6x must go’s in Leiden this summer

July 1, 2023

Summer in Leiden! Yes, today – June 21 – summer officially started. Here are some lovely summer (and cooling down) recommendations. You certainly don’t have to get bored in (the area of) Leiden…

1.) Recreation area Vlietland

Just outside Leiden you will find Recreation Area Vlietland: a large lake surrounded by nature. If you can spend the summer somewhere good, it’s here. A real green oasis in the urban area of The Netherlands and also called the ‘Riviera of the Randstad (urban area)’ because of all the boats that you will find on the water here in the summer.

Of course you will find us here, Camping Vlietland. But around the lake and at on (Aquapark Storm) there is so much to do. For example, we are located next to Watersport center Vlietland (boat rental: canoes, pedal boats, motor boats, sloops and sailing boats) and Restaurant Waterfront, where you can enjoy a delicious meal with a view of the lake. In addition, there is an island on the water with a challenging climbing park, how cool!

There is also a SUP school and rental in the recreation area called Supmoves. You will also find two wonderful sandy beaches in Recreation Area Vlietland and there is also a naturist beach for enthusiasts. Do you like cycling, walking or running? Then you are in the right place, very nice around the lake (+- 7km)! Or just read a book in the shade under a large tree…

2.) City festival ‘De Lakenfeesten’

Perhaps the event in Leiden this summer: City festival de Lakenfeesten. In any case, the start of summer. From 23 to 25 June, all kinds of fun events will be organized throughout the city center.

On Friday June 24, the Lakenfeesten will kick off at 7:00 PM with the ‘Peurbakkentocht’: a parade of 50 decorated boats, where different groups of participants compete for the most creative boat. A true Leiden tradition!

Tip: Find a nice spot on the grass along one of the canals where the tour passes. Bring a dress, tapas snacks and a bottle of wine or 0.0% bubbles and you have a great evening!

On Saturday June 24 there will be a real dragon boat race in the city center. What is a ‘dragonboat’ I hear you ask? Also called simply a dragon canoe that can hold about 20 paddlers.

In the evening you can enjoy the Singelpark dinner (also on Sunday June 25). At various nice catering establishments in Leiden you can get the tastiest street food bites and enjoy a musical program while you also walk one of the nicest walking route in Leiden.

For beer lovers, there is also the Leiden Beer Festival that day. On one of the most beautiful squares in Leiden in front of the Hooglandse Church. Beer brewers, food trucks, music and Dutch New Herring: sounds good! On Sunday (June 25) the event will close with a free concert on the water at the Korenbrug.

3.) Leiden Rembrandt Days

The world-famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn – known for, among other things, ‘the Night Watch’ – was born in Leiden on July 15, 1606 in the Golden Age of our country. He is often associated with Amsterdam, but Leiden is the place where he developed into a great painter as a boy.

On July 8 and 9, the ‘Pieterskwartier’ (quarter of the historic centre) will be transformed into the Leiden in which Rembrandt grew up. Here you will find hundreds of actors and extras (all passionate volunteers) who dress in the spirit of the times to take you on a journey through time. Furthermore, the streets of this picturesque part of the city center will be decorated with props from the 17th century. There will be theatre, living paintings and music. In short: a special experience, free to visit.

Also nice to visit: the Young Rembrandt Studio. Rembrandt’s teacher Jacob van Swanenburgh lived in this 17th century house, from whom he learned the trade. This place is open all year round from Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm and you can watch a short documentary about Rembrandt’s years in Leiden, among other things.

4.) Werfpop festival

This year with bands as Splendid, Hang Youth & Black Sun Empire. The (pop) music festival of Leiden exists for 30 years. You can find it on Saturday July 8 in the monumental park Leidse Hout, which is adjacent to the town of Oegstgeest.

The festival once started in the beautiful ‘Van der Werf’ park in the center of Leiden, but because the festival became increasingly popular, it has moved over the years to the Park Leidse Hout just outside the center and receives as many as about 22,000 visitors.

Check out the full program here and buy your entrance ticket for here €7.50, including a ‘pee-partout’ and an eco-cup for your drinks.

5.) Open Monumentsday

In Leiden you will be amazed at the amount of beautiful old monumental buildings, churches and the like everywhere. How nice is it that you can also take a look here on September 9 and 10 between 12:00 and 17:00?!

The historic city is number 4 in the Netherlands when it comes to the amount of monuments it has: no less than 3000!

This year there are 21 participating monuments that you can view and via the website you can find both a cycling and walking route along these monuments. Are you going to take a look at the old mill? The old city carpentry yard? Or the old University Library? Entrance is free.

6.) Food truck festival ‘Rrrollend’

The traveling food truck festival ‘Rrollend’ can be found this year at no less than 10 locations throughout the country, including on September 15, 16 and 17 in Leiden on the ‘Garenmarkt’. This is right at the beginning of the center if you come by bike from the campsite. Prefer to go by car? there is a beautifully renovated parking garage under this square.

Foto door: Simone Frederique

The festival is free to visit and for €7.50 or less you can try all kinds of different culinary dishes at various truk’s. If that isn’t a nice way to end the summer…

Friday September 15: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday September 16: 13:00 – 22:00

Sunday September 17: 13:00 – 20:00