Leidseplein square in Amsterdam
Leidseplein is a busy square at the southern end of Amsterdam's central canal ring, almost facing the popular Vondelpark.
Short history of Leidseplein
Leidseplein translates roughly as Leiden Square, as it sits at the end of Leidsestraat which, throughout much of the history of the square, was the main road to the town of Leiden. Today, Leidseplein serves as a transport hub in the city, with a number of tram lines intersecting here, as well as a centre for nightlife and shopping.
Attractions directly at Leidseplein
A common fixture of this entertainment focused square is the street performers that can almost constantly be found on the squares eastern side. From acrobatic break-dancing to freestyle jazz.
During the summer months, the other side of Leidseplein is taken up by large terraces of the bars lining the square. Tourists and locals sit here and relax. During colder times of the year the terraced area is covered by an outdoor skate rink, while hot food stalls appear throughout the square.
Theater Stadsschouwburg or international theatre Amsterdam is also on the square.
Attractions close to Leidseplein
The following are just the most popular attractions. Because of Leidsepleins central location much more is around it.
There are a number of very popular Leidseplein hotels in Amsterdam, due to their proximity to the city's nightlife hotspots as well as the must-see Museumplein area. Big names such as the Marriot and Eden Amsterdam American Hotel can be found here, as well as smaller gems like The Golden Bear and Backstage Hotel.
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How to get to Leidseplein
To get to here from Central Station, take trams 1, 2 or 5 to the fairly self explanatory Leidseplein stop, from other parts of the city, trams 7 and 10 are the ones to look out for. On foot, you can find the square from the city centre by following Leidsestraat, which cuts through the south-western edge of the canal ring. For those travelling by car, the nearby Q-Park multistorey car park at Marnixstraat 50 is the most convenient location to park.
Much of Amsterdam's nightlife centres around Leidseplein and the streets nearby. Famous music venues such as Melkweg and Paradiso can be found here, while Irish pubs, brown cafés and smaller nightclubs line the square and the streets radiating off it. For a classy night out, the city theatre, the Stadsschouwburg, sits directly opposite the tram stop on the square itself.
In the streets surrounding Leidseplein, restaurants and bars serving food account for almost every building. Korte Leidsedwarsstraat and the intersecting streets are crammed with Chinese, Italian and Argentinian restaurants, most of which offer great deals due to intense competition. There are also a number of higher end restaurants nearby, with Café Americain in the Eden Amsterdam American Hotel being a popular choice, particularly for Jazz Brunch on Sunday afternoons.
Around Leidseplein, there are a number of popular shopping spots as well as services that may be useful to the visiting tourist. One of the most noticeable services on Leidseplein is the large branch of international bank ABN Amro on the southern edge. A large taxi rank can also be found on here, as well as stops for many night bus routes.
Leidseplein square in Amsterdam on the map
Photos: Kleon3, Massimo Catarinella, Rex Roof at Wikimedia Commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en).