Spend time in Leiden after Keukenhof?

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Apr 9th, 2009, 11:01 AM
  #1
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Spend time in Leiden after Keukenhof?

DH & I will be in Amsterdam for 3 nights next month. This is our first trip there and really have no interest in museums so we just want to relax and enjoy the area. We both have been really stressed out at our jobs lately and just want to "chill out" for a while before we travel to Paris. My only thing planned is to visit Keukenhof on our second day if the weather cooperates. Since we'll be taking the train to/from Leiden, I'm wondering if it would be nice to explore the town after visiting Keukenhof. Let's just say for purposes of this post that we spend a few hours at the gardens and decide around 1 or 2pm to head out. Assuming also that we didn't eat lunch at Keukenhof, would you recommend having lunch in Leiden or just heading back to Amsterdam?

I've seen pictures of Leiden and it looks like a charming little town, but I don't know if a few hours there is worth it. I'm hoping that those of you who've been to this area can offer some advice.
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Apr 9th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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I recommend that y spend some time in LEiden. It ended up beign our favoirte town outside of Amsterdam. It has the Pilgrim history as well as its famous university and is a very pretty town.
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Apr 9th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Thanks! I appreciate your help!
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Apr 9th, 2009, 02:29 PM
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Yes Leiden is a very pleasant town, often likened to Amsterdam in miniature. It has good rail connections to Amsterdam and Den Haag and has some good museums and restaurants.
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Apr 10th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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Thanks, Gordon!
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Apr 10th, 2009, 07:11 AM
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I recommend stopping in Haarlem for a walkabout and lunch. The Cafe Brinkmann at the Grote Markt has outdoor seating which is very pleasant on a sunny day. Eat inside if it is wet.

You don't need train reservations.
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Apr 10th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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Thanks, spaarne - I'll look into that as well!
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Apr 10th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Spaarne,
Thankyou for the Cafe Brinkman suggestion, we may try it Tuesday afternoon after we famliarize ourselves with Zandvoort.

Our tulips here in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia started to open today. We can't wait to see what is happening there.
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Apr 11th, 2009, 01:45 AM
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http://tinyurl.com/dg3ddv the front page of my newspaper today - the photo was taken yesterday.
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Apr 11th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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While in Leiden, I'd like to recommend the Molen de Valk, a wonderful little windmill and museum that you can tour through, just a 3-5 minute walk from the train station. Exit the station towards town, cross the canal, and take a left on the path through the little park next to the canal, which leads to the windmill. It's just a few Euros to tour the museum and climb the seven stories of the windmill. Around the 4th or 5th floor you can walk outside and enjoy a panoramic view of Leiden and its surroundings.

For another interesting panorama view of Leiden, you can walk to the top of the Burcht, a man-made mound in the middle of town which hold the remains of a former fortress. The entrance is through a 17th century doorway located on the medieval van der Sterrepad.

Enjoy your time time at the Keukenhof, and in Leiden - you might as well visit the city, since you're already there.

Robyn
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Apr 11th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Hetismij,
Great photo, the colors are fantastic.
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Apr 11th, 2009, 09:09 AM
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hetismij - for some reason I can't see the photo; it wants me to login and I can't find a way around it!

artstuff - thanks so much for the info on the windmill and the views of the town. I love taking pictures so I'm always looking for neat vantage points!
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Apr 11th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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sherhatfield,
click on the photo in the upper right hand corner and the one of the tulips in Keukenhof will come up.

Also, check with the VVV near the train station about a self walking tour, or you may be able to google one. Another place we will be visiting in Leiden are the gardens at the university. I think that is the Hortus Botanicus. Sorry I can't be of more help, but we leave Monday and all the trip papers, note, etc. are already packed.
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Apr 11th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for the link to the photo, hetismij. I've got pictures of the same bulb fields from several years ago, but taken from the ground and the viewing platform on the windmill at the Keukenhof. Ahhhh....springtime in Holland!!

And ronkala - thanks for the info to access the picture. I tried to link several times but kept getting what sherhatfield was viewing. Since it was all in dutch, I had no idea what to click on.

Robyn
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Apr 11th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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I didn't know that either, I just tried it and it worked.

sherhatfield,
google planetware Leyden walking tour and info with sites to see will come up. Each can be opened to find a brief discription.

You can find another walking tour athttp://www.pilgrimhall.org/leidenwalkinglong.htm
It is 9 pages long.
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Apr 12th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the help! I can see that picture now, too!

Sher
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