Top 10 Things to do in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

December 31, 2017 Alice Mieles

Leeuwarden (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈleːʋɑrdə(n)] ( listen), West Frisian: Ljouwert [ˈʎɔːw(ə)t] ( listen)), Stadsfries: Liwwadden) is a city and municipality in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital of the States of Friesland. The municipality has a population of 122,293.
Restaurants in Leeuwarden

1. Historische binnenstad Leeuwarden

Stadscentrum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 35 760 1199
Excellent
43%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 347 reviews

Historische binnenstad Leeuwarden

Reviewed By Robert937 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Compact, cozy, interesting. After 6PM rather desolate. Many shops like in other cities, but also some local outlets. People are friendly. Leeuwarden with just over 100.000 inhabitants has preserved a small city ambiance where many people know each other.
The historic center is beautiful with many waterways and old buildings. Nice to stroll around. Defintely worth a visit.

2. Fries Museum

Wilhelminaplein 92, 8911 BS Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 255 5500
Excellent
39%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 519 reviews

Fries Museum

The Fries Museum is dedicated to Friesland and the Frisian people. Its activities revolve around the eleven cities that make up the province and the surrounding countryside. These include the Frisians' love-hate relationship with water, the search for what defines the typical Frisian character, and Friesland's place in the wider world. The freedom fighter Grutte Pier's sword; old costumes and clothing; treasures from the Frisian mounds; the legacy of Mata Hari, the exotic dancer who was executed as a spy at the end of the First World War; Gerrit Benner's paintings; contemporary visual art; and the film de Overval: together these objects tell the story of Friesland.

Reviewed By Hisashi I - Tokyo, Japan

Currently they are having an exhibition about Mata Hari, the most famous female spy in the 20c. It seems she's from this small pretty town.

3. De Oldehove

Oldehoofsterkerkhof, 8933 GS Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 233 2350
Excellent
36%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 186 reviews

De Oldehove

De Oldehove is an unfinished church tower in the medieval centre of the Dutch city of Leeuwarden. It leans more than the tower of Pisa in Italy. Open for visits from mid April till end of October.

Reviewed By stonewithnomoss - USA

Interesting story on this tower and subsequent efforts to shore it up. The canal behind holds some amazing yachts. There is a painting across the square that shows the interconnections of Europe's royals and how they all hark back to one set of ancestors.

4. Natuurmuseum Fryslan

Schoenmakersperk 2, 8911 EM Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 233 2244
Excellent
42%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 70 reviews

Natuurmuseum Fryslan

Natuurmuseum Fryslan is er voor natuurliefhebbers, ouders, opa’s en oma’s. Maar vooral voor kinderen! Want zelf doen staat centraal. Ooit door een onderwaterwereld gelopen? Gezien hoe dieren worden opgezet? Gevlogen als een gans? Of proefjes gedaan in een waterlab? Kom meedoen in het nummer 1 kidsproof museum van Fryslan!

Reviewed By Les D - Utrecht, The Netherlands

Its a difficult museum to write a review for. On many fronts its a great collection of artifacts, inspirational exhibits and interactive activities. On the other hand it lacks English descriptors (Leeuwarden is 2018 Cultural capital so can expect many non dutch speaking visitors). Some of the exhibits are questionable despite being very creative - it all comes down to taste I suppose. Well worth a couple of hours visit.

5. Het Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics

Grote Kerkstraat 11, 8911 DZ Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 212 7438
Excellent
31%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 144 reviews

Het Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics

This elegant 18th-century building contains the largest collection of Dutch tiles in the world.

Reviewed By Johan S - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We visited the museum on a sunday morning. It was not crowded. The lay out with objects and texts was tasteful. We specially liked the (small) section on Islamic ceramics. Beautifully restored zodiacal statues in the garden! Marijke Meu's room was inviting...The precious green bowl did not have much tekst, or did we miss something.

6. AquaZoo Friesland

De Groene Ster 2 | Leeuwarden, 8926 XE Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 511 431 214
Excellent
34%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
9%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 200 reviews

AquaZoo Friesland

Reviewed By Christopher P - Argentat, France

So relax d, located in a large park, wide open countryside. A nice idea, all water residents, the different animals. They all have enough room, which is important for animal parks. There were som pretty exotic ones, really, a must see. Great for kids!

7. Blokhuispoort

Blokhuisplein 40, 8911 LJ Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 6 11172362
Excellent
39%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 79 reviews

Blokhuispoort

Reviewed By Gerard_expat - Limassol, Cyprus

Back in WW2 this jail was actively used by the Germans who invaded the Netherlands. After WW2 it continued to be in service for several years. Lately it has been put out of service and is now used by startup companies that rent office space over there. Besides that it is a cultural hotspot in the city.

8. Frisian Resistance Museum

Wilhelminaplein 92, 8911 BS Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 255 5500
Excellent
36%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 46 reviews

Frisian Resistance Museum

Reviewed By GroningenCopenhagen - Copenhagen, Denmark

This is part of the Fries museum in Leewarden, which together with the rest proved to be a bit of a disappointment assuming this is the main museum to represent the Friesland province. Even though the building in itself is representative, the quality of the various exhibition was of a standard below what you normally would expect. It did not help that no guidance was available in English. For natural Dutch speaking people with some interest in the role of Frieslands during the Second World War the Verzets Museum would be of interest I think.

9. Boomsma Museum

Bagijnestraat 42A, 8911 DR Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 299 0343
Excellent
28%
Good
56%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 57 reviews

Boomsma Museum

Reviewed By KLsWanderlust - Houston, Texas

This distillery is now in it's 5th generation of the Boomsa family and they have some interesting artifacts and accompanying story (via video) to explain their historical use as well as that of the Beerburger drink. Afterwards we sampled the beergburger and some genevers (at a small cost for those). Our guide was genial and we enjoyed discovering more about the various liquors produced not only in Leeuwarden, but some of their other locations as they are expanding.

10. Grote of Jacobijnerkerk

Jacobijnerkerkhof 95, 8911 EN Leeuwarden, The Netherlands +31 58 212 8313
Excellent
37%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 24 reviews

Grote of Jacobijnerkerk

Reviewed By henkleutscher - Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Oldest church of Leeuwarden, originally part of a monastery. During the reformation turned into a Protestant church, which it's still is. The fact that it is one of the 3 churches in the Netherlands where the ancestors of our royal family were burred makes it a little more special. Unfortunately all the tombs have been destroyed during the French revolution but there is still enough to see that reminds us of these times. On the back side of the church you can see the 'orange gate' where the Nassau family used to enter. And inside the church you can see that the elevated seat for the Stadtholder is just a little bit higher than the pulpit of the preacher. The organ of Christian Müller is also pretty impressive. Unfortunately the Church is not always open to the public. In wintertime you just have to enjoy it from the outside, but from June to September there it is open on a regular basis.

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