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Things to do in
Leiden

Our most recommended things to do in Leiden

Leiden: Guided City Canal Cruise

1. Leiden: Guided City Canal Cruise

Explore Leiden from a different angle on a comfortable canal cruise. Learn about the city from your captain, see the Leiden City Hall from the water, and pass under many of Leiden's famous bridges. Board your cruise in the city center and begin your adventure through Leiden's 17 miles of canals. Cruise through the historic city center and pass the City Hall, the luscious Hortus Botanicus Garden, and the Museum De Lakenhal. As you explore the canals of Leiden, cruise under many of its 88 bridges. Sit back and enjoy the view while your captain tells you fascinating facts about Leiden and the sights you pass. If you wish to enjoy a drink or a snack as you cruise, you can purchase one at the departure point before boarding.

From Leiden City: Kaag Lakes Windmill Cruise

2. 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: Electric Boat Rental

3. Leiden: Electric Boat Rental

See the many canals of Leiden on board a private boat. Cruise to your own destinations, with no itinerary, and yourself as captain to direct the adventure. First, board the boat with your friends and family. Depart from the dock and begin your exploration of the 88 canals that encircle the city center. Then, dock at one of the many parks along the water, and discover why some call the city Singelpark. Hop back on board the boat and continue around the 28 kilometers of canals. Finally, you'll arrive back at the dock and climb back on dry land with a new appreciation of the city. Leave your cruise with a better understanding of the canals, your boating skills, and Leiden.

Leiden: Hortus Botanicus Entry Ticket

4. 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

5. 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!

Leiden Self Guided Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Game

6. Leiden Self Guided Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Game

The Sherlock Holmes City Game is a self-guided tour that gives you a fun and interactive way to walk around the city. All you need is a phone with an internet connection. As soon as you book the game, we will send you all the information you need via email. By moving around the city, you will unlock assignments. Here you will find characters who are willing to help. But the information comes at a price! Solve their puzzles, take on hilarious photo challenges, chase down culprits and play along to get closer to solving the murder of Balthasar. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: - Difficulty level: easy – also suitable for families with children - Duration: 2 hours - Tickets: You only need to buy 1 ticket per group (1-4 people) - Each group will play with 1 device. For groups of more than 4 people, you can buy 2 or more tickets. - To book this game you need to indicate a date/time, BUT you can start whenever you like. - *NOTE: this City Game uses the city as an interactive playing field but DOES NOT provide any information about the city! HOW TO PLAY: Book the City Game, check the email we send you with the instructions, download the Loquiz App, and begin your gaming experience! Explore the city at your own pace while playing the Sherlock Holmes City Game, a self-guided tour that offers a lot of freedom and flexibility. You can play when, where and with who you want. Whether you want to play alone for personal excitement or with a group of people this is the game for you! Playing with more groups will turn into a competitive experience, perfect as a teambuilding activity. This game is a fun activity you can do while visiting a city with your family and friends or as a couple. Our City Game offers the maximum independence, you can play pause & continue whenever you want!

Leiden: Museum of World Cultures | Tickets -25%

7. Leiden: Museum of World Cultures | Tickets -25%

Open your view of the world with a visit to Wereldmuseum Leiden – the National Museum of Ethnology – a museum about people located just 5 minutes from Leiden's central station. Housed in a historic building, the museum is home to large successful exhibitions, small surprising exhibitions for the enthusiast, innovative public programs, leading scientific research, and many international collaboration projects. After entering the museum, explore the exhibitions that take you from Bali to Guatemala, from Oceania to the Arctic, and from Mecca to Djenné. Come to see how, despite all our differences, we are all in one sense the same: human beings. Feel your sense of the world expand as each object in the collection tells a human story. Be touched by stories that embody universal human themes, such as celebration, mourning, decoration, prayer, love, and conflict.

The Hidden Stories of Leiden - Self-guided audio tour

8. The Hidden Stories of Leiden - Self-guided audio tour

This tour is all you need to discover Leiden! It takes you past hidden gems and famous landmarks, all while telling you the great stories of these places. Learn where Rembrandt went to school, why Leiden is the city of keys and many more facts, all told through immersive stories in both text and audio. This tour is created by Awesome Places, a content creator with over 400 thousand followers on different social platforms, and a local to the city of Leiden. This tour will take you through the most awesome places in Leiden. Now, get ready to embark on an amazing journey through the beautiful city of Leiden.

Leiden: Paddleboard Rental to Explore Leiden's Canals

9. Leiden: Paddleboard Rental to Explore Leiden's Canals

Enjoy Leiden in the most unique and sporty way in search of the most beautiful and nicest places. Do you have experience? Get on immediately and paddle past many sights in 2 hours. Is it the first time? Then you start with an instruction at the harbor office to quickly master the supping. After the instruction, your tour begins to the many beautiful places that the city has to offer. The city where Rembrandt was born with the Academy Building where he studied, the canals, city gates, bridges, windmills and the courtyards along the water.

"The Alchemist" Leiden : outdoor escape game

10. "The Alchemist" Leiden : outdoor escape game

We are in the year of grace 1555 and strange phenomena are taking place in the city. Josyne, a villager accused of witchcraft, is arrested before your eyes by the city guards. Investigate to determine the truth and identify the reasons for this accusation. Go and meet various witnesses and examine the clues discovered along your way. As an alchemist, will you be able to use your skills in this investigation, based on real facts, in time? Will you choose to defend Josyne, or will you choose to support the accusation of witchcraft? Find the clues that are hidden on the monuments around you. Explore the must-see places & discover some hidden gems. Unlock fun facts about the places you visit and play at your own rhythm: start and pause whenever you want.

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Frequently asked questions about Leiden

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What people are saying about Leiden

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 108 reviews

Had a very nice cruise with an excellent guide who had interesting things to say. My tip would be to equip the guide with a microphone/headset as it was more difficult to understand him at the front of the boat.

Very nice guide who, despite the rain and although the group was quite small, drove with us through the canals of Leiden with enthusiasm and commitment

We had a wonderful tour, a real experience, nice staff, everything was great

Amazing! Absolute best way to see the city and enjoy a nice day.

Very nice, clear directions, pleasant narration and nice route