Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden student city

Leiden is a lively university city that’s brimming with history and boasts a student culture that’s tangible just about everywhere. Read on to discover what Leiden has to offer and get a foretaste of what you can expect.

A student city with character

Leiden University has contributed to the city’s unique atmosphere for over 400 years. The city’s historical centre is full of student associations, student accommodation and university buildings. And when the sun shines student life in Leiden migrates outdoors, where you’ll see countless students enjoying a meal or drink together.

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 the University, and you’ll always see someone you know along the way. What’s more, it’s centrally located among the Netherlands’ main cities and a mere 30-minute bike ride from the beach. And if you need to travel to The Hague regularly, it’s just 11 minutes by train. Ideal if you decide to live in Leiden and you have to attend lectures in The Hague, or vice versa!

Vibrant city centre

If you’ve had enough of studying for a while and you feel like relaxing, the city centre is the place to head for. With its many pubs, cafés, restaurants, theatres and museums, there’s always something to do. You can down a refreshing beer by the water at Annie's bar, for example, enjoy an evening’s cabaret in the ‘Stadsgehoorzaal’ or let your feet do the talking on the dance floor in Odessa.

Student associations of all shapes and sizes

Leiden is also renowned for its many student associations. There are over 20 of them, ranging from sports, music and social clubs to cultural associations. In other words, you’re bound to find one there that suits you.

Eye candy

Parties, of course, are 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 Fortress make Leiden pure eye candy.

Cultural assets

Showcasing artworks by Leiden's masters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Steen, to a journey through the human body: Leiden’s museums certainly offer a varied menu. Or perhaps you’d prefer to take in a film, or go to the theatre? With several cinemas and theatres, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Leiden.

Exciting events

In addition to a packed cultural agenda, Leiden’s events calendar is also full. For example, ‘Leidens Ontzet’, a festive two-day event that celebrates the relief of the city during Spanish rule of the Netherlands, is a must-see. And as a master’s student, you’ll surely want to see the great performances given in student rooms as part of the ‘Stukafest’, or dance at the Hifi outdoor festival. And last, but certainly not least, there’s OWL, the fun introduction week of Leiden University. 

Sports galore

Leiden also has much to offer students in the way of sports. The city has a sports club for almost every conceivable sport, such as Thor for hockey, Njord for rowing and LSVV for football. And if you’re looking to work up a sweat, there’s the University Sports Centre, a completely renovated sports complex that caters for more than 60 sports and offers a range of group lessons too.

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