Daytrips and holidays in the Netherlands

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Welcome to the city pages of Leiden

City walk Leiden

Begin at the nice terrace of the Schaapsbel for coffee and cake. You pass Hotel Rembrandt. The corn mill “De Valk” is now a museum about Dutch windmills. Walk past the Lakenhal where woollen materials were inspected and traded. On the Oude Vest is the Leidse Schouwburg theatre from 1705. Continue to the Marekerk from 1649, the first Protestant church. Stop at BetterBagels for a home-made NY-style bagel. Further on is the Hartebrugkerk, the first Catholic church to be built since the Reformation. Turn right into a little lane heading towards the water. Enjoy fun shopping in the Pieterskwartier. On the right is the town hall. The old one burnt down in 1929 and the new one was built behind the old facade (facing onto Breestraat). Via the Hoogstraat, you arrive at the “Burcht” and walk towards the Gothic Hooglandse Church. Enjoy the lovely view from the artificial hill. Continue until you see the Lodewijks church on your right, a former guest house and Serge Hall. After the Gunpowder disaster in 1807, which destroyed a huge part of the city, the building was converted into a Catholic church with the intervention of King Lodewijk Napoleon. Walk through the Van der Werfpark and cross the bridge to Lila, a toy shop with everything from baby rattles to replicas. Here is the counterpart of the Hooglandse church - the 12th century Pieters church, originally a count’s chapel. The Counts of Holland also built the Gravensteen, later the city prison. Across the water is the Academy building, once a monastery chapel. Behind it is the Hortus Botanicus, one of Europe’s oldest gardens, built for botanical and medical studies. Continue to Bibliotheca Thysiana, with the 17th century book collection of jurist Joannes Thysius and built with money from his estate. Stop at Fandango 28a for all you can eat tapas and choose from 59 cocktails. Walk along the Galgewater to the Blauwpoortsbrug. The De Put corn mill is a 20th century replica of a mill which once stood on this spot. Further on are the remains of one of the two city gates, the Morspoort. Enjoy typical soul food on the lovely terrace at De La Soul. You then arrive at the Beestenmarkt, the end of the walk, where we recommend the following: homemade ice cream at Soetenzo, an hour boat cruise through Leiden with Rederij Rembrandt.