Museums & culture
Leiden boasts no less than 12 museums. All collections and exhibitions are worthwhile visiting. Dinosaur skelettons, Rembrandt's and Lievens's master pieces, shadow puppets from Indonesia, the medical history from bloodletting to mammary prosthesis, an Egyptian temple, treasures from Japan, all pieces of information regarding the relief of Leiden or a voyage of discovery through the human body; all this and more is what the museums in Leiden have to offer. No other city has that many great museums within walking distance from each other.
Learn all there is to know about the history of Leiden and visit the monuments that are open to the public. The castle is the heart of Leiden. It is one of the oldest still existing examples of a so called motte-and-bailey castle in the Netherlands, open to the public and free. Here you will have a splendid view of Leiden.
Leiden has many historic churches, you should not miss visiting, Highland church being one of the most impressive ones. The moment, you will enter the church, the Gothic interplay of lines will make you look up. The enormous windows let through an abundance of light in into the large room and for a moment you will have the feeling that you're part of a medieval painting. And the moment the organ starts playing and it feels like Sweelinck himself is playing again, it is as if time comes to a standstill. The Highland church does not charge any admission fees and can be visited between May and October.
Music, theatre, dans, cabaret. The theatres in Leiden offer a
variety in entertainment.
The Leiden theatre (Leidse Schouwburg) is the oldest theatre within the Netherlands. It's like stepping into another world: with red velvet, golden ornaments and chandeliers. Spending an evening at the Leiden theatre is an extraordinary experience.
The Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden (concert hall) is highly praised for its fantastic acoustics and it hosts many concerts.
In close vicinity to Leiden, between Wassenaar, Katwijk and Leiden, is the location of the theatre hangar at Airport valkburg, where the musical Soldier of Orange (Soldaat van Oranje) is being performed.