Leiden’s canals were incorporated into the city plan as early as the seventeenth century. The outer canal was dug to protect the city. The historic inner city is surrounded by a six-kilometer moat. Leiden’s moats are among the biggest city fortifications in Europe with an intact structure. Leiden’s canals run through the city and are lined by docks on which trees have grown, to anchor boats.
After Amsterdam, Leiden is the city with the greatest number of bridges, canals and moats. Leiden has as many as 28 kilometers worth of waterways and 88 bridges.
Boating in Leiden
Discover Leiden from the water and enjoy an entirely new view. Tour the canals and moats and explore the historic inner city with its beautiful merchant houses and monuments with their wonderful facades. The Plants on is a fantastic city park contained within the moats. While boating in Leiden, you cannot avoid passing underneath extraordinary bridges, such as the Visbrug and Koornbrug with their beautiful covered walkway.
There is a broad offering of boat tours and packages, but you can also rent an electric boat. If you rent an electric boat, you can easily dock your boat to enjoy a picnic or lunch. You can also stop at one of the countless eating and drinking establishments along the water to relax. Boat tour and package tickets are available from the shipping companies on Beestenmarkt, Blauwpoortsbrug or Apothekersdijk at a two to five-minute walk from Leiden Central Station. You can also contact the local VVV tourist office for more information on boat tours or boat rentals.
Leiden is also a perfect base for beautiful day trips nearby. Sail to the Kagerplassen, which everybody calls ‘de Kaag’. This is a large lake area at less than half an hour by boat from Leiden’ city center. With dozens of windmills and old farms along the water, this is one of the country’s most beautiful places to explore by boat. You can also sail to places like Katwijk, The Hague and even Delft.
Our canal cruise: a comfortable adventure
Discover Leiden at its best in 50 minutes from our comfortable boat. Together with our skipper who will tell you all kinds of historic tales and current stories about the city, you will enjoy an intimate atmosphere on board. Are you going to the Keukenhof soon? Good idea to combine Keukenhof Lisse with the beautiful city of Leiden and a cruise with us!
Our boats are electric and therefore pleasantly silent. With Bootjes en Broodjes, your skipper is also your guide; he will tell you all kinds of historic tales and current stories about Leiden in approximately 50 minutes.
Would you like to bring some refreshments on the cruise? Visit our store for drinks and some snacks. Or order catering with your on-line ticket. Your order will be ready at the Blauwpoortsbrug (the end- and starting point of the canal tour) just before departure time.
Would you rather experience a cruise of Leiden in the exclusive company of your friends, colleagues or family? You can book a private tour, see here.
Autumn or winter
Our cruises are also available in autumn and winter, as long as there is no ice. The boat will be covered and pleasantly heated, if required.
With nice weather, we sail with an open boat. Otherwise, there will be an ingenious roof on our cruise boats, so that you can always drive comfortably. In the following video, the boatbuilder shows how beautiful the roof works with the many bridges Leiden has.