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Holiday Travel Guide
Stadhuis featuring street scenes and heritage architecture

The Town Hall’s Renaissance façade, saved from fire, is the crowning glory of the old quarter of Leiden. 

Although the old city hall was ravaged by fire in 1929, its beautiful 16th-century Renaissance façade, known as Stadhuis, survived. It was designed by Lieven de Key, a Dutch architect known for his works in Haarlem. View the building’s sculptural niches and fanciful flourishes, such as the lion guarding the steps and the large arched door.

Walk along one of the oldest streets of Leiden, the Breestraat, to see the old façade. The building was saved from total destruction with great difficulty; the weather was so cold at the time that the water was freezing in the firefighting hoses. The effect of the water frozen as it ran off the building made it look like an ice palace. Sadly much of the town’s history was lost as its registers of births and deaths and other historic papers were burned.

On the Vismarkt (fish market) side of the Stadhuis, look for the new building that was erected in the 1930s after the devastating fire. At this time M.C. Escher designed five wooden panels inlaid with his usual complex graphic designs of fish and birds. These can only be seen on Open Monument Day in September as the town hall is still used as council offices. One shows a large map of the city streets in 1940 surrounded by the iconic Escher flying birds.

Shop, market style, at the Vismarkt. It’s not just herring here, but flowers, street food and organic fruit and vegetables. Practice your Dutch language skills bartering for prices and counting out local currency.

Enjoy the architecture of Stadhuis as you dine in style at the City Hall Bistro located in the Stadhuisplein. If it’s sunny, find a seat near the canal for a coffee and a stroopwafel, the pastry sandwich made from thin crispy waffle cookies with a sweet filling.

Top things to do in Stadhuis

Top Trending Hotels Near Stadhuis

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
Steenhof Suites
Steenhof Suites
3.5 out of 5
Steenschuur 11, Leiden
The price is £101 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Located in the heart of Leiden, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Leiden University and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Mauritshuis and Keukenhof Gardens are ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (83 reviews)
"Exceptional experience on all levels. 1. Accommodating staff and noteworthy hospitality. The hostess was very accommodating when she found out we had a lot of luggage. She adjusted our stay to a lower level. We were so grateful for this accommodation. NOTE: there are no lifts. 2. Room accommodations ..."

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020

Steenhof Suites
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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Top Hotel Deals

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
Nieuwe Rijn 2, Leiden
The price is £112 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
CTY Books
Steenhof Suites
Steenhof Suites
3.5 out of 5
Steenschuur 11, Leiden
The price is £101 per night from 1 Aug to 1 Aug
Steenhof Suites
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
Hilton Garden Inn Leiden
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
Best Western City Hotel Leiden
st.PIERRE
st.PIERRE
3.5 out of 5
Langebrug 28, Leiden
st.PIERRE
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
City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
2 out of 5
Boommarkt 23, Leiden
The price is £97 per night from 8 Aug to 8 Aug
City Hotel Nieuw Minerva
Ex Libris boutique hotel
Ex Libris boutique hotel
3.5 out of 5
Kloksteeg 4, Leiden
The price is £123 per night from 29 Aug to 29 Aug
Ex Libris boutique hotel
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.