We quickly discovered that bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation here with people of all ages and family configurations taking advantage of the dedicated travel lanes, traffic signals and bicycle parking garages that are located in every city and town. Entire families travel by bicycle with the youngest family members strapped into baby bicycle seats attached to their parents bicycles and older siblings trailing behind powered by their own peddling. You too can opt to travel by bicycle but we chose to take advantage of the amazing train network to visit six must see destinations in Southern Holland.
First up was Leiden, which also served as our home base for the week. Leiden is home to the oldest university in the Netherlands and was the birthplace of Rembrandt. To take in some of his masterpieces you can visit the Museum De Lakenhal which is located in the famous Cloths Hall which dates back to 1640. Another great spot to visit is the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum. Here you can go back in time and get a glimpse of what life was like before the Pilgrims embarked for their new life in America. But if the weather is nice simply get out an explore. Leiden has the second largest pedestrian area in the Netherlands (with Amsterdam being first) so there are miles upon miles of cobblestone streets you can meander through. You can zig zag over the canals, feed the ducks and enjoy a leisurely meal in one of the many sidewalk cafes. And because this is a university town, the pricing at many restaurants is geared towards students.