Have a smoke in Leiden
Coffeeshop Double AA, Lage Rijndijk 9
Leiden is a reasonably-sized, lively town about 10 km inland from Noordwijk (where the Flying Pig Beach hostel is situated). It takes about 35 minutes by bus and is therefore a good day trip; there's a lot to see and do. Because there is a big university, there's quite a lot going on, and at the same time (like all other Dutch towns), it is a much more laid-back place than the capital.
A lot of backpackers amongst you will wonder: how about the coffeeshops in Leiden -a really important question of course-?. Well, there are around 10 coffeeshops in town. One important note though: all of Leiden's coffeeshops are open between the hours of 4 pm and 10 pm only. So far I have sampled three:
Double AA is a very comfortable and decent place: nice wooden carved panels to stare blankly at when you're floating off somewhere, video games, decent staff and all in all, a very good spot to while away an afternoon. Although there are other coffeeshops we'd be surprised if any were much better than this one.
Bebop, Diefsteeg 3
Nestled down an alley in Leiden, this small shop has cow-hair stools and zany space-aged ashtrays, and a view of the alley and pedestrian traffic. They have really good homegrown pot and the atmosphere is really cool.
Leidseplein, Pieterskerkgracht 8
The atmosphere at Leidseplein is great; the decor is classy, all wood tones, beiges and mahoganies. Leidseplein is situated at the corner of two perpendicular streets (well, alleys really). Directly out the door, one has a spectacular view of the ‘Pieterskerk’ towering over the tops of the houses that line the alleyways.