A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
It’s unbelievable, though the semester has started just a couple of weeks ago, all people, myself included, seem to be as busy as they were at the end of the last semester. Last week, Emily gave us some tips for cheap eats; restaurants you can go to when there is just not enough time for cooking.
This made me realize: where has all the “gezelligheid” gone? I keep on seeing myself saying to people things like: “It’s been too long, we really need to catch up, let’s go for a coffee”. But honestly, how many times do you actually do that? That’s such a shame though, going for a coffee and chatting away with my friends is one of my favourite thing to do. Furthermore, there are plenty really nice cafés hidden everywhere in Leiden.
Therefore, I decided to go on a mission: this semester, I am going to try all of them. With this resolution, I get to catch up with all my friends and at the same time will be able to share my experience with you and give you some tips.
For the first blog, I will start with cafés I have checked out already. We will see how many will follow. If you have any tips and secret treasures I would highly appreciate it if you’d share them with me.
And now, let the mission begin. Cheers; to coffee and gezelligheid!
The standards: the coffee chains:
Bagels and Beans
Okay, though my aim was to find all the hidden places around Leiden, it would not be fair to leave out the Dutch chains in Leiden. My favourite among these is Bagels and Beans. That might also be due to the fact that the Bagel and Beans Logo played a crucial role in a key moment I had when I first arrived here in Leiden. I was walking from Haarlemmerstraat to Breestraat, crossed the lovely bridge at the canal and entered the narrow street where Bagels and Beans is located and was completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the city I was going to live in from now on.
As the name may assume, here you can get really tasty bagels of all kind. But that’s not the only thing I like about it. Bagel and Beans has a wonderful atmosphere, especially on a Saturday afternoon, when all people meet after they have done their shoppings at the market, which is right next to it. The best thing about Bagels and Beans are probably the mini chocolate beans they serve for free. They are not only tasty but also enable you to express your feelings and creativity.
Maarsmansteeg 8 (near the market):
Monday – Saturday: 08:58 – 17:32
Sunday: 10:01 – 17:31
Monday: 09:59 – 17:32
Tuesday – Friday: 08:58 – 17:32
Saturday 08:58 – 17:32
Sunday: 09:59 – 17:32
Coffee Company is located at the corner between Breestraat and Nieuwe Rijn. Though it is a bit more expensive than the other ones, I like to come here to study. It has a huge table for all the library-escapers and an area where you can sit and look out of the window. The cheesecake and chai latte are very tasty and the staff is really nice and friendly and sometimes they even try to spread a good mood by enriching the music with some live vocal performances. Furthermore, while all other cafés close around 6 already, Coffee Company stays open until 7.
Monday – Friday: 8:00 – 19:00
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 – 19:00
To be honest, for some reason I do not like the Coffee Star next to Botermarkt that much. I cannot explain why exactly, maybe because I find the inside a bit too small. Others may find it cosy, so check it out and build your own opinion. The Coffee Star next to the public library, however, is one of my favourites. The big windows, being surrounded by de Burcht and the Hooglandse Kerk and the atmosphere of the library makes it a special place.
Tuesday – Friday: 08.30-17.00
Leiden Library (Nieuwstraat 4)
Monday – Friday: 10:00-18:00 (Thursday until 21:00)
closed on Sunday
Lebkov is located right next to the station, on the side of the LUMC and therefore especially a good place for people who study or live on this side of the city. The interior always reminds me of the film “Coffee and Cigarettes”, the atmosphere is more modern rather than cosy, so I would recommend it as a place to have a lunch break (they have good soups and snacks) than as a place for a long coffee chat.
Monday – Friday: 6:00 – 20:00
Saturday – Sunday: 7:00 – 19:00
The Starbucks is inside of the central station, but as every Starbucks is quite the same, there is actually not much more to say about it.
This is one of my favourite cafés in Leiden, as I just love the unique idea behind it. “Francobolli” is not only a lovely café with a wonderful view on the canal but also a post office. It’s located near Haarlemmerstraat and offers a huge collection of postcards you can purchase and send there. I like the idea of sitting there with a hot chocolate, being surrounded by lots of postcards and being reminded of the time where we haven’t had Whatsapp and Facebook.
Check out their Facebook-page though: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Francobolli/229145587098542
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00.