From the Dutch masters to picturesque villages, from modern art to theatres and castles. Breathe in the rich sense of history during a walk or cycle-ride past waterways, flower fields or to the coast. Where else could you find such varied surroundings, full of lively places that cherish their own authentic character? One thing is for sure: you will never get bored.

What are you going to do?

You can soak up the region’s culture throughout the year. Which hidden gem will surprise you today? Want to explore one of the many museums, or would you rather discover the region by bike or on foot? And if you like historic buildings, you're in luck. You’ll have more than enough choice for a cultural day out!

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To the museum

This region is packed with museums. Whether you’re a fan of art, cars, dinosaurs, mummies or science, there is always an interesting exhibition just around the corner.

Young Rembrandt

Did you know that Rembrandt was born in Leiden? Find out about the young master-painter during a visit to the Young Rembrandt Studio on Langebrug 89. A unique stop on the Leiden Rembrandt Route, you will learn all about his life during the 7-minute ‘video mapping’ experience.

Have your portrait sketched at the Latin School in the Pieterskwartier, where Rembrandt went to school. Look through the window and he will sketch your portrait.

Young Rembrandt Studio
  • Young Rembrandt Studio


Churches, castles, windmills, hidden courtyards and country houses: these are just a selection of the treasures that await you in the Region of Surprises. Every historic building has its own story to tell. From the classical to the contemporary, discover the most impressive historic buildings. Discover all historic buildings

Discover all monuments

Like a king

If you’re seeking castles, there’s no need to go abroad. The view from the Leidse Burcht (the old keep) is a popular attraction that’s free of charge, for example, but it’s just one of the stately buildings to visit.

Imagine yourself back in the 17th century during a visit to Oud-Poelgeest Castle, the former home of Professor Boerhaave. You can also visit Wittenburg Castle and Castle Duivenvoorde, which is almost 800 years old. The old walls are a romantic testament to a glorious past!

Also fun!