Gisteren, tijdens het Welcome! Festival in de Meelfabriek in Leiden, verzamelde ik met bezoekers de leukste plekjes uit de stad. Hierbij de resultaten (in English).

Welcome Festival Leiden Irene Cecile results 1
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

For six months Irene Cécile drew a small part every day, and then there it was: a large hand drawn map of Leiden. Every house, every tree.
However, a city is much more than just museums, buildings and squares. Therefore I asked you to help me collect the finest spots in the city. The cool facts, dear memories or local secrets you would like to show to dear friends from other places

The most striking results, some quotes and other nice tips to get the most out of your time in Leiden:

  • You liked buying antique and second hand items! Great places to shop them are Het Warenhuis (Willem Barentszstraat 12), and the kringloopwinkel at the Volmolengracht. Antique can be found in Anterieur (Nieuwstraat 23; “better than any museum!”) and Bert’s tiny antique shop (on the Rapenburg, next to childrensbookstore Silvester). Bert has “the best treasures, especially fancy glasses!”
  • The best views on the city are from the gate of the Burcht and on top of the V&D-tarrace, where “you’ll get amazing views of Leiden”.
  • If you have kids, the Speeltuin Ons Eiland (Kortenaerstraat 61) is a “great place to go: a great playground hidden between the houses”.
  • A lot of walking and strolling tips were mentioned:
    • The Herengracht is “one of the most beautiful canals”
    • Just walking along the quiet canal (Oude Vest)
    • The Pieterskerkhof was mentioned twice for its special atmosphere: it “looks like Harry Potter Diagon Alley”, someone said. And: “small hidden huisjes” J
    • And quite near to the Pieterskerkhof, there is a secret garden that was mentioned several times as well: just behind Rapenburg 70 (only open during office hours).
  • We have some special trees in Leiden that you mentioned:
    • At least three people mentioned the “most beautiful”, “mystic” and “amazing ancient” tree in the cemetry Groenesteeg.
    • And have you seen the trees at het Gerecht? “Gorgeous row of trees with square branches”
    • Be sure to go to the Bloemlustplein: there are a lot of Hazelnut-trees, full of delicious hazelnuts!
    • Next to Leiden Centraal: the Singelpark plant-nursery: plants provided by the people for the park-to-be.
  • “A lot of parrots” in het Plantsoen (close to the Lammenschansweg)
  • Some nice buildings to visit are the oldest theatre in the Neterlands (Oude Vest) and the Old Observatory (near the Hortus).
    And go to the renovated bookprinter-building (“boekdrukkerij”); one of the most beautiful premises of Leiden, according to at least one of you (Hooglandse Kerkgracht, just before the bridge to the Oude Rijn).
  • If you’re willing to cycle a bit, be sure to go to the Vlietland for a nice beach.
  • “Great place to study: Arsenaal” (University building in the Arsenaalstraat)
  • “How about a psychedelic experience of Leiden…” (Papengracht; opposite to America Today)
  • The favorite spot in Leiden of an Ethiopian man arised very recently: The Meelfabriek! “Because the DJ was planning Ethiopian music when I walked in.”

Welcome Festival Leiden Irene Cecile results 3
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn



  • And of course we received a lot of horeca tips from you:
    • Various food tips on the street or on the market in the city centre on Saturday:
      • “Best Dutch Lunch: have fried fish at the Saturday market at the Botermarkt”
      • “The big sirup waffles at the Wednesday or Saturday market”
      • “The best loumpia in town” can be eaten in the Nieuwstraat (opposite the library, on Saturdays)
    • Lunch or dinner:
      • “Nothing better than a flammkuchen and an organic rose lemonade in the calm and charming courtyard of the Van de Leur restaurant.”
      • Vrijplaats Leiden (Middlstegracht 36): “veggie meals for 5€; music, discussions, comedy, internationals, colourful people!”
      • Best bakery at Better Bagels
      • El Gaucho: best meat and spare-ribs in town!
      • VIP (Very Italian Pizza, Turfmarkt 8) for the best Pizza
    • Drinks:
      • Lot & the Walvis (Haven 1): “especially in summer the terrace is great! Cosy living room.”
      • Café de Bonte Koe was mentioned as a favourite bar several times.
      • Quartier Latin (Hartesteeg 13): great place for wine, tapas and talks
      • Great jazz bar: Koetshuis de Burcht
      • “Best terrace view and sun place in the city centre”: terrace boat opposite to café Einstein
      • Best bar: Keyzer / Keizertje
      • Café De Respons: always crowded in the weekeind.
      • De Kroeg: “Best place for a friday night drink if you’re in the 20s. Full of frat boys though.”
    • Other things to do:
      • Societeit De Burcht: Draw club Leiden, every monday evening 20.00
      • Boats & Buns (Broodjes en bootjes): nice!
      • Best icecream ever in Soetenso
    • Things you missed in Leiden:
      • Parties for grown-ups
      • Mountains, hills and sun
      • Events like: food festivals, lectures, after works, and other kind of events to meet people.
        To this last point, someone else responded: Studium Generale organises lectures!

For updates and more great little places in Leiden, check

Welcome Festival Leiden Irene Cecile results 2
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This