Here are some tips on getting to Leiden, the site of WSWG 17, and to the Hotel De Doelen, where foreign guests will stay during the Conference. There is a separate page for specific Campus Directions.
Visitors from Canada, Israel, Japan, Singapore, the USA, and most European countries need no visa, but only a passport valid through the end of your planned visit, for a stay of up to three months. European Union nationals need only their national identity card, or a passport expired less than five years ago. Those from other countries need a so-called Schengen visa. For details, check the Dutch embassy or consulate, and be advised that these may take up to three months to issue. The Euro replaced the guilder (abbr: f) for all purposes as of July 2002 (for those using older guidebooks, the conversion rate was f2.20371 = E1). One recent dollar exchange rate was $1 = E0.87, or 1E = $1.15; for the current figure, consult the Internet. You can use an ATM to convert into Euros, but check with your bank in advance for the sometimes high service charges. Cash is simplest for most local transactions. Credit cards (Visa, MC) are widely accepted, but a 5% service charge may be applied. Electricity is 200v, 50hz, and plugs are of the two-round-pin Continental type. If you will need an adapter, bring it from home. Tipping in the Netherlands is in the range 5%-10%.
Air arrivals from the US or elsewhere in Europe will be at Schiphol (skipol) Airport, located to the south of Amsterdam. The plan, once through customs, is to take the train from Schiphol to Leiden. Schiphol is very modern and helpful, with facilities for currency exchange (the Schiphol branch of GWK or Grenswisselkantoren, an agent for Western Union, is open 24 hours) and other basics. Here and elsewhere in the Netherlands, note the blue and white signs for VVV (Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer; the Dutch Office of Tourist Information). VVV offices can not only give directions, but (for a service charge) arrange reservations. The airport, and cities in the Netherlands, are reasonably safe, but your luggage, and your glances at the VVV signs, do mark you as a tourist. Use reasonable caution, especially for suspicious persons hovering in the vicinity of train stations.
TrainThe train station which air arrivals first want is within Schiphol airport:
The train leaves Schiphol every fifteen minutes going south to Leiden and Den Haag. A complete NS (Dutch Railways) schedule is available for a small charge at the station; a more brief summary schedule is free. A ticket to Leiden Centraal Station costs about E15, and the ride takes about 20 minutes.
Air arrivals, coming from Schiphol, and all European participants coming by train, should get off the train at Leiden Centraal Station. Lockers, if needed, are located near Track 5. Currency may be exchanged here (the GWK office here is open 7:00-21:00 daily), or at any bank or post office. There are also ATMs outside the station, and along the Stationsweg.
Out in front is Stationsplein (Station Plaza), perhaps not notably scenic, from which there are several ways to get to the Hotel de Doelen, at 2 Rapenburg:
1. Walk. Coming out the front exit of the station onto Stationsplein, go past the bus station and follow Stationsweg (Station Road) into the city; see Map 1. Landmarks, all on the righthand side of the street, are:
- the Super de Boer supermarket
- a VVV office (just outside the city at Stationsweg 2D; open 10-18:30 weekdays), where you can pick up tour guides or rent an audio tour; then, within the city:
- the National Museum of Ethnology (Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde), somewhat off to your right (at about this point the street name becomes Steenstraat)
- a cinema, and
- a Chinese restaurant called Asian Palace
At the Asian Palace, turn left to cross the bridge (Blauwpoortsbrug). On the other side of the bridge, immediately turn right, and continue in that direction for about a minute. You will come to a crossing (over the Rijn) with a canal directly ahead. That canal is the Rapenburg, and the Hotel de Doelen is at Rapenburg 2, on the left side of the canal. (You can now skip to the Hotel section of these directions).
2. Bus. Take any of the following from the bus station in front of Centraal Station: #30, 48, or 49. Fares are about E2. Be sure your bus is going intown (they also operate outbound, and you don't want to wind up in Den Haag or in some picturesque but irrelevant seaside village). Ask the driver to stop at Kort Rapenburg, from which the Hotel should be visible on the left side of the Rapenburg canal.
3. Taxi. The taxi stand is just outside the station. Fare is about E10.
WSWG 17 guests will be staying at the Hotel De Doelen, Rapenburg 2, about 10 minutes walk or a short bus or taxi ride from the station, and a few minutes' walk from the University. The hotel phone is 0031-71-5120527. The reception desk has your name, and will know that you are a guest of the Warring States Project. Paul van Els will be in the hotel lobby beginning at 14:00 on 17 September. Conference participants who have questions or problems can reach him that day by calling his cell phone: 06-24673489.
Here is a map of streets with easy walking radius of the Hotel, which is at the top end of Rapenburg Canal..
Just across the Nonnensteeg from the Hotel side of the Rapenburg is the original University building, toward the back of which are now housed the Center for Non-Western Studies and IIAS, two of our Conference sponsore:
For directions from the Hotel to the two campus locations of Conference sessions, see the separate Campus Directions page. Many thanks to Paul van Els for providing these directions and many of the accompanying pictures, and for his help with the advance arrangements in general.
Simply reverse the above directions. Trains leave Leiden Centraal as follows:
- For Schiphol Airport: every 15 minutes
- For Amsterdam: every 10 minutes
- For Den Haag: every 10 minutes
Happy journey, and thanks for being with us.
19 July 2003 / Corrections To: The Project