Living and working in Leiden

Leiden continues to innovate

Leiden is a city of discoveries. The city has produced world-famous painters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Steen. William I, Prince of Orange, established Leiden University in 1575. Albert Einstein was an endowed professor, and Leiden was once the coldest place in the world, when Kamerlingh Onnes managed to convert helium gas into a liquid at a temperature of -269 °C. 

Leiden University is one of Europe's leading international research-intensive universities. The University's key principles are:

  • a strong international orientation
  • a research-intensive profile
  • teaching and research of the highest quality

Leiden University actively promotes the following core values:
  • freedom of spirit, thought and expression
  • unrestrained development of knowledge
  • responsibility towards society
  • integrity

The motto of the University is: Praesidium Libertatis, Bastion of Freedom.


Historical centre

The centre of Leiden is famous for its almshouses, monumental buildings and canals. There are many watercourses because, after Amsterdam, Leiden has the most water flowing within its boundaries. Leiden has numerous pavement cafés, restaurants and bars and a wealth of art and culture. There are activities and events in the centre of Leiden throughout the whole year.

Go to visitleiden.nl for an overview of what Leiden has to offer.

Leiden University locations

The locations of Leiden University are spread throughout the town. Each location has its own advantages. Locations such as the Faculty of Law and the General and Administrative Services Department (the Executive Board has its offices here) are in the historic centre of Leiden. The Faculty of Social Sciences is within walking distance of the train station. Other locations, such as the Faculty of Science (the Gorlaeus Laboratory), are right in the middle of Leiden’s Bio Science Park.

More about the premises of Leiden University

Last Modified: 16-09-2015