A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
If you decided to read this article there can only be two possible reasons.
Truth is, I do not know who you are, neither I have a specific target. I am just somebody who constantly wonders about this kind of stuff. I am sitting in a café, drinking my caramel latte, with my eyes on the street, carefully observing the crowd and its life. I like to look through the looks of people. Often, I seem to notice somebody looking back. Something tells me that the ones that look around the most, they do to find something beautiful to look at, something to fall in love with. Well, if you happen to be one of these kinds of people, I am probably writing this to you.
Rainy days like these are the perfect scenario for encounters and warm cuddles, or at least that’s what I imagine. So many students, so many stories, so many intrigues. But where does it happen? What are the hottest areas in the city? I am going to tell you what I imagine to be the most romantic spots in Leiden.
…and no, the Einstein pub is not in this list.
The first location I see as perfect for romantic encounters is the Café De Twee Spieghels.
Many of you will agree with me that Jazz music is the ideal background for a romantic situation. What could be better than a pub with live jazz where you can get some of the best red wine in town? The place gets easily crowded by many students who love cozy places and attractive music. I remember enjoying myself quite well. Just sit there and let yourself be carried away by the rich vibes and charming strings. Who knows who’s going to sit next to you.
Truth is (I am going cheesy with this) that love is all around, or, if you’d like, love can be found in many places. There are so many hidden spots through the canals of Leiden which would make you think ‘wow if I would want to charm a lady I would bring her here’. One of my favorites is near Kerkburg. It is a really pretty spot, near one of those bridges that allow boats to pass. Not easy to notice, but why the hell would you not want to open a bottle of wine with someone aside some calm waters?
If you want to impress someone over dinner you have to know where to go. Leiden can offer a rich variety of restaurants, most of them of good quality. If I had to suggest one, that would be the Bistro Malle Jan. You can either decide to eat indoor or outdoor in a cozy, private garden enclosed in the building, this being the favorable option. I imagine this to be the perfect ambiance for a date, even more for a romantic encounter. The small outdoor area, with its benches and small french tables, offers a sophisticated but delicate vibe. The bistro is the perfect location where to enjoy quiet but rich conversations while sharing a meal surrounded by calmness and fulfillment. This is a restaurant you would dress pretty for, a place where you would go to show yourself. Perfect for those who love to show off and for those who are looking for something.
My last suggestion could sound quite ridiculous, but I know that there are others that think exactly like me on the matter. The last location I would suggest is whichever university library in town. Wait… what? Why am I suggesting this? Well, firstly I’d like to encourage you all to go often to the library because it’s good for your academic results, helps to avoid procrastination, but also allows you to have a great deal of social interaction. However, the main reason for which I suggest you go to the library to ‘fall in love’ with somebody is that it already happen to me! Once I was sitting in the booths at theLaw Library, I remember being extremely concentrated on my work.
I still remember the moment she sat in front of me. I was desperately trying to get back to my shit, but I still had imprinted the soft smile she gave me. I don’t remember if it was 1 or 2 hours, but I know I stayed there amazed by such beauty and by the fact that I was being able to enjoy that moment, only made of looks and silent smiles. In the library you can’t talk, so you have an excuse to not say anything, just subtly hint to reciprocal appreciation. Truth is, it can be quite amazing to think how much our real, true selves are exposed in the library. Probably you are going to sit at a computer desk and you are going to be busy catching up with your assignments, and you will surely not make an effort to look pretty or to be noticed by someone. It’s in places like this where I imagine the most to get a devastating crush on somebody. As it happened to me.
At this point, you would think ‘What’ s the whole point of this article?’. Fundamentally, more than a specific spot, you could say that what matters is what you see wherever you are. In a town like Leiden, there are so many students, so many lives, so many intrigues. Dear reader, I invite you to always keep an eye out of the window. Always be kind, subtly appreciate the beauty that Leiden has to offer, and create as much love as you can.