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Holiday Travel Guide
Burcht featuring a city and heritage architecture

Step back through history to the medieval times of cut-throat deceptions and power politics when you visit this hilltop castle that overlooks the Rhine. 

Wander through the gateway off the bustling shopping street of Burgsteeg to discover the historic castle of Leiden, known as de Burcht. It was first constructed of stone in the 11th century, but after several attacks was rebuilt in brick in the 13th century. The castle’s 20-foot-tall (6.2-meter) walls protected 15-year-old Ada, Countess of Holland, from the forces of her uncle William, intent on removing her from power.

There once were buildings inside the keep walls; however, the castle started to lose its defensive role as Leiden began to grow around it. The buildings were demolished and the materials were used to construct the town. Stroll beneath beautiful shade trees where buildings once stood.

Be prepared to hike up a few stairs to reach the circular walls of the keep, as it was constructed on a man-made hill. This made the castle a very useful refuge for the residents of Leiden in times of floods. Later its height proved useful when the castle was turned into a water tower in the 17th century. Walk along the keep walls to enjoy a fantastic view of the Rhine and Leidse Rijn as well as a panoramic outlook over the city. Informational signs located around the keep point out which of Leiden’s landmarks you can see from the hill.

The area surrounding De Burcht is now a public park. Go to the restaurant in the 17th-century coach house, located near the entrance to the stairs, where you can enjoy views of the castle while having a high tea or lunch. The castle grounds are also a fantastic place for a picnic. If you’re looking for a place for a drink and some live music after your visit to the castle, head to the jazz bar located near the southern gate. Entry to De Burcht is free and it is open year-round.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Burcht

Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
4 out of 5
Willem Einthovenstraat 3, Oegstgeest
The price is £76 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Corpus and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Leiden Bio Science Park and Hortus Botanicus are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (990 reviews)
Perfect for our trip
"Hotel staff were fantastic. Food was excellent. Room was clean. Carpets were not spotless on arrival other than that all OK. Lots of things to do within half an hours car ride"

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2020

Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
CTY Books
CTY Books
3 out of 5
Nieuwe Rijn 2, Leiden
The price is £112 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Located in the heart of Leiden, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Waag and Leiden University. Wall Poems of Leiden and Stadhuis are also within 5 minutes. ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Fantastic hotel, very stylish A++
"Fantastic hotel in the perfect location to explore the beautiful town of Leiden"

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2019

CTY Books
Best Western City Hotel Leiden
Best Western City Hotel Leiden
3 out of 5
Lange Mare 43, Leiden
The price is £77 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Located in the heart of Leiden, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum Boerhaave and Burcht. Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Corpus are also within ...
3.6/5Good! (300 reviews)
"The room was ok nut de tv doesn’t work, the bathroom, the bath didn’t. The breakfast was good."

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2020

Best Western City Hotel Leiden
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
3 out of 5
Schipholweg 3, Building B, Leiden
The price is £74 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Tulip Inn Leiden Centre
CTY Books
CTY Books
3 out of 5
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The price is £112 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
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Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
4 out of 5
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The price is £76 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
Best Western City Hotel Leiden
Best Western City Hotel Leiden
3 out of 5
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The price is £77 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
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Steenhof Suites
Steenhof Suites
3.5 out of 5
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The price is £101 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
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st.PIERRE
st.PIERRE
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City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
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The price is £97 per night from 8 Aug to 8 Aug
City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Leiden
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The price is £76 per night from 22 Aug to 22 Aug
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Villa Rameau
Villa Rameau
4 out of 5
16A Kloksteeg, Leiden, ZH
The price is £192 per night from 13 Aug to 13 Aug
Villa Rameau
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.