Interested in Dutch art, culture, history or science? Here’s a list of some of the most visited and interesting museums in Leiden that both expats and tourists should visit.
Museums in Leiden
Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10, 2312 WC
Rijksmuseum Boerhaave is the Dutch National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine, which opened its doors in 1931. The museum displays historical instruments from all scientific fields, but the most prolific examples are related to medicine, physics and astronomy. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave has 25 rooms, arranged with thematic subgroups, from lenses and prisms to anatomic samples preserved in glass bottles.
Oude Singel 28-32, 2312 RA
Lakenhal is a museum of fine art in Leiden. Leiden was a city in which Rembrandt, Jan Lievens, Gerrit Dou, Jan Steen and Jan van Goyen all lived and worked in the same time frame, and this museum pays tribute to that remarkable fact. The building, which means "cloth hall", dates from 1640, originally serving as a guild for cloth merchants. The museum was founded in 1874.
Rapenburg 28, 2311 EW
The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) is the national centre of archaeology where you can appreciate the cultures of ancient Egypt, the Near East, the classical world and the early Netherlands. The museum is closely associated with the faculty of archaeology of Leiden University, as the museum began in 1743 with a collection that was bequeathed to the university.
Rapenburg 19, 2311 GE
When you visit the Japan Museum SieboldHuis you are treated to beautiful objects from Japan: fascinating Japanese artefacts behind a Dutch historical facade. The items on display - including maps, art, utensils, plants, animals and rocks - were collected by Philipp Franz von Siebold during his stay at the former Dutch trade colony in Japan between 1832 and 1829.
2e Binnenvestgracht 1, 2312 BZ
The Falcon (De Valk) is an authentic tower windmill, dating from 1743. This traditional Dutch windmill has seven floors, all of which are open to the public. De Valk became a municipal museum in 1966 and in the year 2000, it became operational as a mill once again, restoring original purpose in addition to its growing popularity as a visitor attraction.
Rapenburg 73, 2311 GJ
Leiden Botanical Garden (Hortus Botanicus Leiden) is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and located in the historical centre of Leiden. Behind the academy building of the Leiden University, you will discover a green oasis with a large collection of plants native to South-East and East Asia, Southern Europe and South Africa.
Steenstraat 1, 2312 BS
The National Museum of Ethnology (Museum Volkenkunde) originated in two national collections. One of these was the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities (Koninklijk Kabinet van Zeldzaamheben) in The Hague, established in 1816 by King Willem I. Together with the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and the Africa Museum in Berg en Dal, the three museums make up the National Museum of World Cultures.
Located in a beautifully preserved house built ca. 1365-1370 near the clock tower of the Hooglandskerk, the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum tells the stories of the founders of New England, the Pilgrims. The museum delivers a rich history of pilgrim life in Leiden before the famous passage to what is now America, with a collection of furniture, books, maps, engravings and other artefacts.
Darwinweg 2, 2333 CR
Naturalis Biodiversity Centre is a natural history and biodiversity museum in Leiden. The museum focuses on biodiversity with a huge world-class collection and a combination of teaching, research, individual experience and projects for educating the general public. One of the most impressive parts of the permanent collection is one of the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus skeletons ever discovered.