Apart from Amsterdam, Leiden’s inner city has the greatest number of waterways and bridges in the country. Every summer an amazing parade of boats and other floating vehicles sail through the city’s canals. The inner city is also lined with gentlemen’s houses, university buildings and museums with surprising exhibitions. Naturally this student town boasts a broad variety of attractive terraces, restaurants and cafes.
The area around Leiden also has plenty to offer. Go sailing on the Kagerplassen lakes, sun bathing on Katwijk’s beach or ride a bicycle through the flower-bulb region. All these Dutch highlights are just a 30-minute ride away from Leiden’s town centre. In short, there are many reasons to visit Leiden.
Leiden, birthplace of Rembrandt and known as the Sleutelstad (“the key city”) in reference to the keys in its coat of arms, is home to 120.000 people. Located at the confluence of the Old and New Rhine rivers in the province of South Holland, Leiden is a picturesque university town with many canals, almshouses and museums. The Spanish nearly conquered the city, but were successfully expelled on October 3, 1574. This day, known as Leidens Ontzet or the Relief of Leyden, continues to be commemorated each year, with a huge celebration whose fair, parade, fireworks, musical performances, and many parties attract hundreds of thousands of people to this small city. William I of Orange was so impressed with Leiden’s heroic resistance, he rewarded them with the foundation of the University of Leiden in 1575. Leiden remains a university city to this day attracting many international students. Well known across the globe for it’s education, it may sound as a surpise that Leiden never before hosted an International School. That now changes with the foundation of ISL.