Museum Volkenkunde

Top choice in Leiden

Cultural achievements by civilisations worldwide are showcased at this splendid museum, which has a collection of more than 300,000 artefacts from across the globe. Permanent galleries are dedicated to the cultures of Africa, the Arctic and North America, Asia, Central and South America, China, Indonesia, Japan and Korea, and Oceania. Highlights include the atmospherically lit Buddha Room next to the Japan and Korea section and the 'Mountain of the Immortals' carving in the China section. Temporary exhibitions are also impressive.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Leiden attractions

1. Morspoort

0.09 MILES

One of two still-standing historic city gates (there were originally eight), the Morspoort was built in 1669 to a design by Willem van der Helm, who also…

2. De Valk

0.19 MILES

Leiden's landmark tower windmill – built in 1743 and now a museum – is considered one of the best examples of its kind. Its arms still occasionally rotate…

3. Museum De Lakenhal

0.22 MILES

Leiden's foremost museum reopened in 2019 following a three-year renovation. Its 1640-built premises (a former cloth warehouse) again displays its…

4. Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

0.31 MILES

Named in honour of physician, botanist, chemist and University of Leiden teacher Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), this impressive museum of science and…

5. Marekerk

0.35 MILES

The Marekerk dates to 1639 and has a beautiful octagonal wooden interior. Regular concerts and theatre performances take place here; check the agenda…

6. Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

0.36 MILES

Home to the Rijksmuseum's collection of Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Egyptian artefacts, this museum is best known for its Egyptian halls, which include the…

7. Latin School


Before it became a commercial building, the gabled Latin School, built in 1600, was graced by a pupil named Rembrandt from 1616 to 1620.

8. Naturalis Biodiversity Centre


This museum houses the first T-Rex skeleton in Europe. Its sections span botany, geology, entomology (insects), invertebrates, vertebrates and…