Discover Leiden


Leiden is a city with a rich cultural heritage. World famous Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born here and attended the Latin school. Others greats like Lucas van Leyden, Jan van Goyen, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou and Frans van Mieris also worked in Leiden. 

Everything that characterise Leiden’s Golden Age heritage survives to this day: the picturesque historic city centre still holds its landmarks from that time in the form of beautiful city mensions by age old canals. The Hooglandse Kerk and Pieterskerk were built even before that time and surrounded by narrow medieval streets, hidden countyards and gables portraying the occupations of the original inhabitants. Here is where you will find many shops, galleries, antiques and book stores, fashion boutiques, restaurants and cafes. From higher up, De burcht provides a spectacular view over the old town. 

Leiden’s motto, City of Discoveries, does not just relate to the architecture. Leiden is the nation’s third museum city and boasts four national museums offering extraordinary collections that reflect many of those discoveries. But there is also the historic city windmill, the residence of the Pilgrim Fathers, iconic paintings and the textile industry that are featured. CORPUS offers a journey through the inner workings of the human body that is unique in the world. 

Culture is always a welcome addition to congresses and events. Many of Leiden’s monuments and museums are great congress venues in their own right, as well as being very suitable for social programmes. The city is also a fine place for guided tours on foot or by boat.

Leiden, knowledge centre with international allure
With its university and Bio Science Park, Leiden is among the most prominent scientific knowledge centres in Europe. The University holds a global top ranking in law and languages, as well as in a broad range of medical, archaelogical and physics research, appearing in the top 80 best universities of four internationally leading rankings. From the day its university was founded in 1575 right up to today, Leiden has been in the vanguard of fundamental and applied science worldwide.

Leiden University

Over its almost 450 year history, Leiden University has been produced many scientific breakthroughs. In the 17th century, Slyvius and Boerhaave introduced patient-oriented medical training and research, giving Leiden great international notoriety in the field. Around the turn of the 20th century, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity while Willem Einthoven developed the electrocardiograph. Albert Einstein was a visiting professor at Leiden University, where he collaborated with Lorentz and De Sitter.

Leiden, City of Discoveries, boasts 16 Nobel Prize laureates and the groundbreaking work continues today. Out of a total of 66, Leiden has earned 19 Spinoza Prizes, the pinnacle of Dutch academic awards, in the fields of medicine, natural science, archaeology, social and behavioural sciences as well as language research.

350 years of Rembrandt and the Golden Age

Rembrandt van Rijn is one of Holland’s most beloved artists, a prolific and innovative master painter, printmaker and draughtsman. Generally considered as one of the world’s great artists, Rembrandt was working at a time of significant wealth and wisdom in the 17th century, an era known as the Dutch Golden Age. In 2019, it will be 350 years since he died and his life and heritage will be celebrated with exhibitions throughout Holland, from Middelburg to Leeuwarden.

Leiden: The eccentric city that’s worth leaving Amsterdam for one of the Netherlands’ hidden gems is only a short hop from the capital