Most of Leeuwarden's sights are concentrated within a leisurely 10-minute walk of Nieuwestad. Zaailand, the central square otherwise known as Wilhelminaplein, is the cultural centre of town: the Fries Museum occupies a landmark building at one end. Fun and free weekend city tours with A Guide to Leeuwarden take you around the key sights.

Look for historic ships of all kinds moored along the canals; the tourist office has information on canal cruises and gondola tours.


Leeuwarden's accommodation options are limited, but there's enough variety to suit most tastes. The tourist office has a list of B&Bs in and around town.


Leeuwarden has a bevy of restaurants run by creative chefs as well as a generous stack of student-friendly sandwich bars and takeaway eateries.

Drinking & Nightlife

Bars and cafes line up along the canal on Nieuwestad, Waagplein and Over de Kelders. Some of Leeuwarden's most fashionable eateries – Sems, Grand Café, Stek and Proefverlof – double as equally cool drinking venues.


Mooch the length of Kleine Kerkstraat and Tuinen to uncover some of Leeuwarden's more original shops and boutiques. For traditional blue-and-white ceramics, hit the museum shop at Keramiek Museum Princessehof.