1.5 miles / 2.4 kilometres
Take the Leidsekade (quayside) just around the corner from the hubbub of the Leidseplein, start by the American Hotel. Wander along the Leidse, van Lennep, and Da Costa quaysides; nose around in cute residential areas. You're never more than about 15 mins from the Leidseplein and yet you'll feel pleasantly ‘away from it all’. Although not called canals, these quayside ‘kade’ walks are every bit as nice, just not quite as old as the 400-year old canal ring.
Leidsekade to da Costakade and back Walk (follow link to see in Google maps)
On the way back, you'll amble through the lovely leafy ‘Helmer’ neighbourhood with its inviting pavement cafés, unusual little shops and lush play-areas. Finally you'll turn in to the Leidse Bosje (little wooded area) to return to the Leidseplein and here you'll marvel at the monumental plane trees among other fine specimens, and all of that in such a very small area.
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Jacob van Lennepstraat 39, is a really nice neighbourhood café you'll pass within less than a mile from Leidseplein.
Open from 12 p.m. till way past midnight, you can get coffee or drinks or a ‘tosti’ (toasted sandwich) or ‘broodje’ (filled roll) during the day plus beer, wine etc.
Bosboom Toussaintstraat 26, so nicely situated and attractive that even if you weren’t planning it, you may end up parking yourself at one of the tables. Great ‘watch the world go by’ spot and lovely leafy under a dappled green canopy.
Open from 10 a.m. till 11 p.m., as well as coffee, lunch, drinks, you can also get an evening meal and it's a really nice situation, being vibrant as well as peaceful.
There is plenty of choice here on the Leidseplein but if you're feeling frivolous…