Top ChoiceCultural Centre in Leeuwarden

Blokhuispoort

No single sight evokes the undercurrent of explosive creativity pulsating through the Frisian capital quite like this 19th-century prison-turned-cultural centre. Dozens of entrepreneurial start-ups and young...

Top ChoiceInternational in Leeuwarden

Proefverlof

Cocktail quaffing does not get cooler than afloat the giant pink inflatable flamingo moored alongside the wooden decking terrace of Proefverlof, the hottest hybrid spot in town for drinking and dining with the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Leeuwarden

Keramiek Museum Princessehof

Keramiek Museum Princessehof

Pottery lovers will adore the Netherlands ceramics museum. Here you'll find the largest collection of tiles on the planet, an unparalleled selection of Delftware and works from around the globe – the Japanese,...

Top ChoiceDutch in Leeuwarden

Restaurant By Ús

Organic local foods are celebrated at Michiel and Lilian's candlelit bistro with a funky wood-and-leather-meets-street-art interior. Frisian-inspired dishes stand out on a seasonally changing surprise menu – pick...

Museum in Leeuwarden

Fries Museum

Fries Museum

The provincial museum occupies an imposing glass-fronted building sporting a striking wood-and-steel roof that projects out over Wilhelminaplein. The three levels are divided into a series of galleries. A good...

Dutch in Leeuwarden

Restaurant Wannee

Dining doesn’t get more grassroots Frisian than at this contemporary restaurant run by students from the local hotel-management school. Begin with a fantastic Frisian Mojito (aka Flying Dutchman rum and local...

International in Leeuwarden

Grand Café

Aptly named, this contemporary eatery is grand in every sense. Its building, a red-brick post office from 1903, is glorious inside and out. Dining covers everything from an 'anti-hangover' breakfast fry-up to...

Cafe in Leeuwarden

Stek

With a wooden decking terrace right above the water, views of canal action – yachts sailing past beneath the neighbouring bridge that rises to let them through – are impossibly romantic at this fashionable cafe,...

Landmark in Leeuwarden

Oldehove

Oldehove

At the northwest corner of the historic core stands the notoriously off-kilter Oldehove – Friesland's rival to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Things went wrong shortly after the tower was started in 1529 and it never...

Books in Leeuwarden

Afûk

For an excellent selection of books about Friesland, including a couple of translations of Frisian poets and novelists, duck into this Frisian bookshop and cultural centre.

Fusion in Leeuwarden

Sems

With its summertime terrace on a pretty square and tasty tapas-style menu of kleine gerechten (small portions), Sems is a lovely spot to lounge. Inside, walnut-wood tables grace the more formal restaurant and...

Dutch in Leeuwarden

Eindeloos

Chef Willem Schaafsma is one of Friesland's most exciting young culinary talents, working with local organic produce to create a sensationally modern Dutch cuisine firmly rooted in the seasons. Dining here is a...

Burgers in Leeuwarden

Double B

Exceptional burgers are the drawcard at this casual eatery in a rambling old townhouse with a maze of chandelier-lit rooms, sweeping staircase and out-back terrace garden. The menu allows you to pick your own...

Museum in Leeuwarden

Natuurmuseum Fryslân

Let your angels run rampant in this natural history museum, covering Friesland's flora and fauna. Highlights include a virtual bird-flight simulation (strap yourself into the hang-glider harness and away you go)...

Cultural Centre in Leeuwarden

Obe Paviljoen

Named after the local Frisian poet Obe Postma (1868–1963), this contemporary wood-and-glass pavilion is razor-sharp in both architectural design and the cultural exhibitions it hosts. Its wave-shaped roof doubles...

Food & Drinks in Leeuwarden

Priuw

Time appears to stand still in this old-fashioned store selling local and regional food products and drinks from Friesland. Think cheese, air-dried sausages, cranberry jellies and jams, teas, liqueurs and...

Sandwiches in Leeuwarden

Broodje Bewust

Join cent-smart locals at this student-busy sandwich shop for a light lunch overlooking the canal. Everything is organic, and the vast sandwich menu has lots of vegan and vegetarian options as well as creative...

Club in Leeuwarden

Club Hemingway

Various themed music nights ensure the dance floor rocks at the premier club in town; Thursday most weeks ushers in the International Freak Out party. Check its Facebook page for the month's events.

Live Music in Leeuwarden

Podium Asteriks

The stage in the city to catch upcoming Frisian and Dutch bands, with concerts kicking off most Fridays at 8pm. Find it in Leeuwarden's former prison.

Museum in Leeuwarden

Historisch Centrum

Read up on the town's history at the city archives, home to a permanent exhibition on the history of Leeuwarden. It also organises guided tours led by local Liwwadders, and sells an excellent DIY city-walk book...