The Perfect Day Trip in Holland: Leiden

Leiden - Pick your mode of transportation: bike, feet or boat.

Leiden. It’s the birthplace of Rembrandt - that famed selfie artist who painted 350 paintings and also coincidentally died 350 years ago this February . You won’t find his grave (at all), but you will find permanent memories of his artistry in Leiden. It’s the home to the country’s oldest university. It’s less than one hour drive outside of Amsterdam. It has delicious fries. What else do you need?

Atop the city’s highest peak, take in the view of Leiden.

When I first read about Leiden a few months ago, I was unaware of its magical existence. How could a city just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam exist? As I read further, I realized it was the home to the most famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt. Even though his museum is closed for renovations, I still knew I had to visit. What I did not know was how charming it was. Sprinkle in some warmish and sunny weather on a Saturday, we had all the makings for the perfect European town. No agenda necessary for this day trip except an open mind and stomach.

Fresh flower markets overflow in the weekend markets. It’s tulip season after all!

No trip would be complete without the perfect fries with mayonnaise. I tried the curry dipping sauce.

I can easily eat my weight in fries.

I can easily eat my weight in fries.

If you are visiting Amsterdam, make this a must. You don’t need to spend the night - just spend the day without an agenda. It’s worth every minute.

February 27 marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s departure from this living world. Why is he still so important? Read more from The New York Times here.