Leiden city life
Although not a busy town, Leiden has a vibrant and interesting urban culture and you will simply enjoy exploring this city in your spare time. Leiden has the second biggest city centre in The Netherlands after Amsterdam and several nice places you can visit or simply relax.
The main attractions in Leiden are:
- The Hooglandse Kerk (The Church of St. Pancras)
- The town hall (Stadhuis)
- Molen de Valk Museum (a former corn-grinding windmill)
- The Leiden American Pilgrim Museum
- Old Observatory Leiden – the oldest university observatory in the world
- Naturalis – one of the largest natural history museums in the world
If you simply want to relax and admire nature, check the Botanical garden or the Van der Werff Park. Shopping fans will enjoy the Haarlemmerstraat street and the city also has a lively café and nightlife, so you can choose from countless bars and pubs.
Leiden hosts several festivals and events; among the most popular ones are: 3 Oktober, the Leiden International Film Festival, Werfpop – a small scale music festival with performances from various music genres. Since Leiden is very close to the beach, you can visit seaside villages, like Katwijk aan Zee and Noordwijk aan Zee, which are only 20 minutes away by car.
You are also close to other major cities from The Netherlands, like Amsterdam and Den Haag (The Hague); you can get to these cities in less than thirty minutes by train or by car.
International atmosphere in Leiden
Universities are not the only places covering a multicultural environment. Leiden is home to several minorities, like: Turks, Moroccans, Chinese, Indians, Germans, Belgians, British and more.
Many international business people are interested in this area, particularly foreign investors from China, Germany that have set up a business here; several multinationals opened a branch here, especially those involved in the energy and pharmaceutical industry.
In Leiden, you will experience cool winters and warm summers. The winter season typically lasts from December to February, with temperatures dropping to an average of 6°C (43 °F) during the day. The regular low temperature drops to -2°C (28 °F) in January, the coldest month. During the cold season you will also get only two hours of sunshine per day. The average temperatures in the summer range around 21°C (70 °F).