Architecture Walking Tour in Leiden (Self Guided), Leiden

Even from the first glance it is clear - Leiden is the city of nice buildings, glorious edifices and wonderful architecture. To help you see the best of the best, we created this particular guide. It will lead you to old and modern buildings, dedicated to social service, science and religion. The places are of true interest for the whole family with any work specialty or hobby.
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Architecture Walking Tour in Leiden Map

Guide Name: Architecture Walking Tour in Leiden
Guide Location: Netherlands » Leiden (See other walking tours in Leiden)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: nicole
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • City Hall
  • Kamerling-Onnes Laboratory
  • Gravensteen
  • Leiden University
  • Veth Building
  • Lipsius Building
  • Leiden University Library
City Hall

1) City Hall (must see)

City Hall is a Renaissance building, constructed in the 16th century. It has typical red brick walls and a complicated structured roof. City Hall also has a clock tower that looks a bit unusual - the upper part has some Muslim and Tudor style influences. The old building is an attraction for both tourists and locals, as it is a part of the city heritage and displays old architecture styles in Leiden. It also has a small restaurant on the first floor.
Kamerling-Onnes Laboratory

2) Kamerling-Onnes Laboratory

This is the Leiden Institute of Physics. The building has an unusual trapezoidal shape and a large open area in the middle. White arched windows and small Gothic decorations make this edifice a true example of Flamand art. It is named in honour of H. Kamerlingh Onnes. He was the first person that liquified helium in 1908. This discovery granted him the Nobel Prize in 1913. He also discovered superconductivity in 1911. Nowadays the most important work at the university involves the phenomenon of low temperatures.

3) Gravensteen

The Gravensteen (The Castle of the Count) used to be a prison in the city of Leiden, but nowadays houses the law school. It was built as a fortress in the 13th century, but it had many applications, namely that of house, library and prison. The edifice has three main levels, with another semi-level on top; the upper level is decorated with three sculptures and two columns - all designed in old Gothic style with some Baroque influences in details.
Leiden University

4) Leiden University (must see)

The Leiden University is considered to be among the oldest universities in tulip country, with six faculties and more than 50 departments. This university has an outstanding international reputation. The walls in aula gather an astonishing collection of portraits that portray many famous professors. Some science buffs nowadays call this collection the history of science. The main building is composed of three floors, cherry-colour brick and dark, stoked windows. The decorations painted in white are designed in Gothic style, as is the big wooden door, delicately decorated with reliefs.
Veth Building

5) Veth Building

Veth Building is an oasis for modern architecture. It is used by the Asian studies department of Leiden University and it was built at the beginning of the 19 century. Unfortunately, it suffered some changes and today we are able to see a miracle combination of Tudor design and Baroque decorations with large, modern windows on the first floor, perfectly blending with the white painted Baroque windows of the upper floors. The walls are made of red brick, a typical thing for the Netherlands.
Lipsius Building

6) Lipsius Building

In the 1990s the European Union built the new edifice for the Council called the Justus Lipsius building in honour of the Flemish philologist and humanist from the sixteenth century. The Lipsius building is a modern structure built on several levels; it is made of steel and glass and is one of the most important buildings in Leiden.
Leiden University Library

7) Leiden University Library

The Leiden University Library dates back to the year 1575. It is considered a significant place in the development of European culture as it is part of a small number of cultural centers that spread knowledge during the Enlightenment. The Library contains approximately 3 500 000 volumes. By now the building looks like an ultramodern structure, although it suffered a lot of reconstructions and modifications. The edifice is a large net of buildings connected between them; unusual columns belonging to modern architecture sustain parts of the library. The lower part in red brick is all that is left from the old, original building.


The KITLV (The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) was set up in 1851. The edifice is included in the architecture heritage of Leiden. It has an interesting shape when seen from above - a cube with one missing angle. The institute also has two exotic gardens at the entrance. Overall it is designed in early modern style with slight Gothic influences.

Walking Tours in Leiden, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Leiden

Create Your Own Walk in Leiden

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leiden is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Churches in Leiden

Churches in Leiden

Leiden is very rich in beautiful religious edifices. Old and modern churches, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Muslim temples and worship places build the great heritage of creative construction, delicate painting and adventurous designs. This guide is dedicated to most notorious, old, unusual and special buildings.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Leiden Introduction Walking Tour

Leiden Introduction Walking Tour

When it comes to secrets and exceptionally beautiful places, the Dutch city of Leiden is second to none. Some of the local streets haven't change much of their appearance and character for centuries. When in Leiden, watch your steps as you might follow, quite literally, in the footsteps of great Rembrandt himself. This orientation walk is set to reveal to you some of the local secrets and the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Leiden Museums

Leiden Museums

The city of Leiden is a very old city that dates back to the 4th century, when one of its first fortresses was built by the Romans. Through history, Leiden had a lot of struggles and sieges. It has always been a remarkable city in every field. As proof, we shall guide you to the most important, unusual, amazing and large museums that Leiden offers. Nature, science, art and history - all these...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Child Fun in Leiden

Child Fun in Leiden

Most of the people who go for a vacation abroad are families, usually with children. Of course, this tour is also great for young playful couples or couples who just miss their early years. Those who have kids - watch out! This is going to be a hot day; you will be exploring and learning, playing and eating tasty meals with your young travelers!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles