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
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Learning Dutch
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FAQ: Moving to Leiden


Cafes and Restaurants
Getting around
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The library


Snow? That's what I learned at school, but if anything were conspicuous by its absence at the moment, it's anything vaguely snow- or ice-related! The surface of those lovely outdoor skating rinks (so cheap, accessible, safe and frankly jolly) are rippling gently in the warm January sunshine, disturbed only by swans and moorhens, as the daffodils flower and all my garden plants get very confused about what season it is.

But the evenings are still awfully dark, so what can we propose to get you through the weeks until real spring is in the air?

School choices in NL - Free seminar

Although we are enjoying a year or two off the school-choice treadmill, until our next child reaches Group 7 or 8 in primary, it is now full Open Day season for plenty of parents in the area. There is an introduction to the system on this site, to explain How It Works at 12+ level, but frankly it can appear pretty bewildering to the hapless international exposed to it all for the first time. Tip for those at the secondary school stage: do start looking out for open days / evenings when your child is in Group 7, as there are only so many schools one can helpfully visit in a given number of January weeks... I have just found a very useful resource at, where you can type in your postcode and how far you are prepared to let your child cycle, and it will tell you what open days are on which dates. I wish I'd spotted this three years ago!

It can all be a bit bewildering right from square one, though, working out whether one wants a Dalton / Jenaplan / Vrije / Christelijke / Openbare primary for one's child (and when one should have put it on the waiting list), so we have attempted to explain things a bit in our section on Schools on the left. In addition, we have been offered a helping hand by Annebet van Marmeren, whose business it is to help international families navigate the Netherlands and settle in successfully. When Annebet acquired some clients in Leiden she started looking into schools in this area, and she has now been invited by the city council to give a seminar in Leiden on the Dutch education system . This FREE seminar is on Monday 15th February at the Hogeschool Leiden, Zernikedreef 11 in Leiden (that's behind the LUMC hospital and Naturalis, on the Bio Science Park), and opens its doors at 7.30pm - more information here. The event is free but the city council would like you to sign up in advance which you can do through that link.

You can also read more about Annebet and her business at

Go to the theatre!

In addition to its three cinemas, did you know Leiden also has two thriving theatres/concert venues? At you can read all about what is on offer there, and it's a bewildering variety. Couple of things caught my eye; Alice in Wonderland for 8+ (vreemderer en vreemderer) on 5th Feb, and an introduction to the orchestra for pre-schoolers on the 6th, just for starters, and I haven't even started on the stand-up comedy, dance, jazz, theatre and magic shows on offer, often major companies on tour from Amsterdam/Utrecht/Rotterdam. Definitely worth looking into.

Have a clear-out!

This Christmas holidays we had a bit of a blitz and got rid of a staggering quantity of things from around the house (and while we haven't reached real Marie Kondo heights, it was very cathartic). I made good use of the local recycling opportunities (have a look at last January's homepage for still-relevant useful information and links), and found a couple of new ways of finding good homes for (rather than merely binning) still-usable items, once you have passed on all that is humanly possible to your family and friends....

  • The one-stop shop for saleable items in this country is really With its free ads and simple system it is a great way to sell (or give away) more or less anything.
  • The Leiden Buy-Sell-Exchange Facebook group is great for, well, buying, selling and exchanging things, especially large items (needing picking up) which are more likely to attract a local clientèle.
  • The Leiden Mamas Facebook group has a buy-sell option too, for the more baby-and-child-specific items.
In Oegstgeest, the new Kringloop (second-hand) shop SOEK ( has just acquired its very own premises at Rhijngeesterstraatweg 13b (which is just behind the Gemeentehuis), and opens its doors there for the first time on Saturday 30th January! Its opening times will initially be Wed/Fri/Sat from 10am to 4pm.



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

Recent additions:
See Q`s Cakes on the right of this site by Social. Take a look at this new website: Delicious handmade cupcakes delivered to your door.