What is Leidseplein?

Leidseplein is one of the most popular and bustling areas in the center of Amsterdam. Here you will find many old Dutch cafes and shops, as well as the popular Stadsschouwburg. Leidseplein has been an important nightlife location in Amsterdam for many years, and is therefore definitely worth a visit. Especially if you want to experience the real contemporary Amsterdam.

What is Leiden about Leidseplein?

Leidseplein is located on the south side of the city center as an extension of Leidsestraat and borders on Marnixstraat, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen and Singelgracht. This gives the square a very central location, where Amsterdammers come from all sides. The square dates from the seventeenth century, when the canal belt was constructed under the influence of population growth. Leidseplein has been given this name because there was a city gate here (the Leidsepoort) through which mainly visitors to and from Leiden passed.


Today the square fulfills a mainly cultural function, which is also reflected in the buildings located on the square or in the immediate vicinity. For example, there are several theaters on Leidseplein, including theater De Balie, Leidseplein Theater, Theater Bellevue and of course the Stadsschouwburg. Music lovers can also indulge in the square thanks to the famous pop temples Paradiso and the Melkweg, where a lot of new talent performs, but also the bigger names from the music world.

The bulldog

But if you visit Leidseplein, there is of course one building that you should not miss. The former police building on Leidseplein was renamed a coffee shop by The Bulldog owner Henk de Vries in 1985. Where people were previously locked up because of, among other things, trade in soft drugs, they can now enjoy the most delicious weed en hasj. It is possible to buy your favorite strains here smoking in former police cells that have been converted into smoking areas. You can also take a picture with a mannequin in police uniform, while posing with a joint in the corner of your mouth. One thing is for sure, there is no more special and funny location for a high-quality coffee shop!

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