Get to know Holland from the boat
We have already experienced a lot, but a city tour by boat is not one of the usual experiences on our pleasure trips. Water played a big part in our trip to Leiden Holland. We slept the three nights during our stay in a houseboat. So what could be more obvious than to do part of our sightseeing by boat. In Holland this is easily possible because part of the country lies below sea level and is drained by canals. In Holland, canals are also waterways, on which leisure captains as well as excursion boats sail. They run through the country just like the cities.
I knew about the canals in Amsterdam and we were with whisper boats in Edam on the way, but I only really realized the importance of the Dutch waterways in Leiden. There we made our city tour with a motorboat, which Captain Rien chauffeured from our houseboat station to Leiden. Only from the water did it become clear that many of the city's residents not only park a car in front of their front door, but also a boat next to it. The proximity to the water and the canals make it possible.
Leiden Holland from the boat
Since on this day the weather played only conditionally - it was drizzling now and then - we asked ourselves on the departure of our Houseboat station in Warmond, why we couldn't take a covered boat for the tour. That was cleared up very quickly on our tour of the Leiden canals. There it swarms with bridges, under which we could just drive through. They are low and so narrow that the boat cannot get through without bumping into them. There must be specially built boats that can navigate here.
Our captain Rien had to make himself as small as possible under each of these bridges so as not to bump into them. Nevertheless, he did not let his good mood take away. A man who even has the children of the royal couple in his care and offers them an excursion into normal life on the water. This time, however, we are his guests and he shows us the city of Leiden on a tour of the town's waterways. We cruise around and through the city in the ring canals, giving us a glimpse of the city, its sights and life on the water.
The Canals of Leiden Holland
We are not the only ones who use the waterways of Leiden as traffic routes. There are other boats with us on the canals. Pedestrians keep waving at us from the bridges. Some chat with us as we leisurely cruise underneath. A city tour by open boat is something out of the ordinary. Equipped with hot tea and coffee in thermos flasks and sausage sandwiches, we slowly let the city glide past us and enjoy our picnic lunch on board. Our boat tour through Leiden Holland reminds me a little of the Sunday trips I used to take with my parents around my hometown as a child. Thoughts of my childhood run through my head as we drive past the town's residential buildings and sights.
Merchant town of Leiden in Holland
We see merchant houses and trading posts that bear witness to Leiden's rich past. We pass several windmills on our way through the city, drive under bridges that seem to get lower and lower, see the oldest brewery in the city and drive past the observatory of Leiden University. These photos give an impression of how Leiden Holland presented itself to us from the water:
One thing was definitely our boat trip through Leiden: a very special experience that we will not forget so quickly.
Do you like traveling in a motorhome? Leiden Netherlands Camping Tips
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options. Rent a motorhome or a camper near you here. Or would you prefer to stay overnight in a roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tent is possible.
- Check our packing list for campersto see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- You can stay overnight at Camping Stochemhoeve, Cronesteyn 3, 2322 LH Leiden, The Netherlands. But there are other campsites near Leiden. There you can after a day trip in a Dutch Oven on the portable grill to prepare your dinner.
- Practical accessories for the mobile home you can also find here.
- Why is an e-bike folding bike useful when camping?
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Source: On-site research. Thank you to Olympia Charters and our Captain Rien for a day on the waterways in Leiden Holland.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline