Home in Leiden

Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


About us
Pregnancy and Birth
Childrens Health
Learning Dutch
Previous Homepages
FAQ: Moving to Leiden


Cafes and Restaurants
Getting around
Hotels and B&Bs
The library


Home in Leiden was set up in 2009 by Harriet Fitski and Tanneke Westmaas as a volunteer website and organization to help international families feel at home in Leiden. We care passionately about getting people from all backgrounds together and creating community and support. We aim to provide easily accessible information to enable you to make the most of this wonderful city and become part of that community.

Many people have been involved in the HomeinLeiden community over the years, and below you can read about those who are most involved. We always welcome newcomers! Do get in touch ( if you'd like to get involved by writing for the website, want to know more about a particular area, or just for a friendly word!

Harriet, who co-runs the site, is responsible for much of the content of the website. She is British (and now also officially Dutch), married to a Dutch man, and mum to Quentin and Evelyn. She has lived in Leiden since 2001, and frankly refuses to leave. She started an international parent and baby group when she was pregnant with Quentin, and is passionate about getting people in touch with each other, and creating support networks for people with children. She loves having a house full, and hates people taking themselves too seriously.

Harriet is an artist see and children's author (see, working on her third book. Nevertheless, she still seems to spend most of her time baking for hordes of hungry teenagers, perfecting the art of the wheelchair wheelie, and trying to persuade her dachshund Daisy to sit. You can contact Harriet through

Alice, who co-runs the site, has updated and written lots of new sections and brought Oegstgeest into the picture. Alice is English (and now also officially Dutch!) and married to a partly-Dutchman who was brought up all over Europe, so they can cherry-pick as they please from several countries' attitudes. She has four children and works four days a week as a energy transition and new energies technologist for Shell. At work she enjoys the peace and adult conversation, and at home the semi-controlled chaos is a refreshing contrast. In her spare time Alice goes rowing, makes complex constructions out of Kapla, potters about in the garden and while still dealing with muddy wellies is also learning to handle incipient teenage angst. She loves to cook (and thus, of course, to eat, especially bread, cakes and biscuits) and to play with words and languages, and hates being inactive.

Jessica kept up the labour of love that was the What's On section for years and has written and researched a lot of content, including the Schools section. Jessica, who has a PhD from Leiden University, is from the US and lives in Leiden with her Dutch husband and their son Darius. Apart from writing learned papers on Jewish trade networks and generally being a Busy and Important Academic, Jessica likes to spend her time inventing nerdy quizzes, tasting wine (although she refuses to spit so I say that's just called drinking), being a foodie and trying to feed her friends to death. She loves goat cheese and fighting injustice, and hates stingy hospitality and olives.

Tanneke is responsible for all the real hard work behind the website. She is Dutch and works as an assistant data manager at the LUMC. She grew up in Alphen aan den Rijn but has lived in Leiden for more than 20 years. She has studied to be a webpage designer and makes websites in her spare time. She is quadriplegic, is ranked as seriously cool by all children, given her wheelchair with lights, buttons and beeping noises, and is very tolerant about it being used as a climbing frame.

She loves doing things with friends and hates cold, rainy weather.
Marianne Orchard, of , is our super-dooper Guest Author of various pieces guaranteed to make you involuntarily snort coffee out of your nose, including the Dutch Festivals and Traditions section. She controversially left Leiden a few years ago for the rural charms of Appelscha, but luckily we managed to lure her back from the joys of snow-shovelling and she's living in Leiden again. Marianne is originally British, married to a Dutch man, and mum to Maddy and Jay. She is a writer and translator when she has time off from her busy schedule of dealing with teenage dramas, perfecting the art of cat training, and knitting snails. She loves community living and sustainability (as long as there's plenty of wine and giggling about Kabouter Plop) and hates leaf blowers and colouring inside the lines.

Jill Bowe moved here with her husband from Ireland. She has been very busy since she moved here, mastering the Dutch language impressively quickly, leading a scouting group and working as a teaching assistant in a Dutch primary school. She has two children and is now studying to be a special needs teacher. Jill has been a major part of the social side of HomeinLeiden for many years, running the pub nights, cinema nights and of course the famous Swishes. She likes the openness of Home In Leiden and the chance of meeting a great bunch of girls; whatever is happening, you're guaranteed a giggle and a bit of bad manners to boot!

Jill dislikes people who complain and fast food. She likes The Killers & Kings of Leon, seventies inspired fashion, the outdoors and Shane Horgan (an Irish rugby player).

Marie Hobbs - Vijendran moved from England to Leiden in 2009, and is famous to many for starting up the Vogelwijk Wednesday morning playgroup just six weeks after arriving. She runs monthly birth-preparation classes ( as well as mindfulness and mindful self-compassion courses and personal mentoring ( Marie has two children, Leo and Chiara, who were born in UK but have grown up here in Leiden. She keeps her ear to the ground for all community-building activities and loves signposting people to information and linking people to each other. 

She loves nothing more than putting her feet up with a glass of wine and some knitting and hates wasted energy in any form!



Baby/Toddler Groups
Vogelwijk Playgroup
Oegstgeest Family Life
Classes and Sports
Photo Gallery
Vrouw Kind Centrum


Find a Babysitter
Dutch Etiquette, Festivals and Traditions
Greener Leiden Living
HIL Top Tips
Expat Centre Leiden
Useful Links