This was probably my favorite Netherlands city that we visited this trip. Leiden is located in Zuid-Holland and was only about a 15 minute drive from our campground in Katwijk. Utrecht might be home of the largest university but Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. Two parts of the Old Rhine River run through Leiden and is intersected by other smaller canals.
Many of the buildings in the town center are still intact from the 17th century. I think this is why I loved the town so much. I loved looking at all the buildings (so different than German architecture) and we wandered down tiny, residential streets, peaking into the large, front windows. If you have ever visited the Netherlands, you might have noticed that they have huge windows and rarely any window coverings. I tried to search online why this was the case and a couple said it related back to Calvinism and being able to show that you have nothing to hide. Another person wrote that they just want to get some light into their homes, especially since it can be quite rainy and gray. Whatever the reason, it is quite fun to see furniture and decorating choices. I also noticed that almost every window ledge contains a pair of candlesticks and a plant!
Houseboats are also popular here. I actually found the sales listing for the white houseboat shown below. It is all yours for 269,000 Euros! Apparently most of the cost relates to where you are mooring your boat.
We climbed up to De Burcht, a citadel from the 11th century built up on an artificial hill. The city ended up growing around it and is now a park with views of the surrounding buildings.
The daily market in the town center was happening the morning we visited Leiden. We strolled through, looking at all the stalls.
I visited my favorite shop, Dille & Kamille and brought home a few things. Just last week they launched their German website, so now I can order things online!
The picture below is sort of funny. There is a windmill, the older buildings sitting along the water and then a modern building in the background. A taste of everything in one picture!
One last picture from this cute town!