Download GPX file for this article
52.185354.47392Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Oegstgeest is a town in South Holland, bordering the city of Leiden, perhaps best known as the birthplace of Dutch author Jan Wolkers and from the title of his autobiographical novel Return to Oegstgeest.


Natural ice skating rink in front of the Oud Poelgeest castle.

Oegstgeest is one of the first ever settled parts of the Dutch coast that we know of today. The earliest trace of a settlement dates back from the second century, when a Batavi settlement would have been located here. In 2010 a group from the Leiden University found remains of a bridge that would have connected the two banks of the river Rhine dating back from between the year 500 and 700. The river Rhine nowadays no longer runs through the town, but used to do so centuries ago. It is not sure if the area has been settled permanently since, but legend states that where the Groene Kerkje stands today, a church would have been found that was sacred by Willibrord, one of the Northumbrian Saints that converted the Netherlands. For the legend to be true, the church needs to have been built before 739, when Willibrord died. The church its existence is not doubted, and its mere existence indicated that the area was a busy settlement for its time with an above average population density.

Oegstgeest saw a rise between the eleventh and fourteenth century, after which nearby Leiden took over. Oegstgeest's expansion was formally limited as a certain perimeter around Leiden could no longer be settled by other towns in order to not limit Leiden's growth. The Endegeest and Oud-Poelgeest castles date from this time period, with both being built in respectively the thirteenth and seventeenth century. Meanwhile, Leiden kept on growing being one of the few university cities of the Netherlands at the time. Where Oegstgeest used to own the lands up to Leiden's moats and defence works, it had to cede more and more land starting in the nineteenth century. Oegstgeest was only seeing growth between the several communes that made up Oegstgeest after 1900, when new neighbourhoods were built, a growth which lasts to this day, though at a steady pace of one new neighbourhood every fifteen or twenty years.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The main highway that connects to Oegstgeest is the A44. Take exit 7 (Oegstgeest) followed by a turn onto the Rijnzichtweg heading east to get into Oegstgeest.

From Amsterdam, take the A4 heading for Schiphol, followed by Leiden. After passing the exitramp of exit 4 (Nieuw-Vennep), turn onto the A44, taking exit 7 as soon as you're there, followed by a left turn.

From The Hague take the N44 heading for Wassenaar. Just after Wassenaar, the N44 becomes the A44. Again, take exit 7 followed by a right turn.

From Utrecht, take the A12 heading for Gouda. At exit 12a (Bodegraven), change the A12 for the N11 heading for Alphen aan den Rijn and Leiden. Follow the N11 until it ends, turning onto the A4 heading to The Hague. Immediately take the next exit, exit 7 (Zoeterwoude-Dorp), after which you turn right on the roundabout, followed by a left turn towards Leiden. You are not on the N206 and should follow this road until you reach the A44, taking the first accesramp to your right to join the A44, keeping right as you will need to take the next exit, exit 7. Take a turn to the right at the end of the exitramp in order to enter Oegstgeest.

By public transit[edit]

Oegstgeest does not have a train station itself. Instead, 1 Leiden Centraal will have to do. From Leiden Centraal, take bus 57 or 187 to get to Oegstgeest.

Get around[edit]

Oegstgeest can be travelled by foot or bike without much hassle, for longer distances, taking a bus is recommended. Lines 20, 21, 37 and 50 make up the core of Oegstgeest's bus network, with Leiden Centraal, which isn't that far away, as the central hub.


Map of Oegstgeest







Oegstgeest has four hotels to its name. If none of the following are what you're looking for, nearby Katwijk aan Zee (west) and Leiden (east) have many more hotels for you to pick from.


Go next[edit]

Oegstgeest is located in the Bollenstreek, nearby attractions and locations include:

  • Lisse, which houses the world-famous Keukenhof.
  • Leiden, home to the oldest university and overall an enchanting old city.
  • Katwijk aan Zee, a popular beach-side town.

Oegstgeest's location makes getting to the following destinations rather easy:

  • Wassenaar, best known for its enormous swimming pool and amusement park Duinrell.
  • The Hague, political capital of the Netherlands.
Routes through Oegstgeest
The HagueWassenaar  SW Rijksweg 44NLD-N44.svg NE  Lisse
ZoetermeerLeiden  S NLD-N206.svg N  Katwijk aan ZeeHaarlem

This city travel guide to Oegstgeest is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.