South Holland city Leiden was originally formed in the 9th century as a settlement, the Burcht van Leiden, built upon a man-made hill on top of the old and new Rhine Rivers. The city expanded as a result of industrialisation during the following centuries, and is now home to around 120,000 people. Hire a car from Hallenweg 6 and visit Leiden’s historic city centre, less than 10 minutes away. Pay a visit to the Netherlands’ Oldest University, which was founded in 1575 by William of Orange; revel in the art of celebrated local 17th century artist Rembrandt at the Lakenhal; or visit one of Europe’s oldest botanical garden, the Hortus Botanicus, the birthplace of the Dutch Tulip.
The university town is a cultural hotspot, hosting an array of festivals throughout the year. The 3 Oktober Festival is the city’s largest annual event, with a weekend-long celebration of the overthrowing of the Spanish siege in 1574. Culinair Festival is a popular summer food festival, while Lakenfeesten pays tribute to Leiden’s industrial past. For a spot of leisure outside of Leiden, hire a car from Hallenweg 6 and head a quarter of an hour north to the boating lakes of Klagerplassen. This series of waterways and islands is connected by canals, and the Kaag lakes are perfect for watersports, fishing or exploring on a pleasure cruiser.