. This hotel, with just eighteen rooms, is located in the historic Morspoort barracks, close to Leiden’s train station, boasting a cool and industrial design. Tip: They also offer bike rental, so when booking your room, consider reserving bikes to explore Leiden on two wheels!Park de Put 1, Leiden 

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© Hotel D’Oude Morsch

tips for 24 hours in Leiden

Cosy Restaurants and Hotspots in Leiden

Recently, I visited Leiden again, and this city has become incredibly charming and trendy. You’ll find several delightful spots for coffee or lunch along the canals. One of the trendiest hotspots at the moment is Aloha Leiden. It’s the right place for vegetarian street food. Another place not to miss (also vegetarian) is Lab071, open from 10 in the morning, perfect for brunch! Not new, but a renowned spot in town, is the always bustling Waag. Like Lot en de Walvis, it’s a cosy place for a drink after shopping! If you feel like having an extensive dinner in the evening, you’ll want to visit The Bishop or the brand-new Café Visscher, which has just recently opened.

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© Lab071

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shopping in Leiden

If you’re into vintage shopping, Leiden is the place to be. Particularly around the canals, you’ll find various shops with pre-loved clothing. One of those gems you’d want to know is Modejacht, where they offer a well-curated collection of vintage items. Another cool store is WOW. Here, you can shop guilt-free because everything sold here is sustainably made and beautiful. Another delightful shop in Leiden is Boutique van Gendt.

uit dagje leiden tips

© Modejacht

FUN THINGS TO DO IN LEIDEN

Leiden isn’t a very large city, which is precisely why it’s perfect for a day trip or even an overnight stay. Trust me, waking up there on a Sunday is delightful. Afterward, take a stroll through the Hortus Botanicus gardens or visit the Museum Volkenkunde, which regularly hosts exhibitions related to travel. If the weather is lovely, you can also take a boat tour through the canals! Renting a boat yourself is an option too. City games and outdoor escape games are incredibly popular with friend groups. In Leiden, you can try various ones, such as a City Escape Tour, Sherlock Holmes game, and The Alchemist.

Are you visiting Leiden with kids? My son loves Naturalis and the Egypt section of the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. Both are highly recommended for a day out with kids in Leiden! If you want to grab a bite or a drink after Naturalis, I also really like Brasserie Buitenhuis (a kind of beach club) just outside Leiden in Valkenburg aan de plas, especially with children.

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© Museum Volkenkunde

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