Leiden is close to my heart, as I lived there twice and my daughter was born there. I still need to build a proper Leiden page but some information can already be found on my Leiden page.
Leiden, among other features, is the oldest university city of The Netherlands.
The Pilgrim Fathers also had something to do with Leiden...
See the link to my Leiden page below.
Although my Noordwijk page has no really worthwhile tourist info yet, it is a place that I will always remember as my brother lived for 25 years in the WIllem van den Bergstichting. It is a village in itself for mentally handicapped.
Noordwijk aan Zee is a real beach resort and I've spent many happy weeks there as a child.
See the link to my Noordwijk aan Zee page below.
A very Dutch tip: biking along blooming bulb fields.
Just another way to see these stunning flower fields in the Bulb and Dune Region in the western part of the Netherlands. We started our bike trip from the Tourist Information Centre (VVV) of Noordwijkerhout, more or less in the heart of the Bulb Region. They offer a couple of bike tours with different lengths (ours was about 45 km’s) through the bulb fields; just ask at the office. It is possible to rent bikes in Noordwijkerhout.
We had a wonderful day with a lot of sunshine and were at the right moment (April 23th) to see the fields in bloom. As soon as we left Noordwijkerhout we pedalled through the bulb fields, mostly on special bike paths and very quiet side roads.
Our route passed the Keukenhof, so it is possible to visit this famous flower garden. Otherwise take a look at the Castle Keukenhof (built in 1642); its park can be visited free of charge.
Living in the Netherlands of course we had seen a lot of blooming bulb flowers, but biking along these colourful fields was a completely different experience: the colours, the smells, the shapes, the patterns.
But be aware: you are biking in the western part of my country and the bulb fields are surrounded by many villages, bulb sheds, power pylons and in some spots advancing new built houses. Not always the most inspiring scenery.
This museum has famous paintings by artists who typified of Dutch and Flemish art in the 15-17th . Our tour guide said that if you see those paitings here, you don't need to see anything in Netherlands( it's too much to say it). Actually "The anatomy lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" by Rembrandt and "Girl with a pearl earring" by Vermeer are worth seeing.
Like Zoetermeer, Leidschendam is mostly modern with a very small older, not too well-maintained center. It has great potential though, once the city council decides to invest. The main feature is the sluice with the two bridges that are worked by hand.
If you know Noordwijk aan Zee, which like Katwijk aan Zee are both seaside villages, you'll be surprised to see 'just' inland the village of Noordwijk itself. Such a different and quaint atmosphere.