Three-Day Itinerary to Live like a Local in Leiden, Netherlands
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Leiden is a beautiful city that is easily reachable by train from Amsterdam. Many people actually prefer it because it is very genuine and features way less tourists. This is also the town of windmills, canal houses and of course, tulips. Surrounding Leiden is a large park called Singel Park that is easy to follow and perfect for a day out with your dog.
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Where to stay
Part of a three-hotel complex near Leiden Centraal, with smart and simple rooms and a hearty breakfast.
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Day 1: Singel Park
Surrounding Leiden is a single park called Singel Park – think of it like the Highline in New York City. It wraps around the entire city center and takes you through beautifully designed greenspaces with monuments and art installations. It takes around four hours to complete so I definitely recommend making a day out of it.
Along the walk there are many great places to eat including Tabu, a Latin American restaurant with spicy dishes, Leidsch Beleg, a sandwich shop, Pipa Streetfood Bar, a dive bar and supper club and Vlot, a river cafe with stunning views. All are dog friendly with outdoor seating. Another great option is setting up a picnic somewhere in the park.
Day 2: Leiden
Leiden has a lot of picturesque canals and you will want to see them all. Spend the day on a boat organized by Brasserie de Poort. They have drinks and meals served on their boats for the ultimate experience. These are also great for events and celebrations with a large or small group. Like a field trip birthday party!
Leiden is also a very popular city for students with a lot of great pubs and restaurants with very open atmospheres. With so many options all walking distance from each other, a pub crawl is definitely a great way to see the nightlife. Some popular pubs for students include:
Einstein: A Parisian-style sidewalk cafe.
Cafe De Uyl Van Hoogland: A picturesque bar next to Hooglandse Kerk church.
The Duke of Oz: A lively sports bar.
WAAG: Perfect for dinner and drinks in the historical center.
Day 3: Keukenhof
Just a 20-minute drive (or one hour by public transport) from the center town is a very famous garden, which also happens to be the largest flower garden in the world. Keukenhof is a must see for anyone visiting the Netherlands as it is located in the middle of Tulip country. This garden park makes you feel like you were just transported to a movie. Here you can learn about the history of tulips while admiring every variation created. Besides tulips they have a great array of flora from all over the world and it is presented in a truly magical way. Dogs are allowed but it is very important that they are well behaved, stay on a leash and that you clean up after them. Also keep them on the trail as gardeners work really hard to preserve this garden.
A note from Gloria
Do not pick any flowers when visiting and bring water along with you.
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