Rent a bike
Leiden is quite compact if you stick to the center, but if you planning to go around the whole day, you might want to rent a Bicycle. It's the easiest way to move, but be careful as most bikers are quite expert and you might find the (bike) traffic a bit frightening at first.
You will be surprised that most of the times the cars will stop for you and there are even many crossings where the cars have to yield to bikes...
They can be rented at the back of the Central train station (facing the large LUMC building) for 6.50 EUR/day plus a (refundable) deposit of 45 EUR. You need some kind of ID to rent.
The trainstation (Leiden Centraal) is very conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the "center".
Since Leiden is located just between Amsterdam and Rotterdam (with The Hague in between), you can easily get here from anywhere in the Netherlands. Since it is a major station, all "sneltrein" (express) will stop here.
From Amsterdam or Rotterdam it takes about 30 min. to get here, The Hague is about 10-15 minutes away.
All this obviously comes at a price. Transportation is not cheap in the Netherlands and an Amsterdam-Leiden return ticket will set you back 13.70 Eur.
Check out http://www.ns.nl for schedules and pricing.
Just a quick tip: There are two exits from the trainstation. If you get out and see the "LUMC" hospital building on your left, you are going the wrong way, the center is the other way. There is very little to see on that side anyway.
Taxi - Good but not cheap!
Taxi's here in the Netherlands are extremely expensive and should be used only if you have no other alternative.
Cars are very modern and comfortable and drivers very professional (they all dress in suit and tie...).
I live less than 2 km away from the station and it takes about 3 minutes to get there by Taxi. The price? Never less than 7 Eur!
A ride to the Airport will cost about 50-60 Euros if you take a normal Taxi. If you consider taking one in any case (it is only a 15 minutes train ride and costs less than 5 Eur), some companies have a fixed price of 35-40 Eur.
For instance, Taxi de Groot (071 5123300) offers the "Schiphol Service", but I have never used it myself.
Leiden itself is quite compact and walking or cycling are definetly the best options
The Dutch LOVE their bicycles! This was just a very SMALL section of the railway station bike park in the city. In fact I heard that some locals who do a lot of travelling keep a bike locked up in a bike park like this in each city they visit frequently! A friend had to check hers while we were here as she hadn't seen it or used it for several months since her last visit here! It was of course perfectly ok. What a great system :)
Leiden boat tour
You can do a boat tour in Leiden along the many canals to see the highlights from the water. Take care: the last boat leaves at 16 hrs.
We were too late but next time.... :-)
Ah well..... a Leiden page is never finished. It'll leave me something to add later.
Schedule: 11 a.m., 12 p.m. 1.30 p.m, 2.45 p.m. and 4 p.m.
€ 4,50 (euro) from 13 years and up.
- Family Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Leiden's main railway station, Centraal, is a modern functional building immediately outside the central canal belt, about a five minute walk into the city. The original railway station was constructed on the same site in 1842 and the present building, completed in 1996, is the fourth incarnation.
This is a busy little station with regular services from Rotterdam and Den Haag to Amsterdam, Schiphol and Utrecht from which the rest of the Dutch railway system can be accessed. It is also on the hourly "Nachtnet" (nightline) between Rotterdam - The Hague - Amsterdam - Utrecht.
As a major Dutch station the building has all the facilities you'd expect including left luggage lockers, shops and cafes, cycle parking and hire and the bus station for local travel further afield is right next door.
- Budget Travel
Going to Leiden by train is very easy, because Leiden has it's own main train station. From there you can get virtually everywhere, with a possible changing of trains in Utrecht, Rotterdam or Amsterdam. You can also get to Schiphol from Leiden in no time. You can get to Amsterdam, Schiphol, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague within 45 minutes. But be sure to get off at Leiden Centraal, as there are more than 1 train station in Leiden.
The train station is also a very nice display of modern architecture.
Dutch trains are safe, comfortable, efficient and reasonably-priced. So getting to Leiden from anywhere in the Netherlands by train should be easy enough.
From Amsterdam the journey to Leiden takes just under 40 minutes. There are regular direct trains running more or less throughout the night as well as in the daytime, so there is no need to worry about missing the last train back.
You can find train times, details and fares in English on the NS website below.
You can buy your ticket from the station ticket machines but they only seem to take coins or credit/debit cards. i saw none which accept notes. Many ticket machines only seem to accept cards of the OV chipkaart, so it may take a while to find one which accepts cash. Of course ticket offices will sell you a ticket with no problems (other than a potential queue).
In the entrance area there are departure boards which tell you exactly which platform your train will leave from (and its intermediate stopping places) and each platform has similar electronic displays to further reassure you that the train standing at, or the next train into, a particular platform really *will* be going where you want to go!
Leiden Centraal station is super-swish and super-modern (see frontage in the main photo)m, with cafes, fast-food outlets and small shops in its entrance area.
- Family Travel
Bus to Keukenhof Gardens
After buying your "all in one ticket" available at Leiden Train Station, walk out the Station and turn right, the Bus stop is furthest away. This is where Buses 54/58 Express to Keukenhof gardens leave from. Quite easy to find. When returning, go to the same Entrance gate you were dropped off at to catch the return Bus back to Leiden.
