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.