Shutterstock / Harry Wedzinga


An unexpected combination of style, gritty back alleys, cafe-lined canals and urban renewal, Friesland's capital is well worth a visit. Its superb trinity of museums and inventive cultural projects left over from a fabulous year as European Capital of Culture in 2018 are fascinating to explore. A continuous flow of cyclists ride happily along the broad paths that flank the city's canals, whose tunnels are atmospherically illuminated purple at night. Stick around and sample some of the northern hospitality, easily found in Leeuwarden's many bars and cafes throbbing with fun-loving Liwwadders (as people from Leeuwarden are officially known).

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Leeuwarden.