Walking around Leiden, you cannot escape the historical culture visible all around you. You'll find a historical building on every street corner, you can walk in the footsteps of a master painter or discover why scientists have been settling here for hundreds of years and teaching at the oldest university in the Netherlands.
But Leiden also has a rich cultural life, with great activities, festivals and special events. Enjoy a drama-packed evening out at the theatre, go dancing at De Nobel or attend a concert in the Stadsgehoorzaal or the Volkshuis.
Want to know exactly what's on? Check out the Event calendar.
The city's most impressive theatre is of course the Leidse Schouwburg, which also happens to be the oldest theatre in the Netherlands. The theatre opened in 1705 with a performance of Belegering ende Ontset der Stadt Leyden (The Siege and Relief of Leiden) by Reynerius Bontius. The original building has been renovated many times through the years, but the theatre is rightly known as one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands. Read more or book tickets for a performance?Read more
The Stadsgehoorzaal concert hall on Leiden's Breestraat was built in 1890 and is an imposing example of Neo-Renaissance architecture, which is rare in the Netherlands today. The façade with its colonnade gives the building a special cachet, and the embellishments and ornaments are fashioned from zinc and sandstone. Features from the original interior that have survived to this day include the panelling and balconies in the main auditorium and the entire interior of the Breezaal. Over the years many alterations and expansions have taken place. The Stadsgehoorzaal is lauded for its fantastic acoustics. Various artistes and ensembles perform there.Read more