Information for the participants
The Dutch love their bikes. There are more bikes in the Netherlands than there are people! It is nature friendly, healthy and quicker than walking! As the Netherlands is almost completely flat, cycling is easy. Even the police, famous Dutch stars, members of the Royal family and members of parliament can be seen riding their bikes. Families too, often go cycling in the country side for pleasure. The bicycle lanes and paths make cycling quite safe.
Cycling is a quick and environmentally friendly way to travel. Do watch out though when crossing the street, as cyclists do not always keep to the traffic rules. Bikes can be rented at Leiden Central station at ‘Fietspoint Oldenburger’ which is located at the back of the station.
The public transportation system is very good and it takes you to every corner of the Netherlands. Train tickets can be bought at the train station in the machines or at the counter. There is a small surcharge when buying the tickets at the counter. The trains run frequently and are mostly clean and comfortable. The journey from Leiden to Amsterdam takes about 35 minutes and the journey from Leiden to Schiphol airport takes about 15 minutes. Leiden is also part of a night-net. This means that trains will go to and from several cities at night. The night-net leaves from Amsterdam at 0.45 a.m., 1.45 a.m., 2.45a.m., 3.45 a.m., 4.45 a.m. and 5.29 a.m.
For more information on train schedules, disruptions etc. click here.
Leiden is not a car friendly city. This is not surprising with a historic city centre. There are many one-way streets and parking in Leiden is strictly regulated (the parking police are extremely strict!). Please check carefully where you can park, as it is not always clear whether the spot you picked is allowed, but it can be very expensive to be wrong. The parking tickets can be bought at the 'parkeer automaat'. You might have to use a 'chipknip'. Stick the ticket under your windshield in a visible place. Outside the centre of Leiden parking is often free, but this entails long walks.
Public parking near the Law School is available at the ‘Garenmarkt’ and above the ‘Hoogvliet’ supermarket (Levendaal 20).
Address: Hooigracht 85
Large supermarket. There is a counter where you can buy cigarettes, aspirin, stomach tablets etc.
Mondays through Fridays: 8.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Saturday: 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Sunday: 10.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Note: There are also two small Albert Heijn To-Go shops, one on each side of Leiden Centraal Station where you can buy basic groceries.
Opening Hours: Mondays through Fridays: 6.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Saturday: 8.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Sunday: 8.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Address: Levendaal 20
Large Supermarket. There is a counter where you can buy cigarettes, aspirin, stomach tablets etc.
Mondays through Wednesdays and Saturday 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 8.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Address: Stationsweg 44
Large Supermarket, very close to the train station.
Mondays through Fridays: 7.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Saturday: 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m.
General Openings hours
Most shops in Leiden have the following opening hours:
Monday 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Thursday 9.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Saturday 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Sunday usually closed
The Dutch are not well known for their food. As with everything the Dutch do, the food is not elaborate but serves its purpose. The traditional 'stamppot' meal mainly consists of mashed potatoes, carrots and onions. This is often varied with cabbage. Pea-soup is another favourite. Although these meals may not sound very exciting, they can be wonderful in cold winters. Bread is the basis for a good Dutch breakfast. Either with jam, ham, cheese or chocolate sprinkles. Lunch usually is quick, sandwiches or a snack whereas a hot meal is reserved for dinner.
The bitterbal, the kroket and the frikandel are the most famous Dutch snacks. The bitterballs are round and made of meat. They are usually bought as a snack to go with your drinks in pubs. The kroket and the frikandel are often eaten with chips/French fries. What kind of meat is used in these snacks is not always clear… This has never stopped the Dutch though!
The number of restaurants in Leiden can only be compared to the number of pubs. There are hundreds of them! Their prices and quality can vary. We have named a few that might interest you.
Prentenkabinet Kloksteeg 25 tel.071 512 666
La Cloche Kloksteeg 3 tel. 071 512 3053
Dartel Kloksteeg 13 tel. 071 512 4012
Disgenoten Papengracht 6a tel. 071 513 7550
In den Doofpot Turfmarkt 9 tel. 071 512 2434
Verboden Toegang Kaiserstraat 7 tel. 071 514 3388
Olive Garden Vrouwenkerkhof 1 tel. 071 512 2529
In den Gapenden Eter Rapenburg 97 tel. 071 566 1494
Allemansgeest Hofweg 55 (Voorschoten), tel. 071 576 4175
Averagely Priced Restaurants
M'n Broer Kloksteeg 7 tel. 071 512 50 24
Tapas enzo Oude Rijn 1a tel. 071 514 11 00
De Bierbengel Langebrug 71 tel. 071 514 80 56
Olorosso Breestraat 49 tel. 071 514 66 33
Fandango's Noordeinde 49 tel. 071 514 11 10
Djebena Noordeinde 21 tel. 071 513 68 33
Sabai Sabai Noordeinde 27 tel. 071 513 19 14
De Branderij Middelweg 7 tel. 071 513 37 18
La Bota Herensteeg 9 tel. 071 514 6340
Malle Jan Nieuwsteeg 9-11 tel. 071 512 38 88
Pastamania Hogewoerd 18 tel. 071 512 3311
Einstein Nieuwe Rijn 19 tel. 071 512 5370
Scarlatti’s Stille Mare 4 tel. 071 512 21 14
Woo Ping Diefsteeg 13-15 tel. 071 513 03 73
Donatello’s Haarlemmerstraat 20 tel. 071 514 79 38
Entrekoos Steenstraat 49-51 tel. 071 513 58 09
Oudt Leijden Steenstraat 49 tel. 071 513 31 44
Sorrento Watersteeg 2 tel. 071 512 58 61
Mac Donalds Beestenmarkt 6 or Donkersteeg 7
Burger King Central Station
Woo Ping Diefsteeg 13-15 (Chinese)
Spiekeria Pieterskerkchoorsteeg 21
Eazie Breestraat 157 (Eastern)
Beleg van Leijden Turfmarkt 12 (sandwiches)
Midi Koornbrugsteeg 5 (sandwiches)
Dominos Stationsweg 17 (pizza)
Fransoos Delicatessen Douzastraat 8 (sandwiches)
If you want to order food, look here . This is a great website where you can order online at a great variety of delivery restaurants. The site is also in English.
There are lots of pubs in Leiden. In Leiden there are more pubs per capita than anywhere else in the country! Some are modern, some old-fashioned. Many are typical “brown pubs”.
Closing hours of pubs change every so often and differ per pub. However, you do need to be in the bar before 1.00 a.m. This is required by law, but only in Leiden. After this time you will not be let in. On Friday and Saturday nights you have to be in before 2.00 a.m.
Annie's Verjaardag (Hoogstraat 1a)
When the weather is nice, this is a good place to go. There is a big terrace on the water and the pub is in the centre. The inside is a little cramped. Many high school students go here.
Einstein (Nieuwe Rijn 19)
A hot spot for international students. It has a great terrace. Food is served here as well. On Sundays and Mondays they serve great Thai food. Tuesdays through Saturdays they serve French food.
Van de Werf (Steenstraat 2)
Close to the railway station. It has a big shaded terrace and nice lunches.
Roebels (Pieterskerk-Choorsteeg 24)
One of our favourites. This is a real student pub! Especially on Tuesdays and Fridays it can be very busy and a lot of fun. Try the 'zwevertjes'! This is a cocktail that is only served in Roebels and is famous among the students here.
‘t Keizertje (Kaiserstraat 2-4)
This is a pub where a lot of students come on Tuesdays and Sundays. Especially on Sundays people have drinks here with their roommates.
l’Esperance (Kaiserstraat 1)
This is a real guys pub! Especially popular on Fridays. Also very popular among locals (and they are always good for a laugh)!!
Oloroso (Breestraat 49)
Very comfortable big red leather seats. It has some kind of ‘Spanish’ atmosphere. Great tapas to go with your drinks. This is a very popular pub which turns into a club after midnight.
Fandango (Noordeinde 49)
This bar is a true cocktail bar! It is not cheap but they serve all sorts imaginable. It also houses a good tapas restaurant in the back.
North End (Noordeinde 55)
The best English pub in the city. Friendly atmosphere and an international public.
Barrera (Rapenburg 56)
Located on the Rapenburg with a nice terrace overlooking the academy building, this is a very popular pub during day time. They have nice lunches and “bitterballs”!!
Odessa (Hogewoerd 18)
This bar is a very relaxing place to have a drink and you will find lots of foreign students here every night. If you feel like dancing you can always get up and check out their neighbour ‘Mas y Mas’, a swinging tapas bar.
Jazz-pub the Duke (Oude Singel 2)
There is only one true jazz pub in Leiden. If you like jazz music, this is certainly the place to be. Live music every night.
Olivier (Hooigracht 23)
A wonderful Belgian beer Pub. They have a very wide range of the best Belgian Beers. There are so many different beers that you can’t always choose which one to pick. If you can’t, ask one of the bartenders to help you!
Bad Habits (Pelikaanstraat 64)
They call themselves an international bar, but it can also be seen as an English pub. They attract however a crowd of international students. This is also a good spot to watch sport events.
There isn't really a disco atmosphere in Leiden. Most students tend to go to pubs and go to their student clubs to dance. Student life in Leiden is very much based on these student clubs. You often can't enter if you are not a member and they are usually closed for the summer. If you want to go to a real discotheque it is best to go to Amsterdam, The Hague or Rotterdam.
In Leiden we have two places where you can dance:
Mas y Mas ( Hogewoerd 16)
This is not really a disco but a pub where you can dance.
In Casa (Kruisstraat 30)
This can be seen as the only real disco. On some nights you can only get in with a Dutch student card.
City Hall (Stadhuisplein 3)
It’s located next to the water and in the town hall-building. This place is very hip for Leiden standards! They serve lunches and dinners and Friday night it turns into a club.
Strong medicines are only available with a prescription and can only be prepared at a pharmacy (“apotheek” in Dutch). The chemists (“drogisterij”) sell “over the counter” medicines such as aspirin and cough syrup. There is always a pharmacy open, even during weekends. Every pharmacy has a notice stating which one is on duty.
Some addresses of pharmacies (“apotheken”):
De Aloë, Levendaal 161, Leiden, tel. 071-5120502
Centraal Apotheek, Breestraat 74, Leiden, tel. 071-5120552
Haven, Haven 18, Leiden, tel. 071-5226085
Night Pharmacy (9pm-8am): De Nachtwacht Apotheek, Doezastraat 2/A, Leiden, tel. 071-5665019
For accidents and sudden illnesses requiring immediate attention, you can call or go to the Emergency Service of one of the following hospitals:
- LUMC (Leiden University Medical Centre), Albinusdreef 2, 2333 AZ Leiden, tel. 071-5269111. Open 24/7.
- Diaconessenhuis, Houtlaan 55, 2334 CK Leiden, tel. 071-5178178. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., excl. holidays.
- Ziekenhuis Rijnland, Elisabeth location, Simon Smitweg 1, 2353 GA Leiderdorp, tel. 071-5454545. Open 24/7.