Trip to the Keukenhof
During the opening period of the Keukenhof gardens the Arriva Bus company bus #850 and #854 serve the Keukenhof twice per hour from the Leiden Centraal Station bus station.
You can save money and time by buying a Combi-ticket for the transportation and entrance to the gardens at either the GWK-bank in the Leiden station or at the Leiden Visitor Centre (Stationsweg 41), just outside the station.
The price of the combi-ticket = € 22.50.
The Combiticket from Arriva and Keukenhof offers a number of benefits. The bus drops you at the main entrance to the park where you can have your ticket scanned and walk through directly, without having to queue for a ticket.
Next to the Keukenhof ticket you can choose for other day passes that includes a city tour; inform at the Leiden Vistor Centre.
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
Convenient parking and free shuttle bus
Leiden and parking don't go together very well, and I have known this for all of my life. It's just that Leiden (especially the center) is very old and the streets are narrow so it's not quite easy to park anywhere.
I used an excellent parking service at the largest open-air parking in Leiden called Haagweg.
Strictly speaking you can walk to the city center from there (about 10 mins) but there is a free shuttle service which brings you wherever you want! For the return trip, you can call a number and they'll pick you up. They do this all through the week until 2 o'clock at night (Sundays a bit earlier: midnight).
At Haagweg you pay a max of 12 euro for 24 hrs of parking. You can rent a bike or solex there too.
Really a very good service indeed.
Parking address: Haagweg 8, 2311 AA Leiden (750 parking spaces)
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Public buses to and around Leiden
The Leiden bus station is adjacent to the Leiden Centraal Train Station.
The following Arriva company buses serve Leiden:
-1 - Leiderdorp, Rijnland Hospital and Lammenschans train station
-2 - Lammenschans train station and Rijnland Hospital
-3 - Merenwijk and Lammenschans train station
-4 - Merenwijk
-5 - Voorschoten train station
-6 - Starrenburg and Voorschoten train station
The following Arriva company buses serve location outside Leiden:
-20 - Oegstgeest and Rijnsburg
-21 - Oegstgeest and Rijnsburg
-30 - Transferium A44, Valkenburg, Katwijk aan den Rijn and Noordwijk
-31 - Transferium A44, Valkenburg, Katwijk aan den Rijn and Noordwijk
-37 - Oegstgeest, Rijnsburg and Katwijk aan den Rijn
-38 - Transferium A44, Valkenburg and Katwijk aan den Rijn
-50 - Oegstgeest, Warmond, Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom, Bennebroek and Heemstede
-56 - Leiderdorp, Oud Ade, Rijpwetering, Nieuwe Wetering, Roelofarendsveen, Oude Wetering and Leimuiderbrug
-57 - Oegstgeest, Sassenheim, Voorhout and Noordwijkerhout
-169 - Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk, Hazerswoude-Rijndijk and Koudekerk aan den Rijn
-182 - Leiderdorp, Hoogmade, Woubrugge and Ter Aar
-183 - Leiderdorp, Hoogmade and Woubrugge
-221 - Transferium A44, Valkenburg, Katwijk aan den Rijn and Katwijk
-250 - Sassenheim (rush hour only)
-365 - Zoeterwoude, Stompwijk, Leiden Centraal Station, Leiderdorp, Roelofarendsveen, Oude Wetering, Leimuiderbrug, Hoofddorp and De Hoek (Q-liner bus)
-510 - Oegstgeest, Poelgeest (Belbus)
-854 - Keukenhof (When open)
The following Veolia company buses serve location outside Leiden:
-43 - Wassenaar
-45 - Voorburg, Leidschendam and Voorschoten
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Leiden Centraal Train Station
One of the reason for me to visit Leiden was the train station. The concrete train station of my home town Hengelo was made from the blue prints of the Leiden station.
Well, the present Leiden Centraal station is no longer that concrete example. It was replaced by a modern construction by architect Harry Reijnders in the shape of a shell.
The station was badly needed because the number of tracks had to be increased after the opening of the new railway connection to Schiphol Airport and the start of the Thalys high speed train connection from Amsterdam to Brussels.
Going back in history. The first Leiden station opened on August 17, 1842 serving the HIJSM railway company. This building was replaced by a new one in 1879.
After the Second World War the concrete station building designed by H.G.J. Schelling opened and served till 1995.
Real time Public Transportation info on the Leiden map.
- Budget Travel
CONNEXXIONS BUS SERVICES
the buses like the trains are plentyful,quick and on time,they are easy to use,buying a ticket onboard or prior to you journey is straightforward and again the driver will almost always have wonderful english so asking a question is no problem,no pointing required.
Leidens main bus terminal joins on to the trainstation,most buses will go from there to all the major destinations all are clearly marked so getting the wrong one is not likely.
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Leiden can easily be reached by train from Amsterdam or the Hague. Around half an hour from Amsterdam. About 20 minutes from the Hague.
From the train station it is a 5 minute walk to the city centre. And along that way, you'll pass the tourist information office so that is very convenient as well.
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