This year Leiden will be a focal point for tourism in the Netherlands based on its tie to the Pilgrims’ journey on the Mayflower to the United States 400 years ago. In addition to checking out sites related to the anniversary celebration, visitors can enjoy some of the Dutch city’s vibrant neighborhoods.
The heart of the city since the 1200s, Breestraat seamlessly blends the ancient and the modern. Early business tycoons lived and worked in this area, which boasts Leiden’s iconic City Hall. In more recent years, locals have gathered in the district for shopping, dining, and live entertainment.
The Downtown Leiden neighborhood is based around the Old Rhine and New Rhine. Travelers flock to this area—especially in the summer—to enjoy boat rides on the rivers, dine at waterfront cafés, and relax on water terraces.
The Latin Quarter (Pieterskwartier) has been home to creative types and students for centuries. A walk through the quaint, narrow streets covers many sites of historical significance, including Peter’s Church, a 12th-century Gothic building that is the city’s signature attraction.
Top photo: Leiden’s Market Bridge
Photo by CC Flickr/Travelinho: bit.ly/2sxyrGk