City of Discoveries

Leiden is a lively university city that’s brimming with history and boasts a student culture that’s tangible just about everywhere. Get a taste of what you can expect of Leiden as your future student city. 

Leiden’s history

Situated at what has traditionally been an important junction where waterways and roads intersect, stands a city that will enchant you: Leiden. The city is famous not only for its university, but for its almshouses, museums and glorious history. Rembrandt was born here, and the city inspired many other influential painters. Over the centuries, Leiden continued to attract scientists, and artists. The canals, the historical buildings, the charming narrow lanes, the treasuries of knowledge, culture and science: Leiden is definitely worth seeing.

Student associations and clubs

Leiden is renowned for its many student clubs and associations organised around sports, music and social life in addition to cultural associations. There are over 20 main associations, including the Erasmus Student Network. Clubs focused on mutual interests in music, photography, theater, MUN, different cultures, and more abound. Great for socialising, and making new friends, you’ll be in good company: even King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was a member of a Leiden student association!

What you need to know about… Leiden

Vibrant city centre

Whether you are a member of a student association or not, Leiden’s vibrant city centre is the place to be if you want to relax or socialise. Enjoy a cool beer on the canal at Annie’s bar, order a legendary Rapen’burger at Barrera or let your feet do the talking on the dance floor at the Kroeg.

A visual feast

Parties are, of course, an inherent part of being a student, but whatever you do make sure you also see the wealth of sights Leiden has to offer. Its ancient canals, intimate courtyards and fabulous landmarks, such as the Pieterskerk, the Academy Building and the Burcht (Fortress) make Leiden pure eye candy.

Small-scale and central

Leiden is a winning combination of small and fun, yet big in character as a student city. Thanks to its compact layout it’s never more than a short bike ride from your accommodation to college, and you’re more or less guaranteed to meet someone you know along the way. What’s more, it’s also centrally located between the Netherlands’ main cities. With a little effort, you can cycle to the beach in 30 minutes, while Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht can all be reached within 45 minutes by train. Our second location in The Hague is only a 10-minute train ride away as well! 

Famous former students:

Rembrandt van Rijn

DJ Armin van Buuren

‘I grew up in Greece and still have a lot of contact with my friends there. There’s a huge difference between studying in Athens and studying in Leiden. I was really surprised by how much is possible in Leiden. Be it associations, sports, skills, language learning, part-time jobs or internships, there are so many opportunities here to develop yourself, take on new challenges and discover who you are. Personally, I have an active student life, in both a Dutch and an international student association. There are so many wonderful things to experience in both Dutch and international student life that I like to encourage all students to experience student life the way I have.

Over the past few years, I have really come to love Leiden. My friends from Greece are mainly familiar with Amsterdam, but I think Leiden is much nicer. It has all the advantages of a big city without the disadvantages. You know enough people; you’re not anonymous, but you’re anonymous enough to be able to do what you want. You can cycle everywhere, and you have everything you need here. I hope that I can continue to live in Leiden, even after I graduate.’

Nikolas Stratopoulos
Loves the student life in Leiden