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To do's in Leeuwarden

In Leeuwarden there is a lot to experience while studying. Because there is so much to do, and you may not see the wood for the trees, we listed the 10 best things for you.

Climbing the Oldehove tower

The Oldehove tower is an icon for Leeuwarden: our own crooked, curved tower. From the square in front it’s already special to see, but on the inside or even on top it’s also very beautiful. Once you have climbed all 183 steps, you are on top of Leeuwarden and you can look over the entire city.

Frisian Museum

The Frisian Museum has a permanent exhibition about the history of the province, but they offer so much more than that. With many changing exhibitions, different workshops and an art house cinema, there is always something going on in the museum.

Aqua Zoo

Just outside Leeuwarden, at the Groene Ster, you will find Aqua Zoo. The one and only animal zoo in Friesland. Here you stand face to face with polar bears, go on a seal safari or feed ring-tailed lemurs on the monkey island. Perfect for a day out, but still close to the city.

City tour (A Guide to Leeuwarden)

Explore Leeuwarden with the help of an enthusiastic guide. Every Saturday you can join a free tour starting at the Oldehoofsterkerkhof, discover hidden places and the history of Leeuwarden.


Friesland is the water sports province par excellence, you can also see that in Leeuwarden. With canals through the city center and a sailing route straight through the Prinsentuin you can see boats everywhere, it is of course even more fun to admire Leeuwarden from the water itself and that is possible! Join a ‘praamvaart’, a cruise or rent an electric boat.


If you want to discover Leeuwarden in a sportive way, go supping. Supping is Stand Up Paddling so standing on a surfboard you maneuver yourself through the canals of the city. Because you are so low on the water you can even sail through the lowest pipes of the canals and see the city from a completely different perspective.

Dinner in an old jail (Proefverlof)

The prison in the city center of Leeuwarden no longer locks people up. However, you can enjoy delicious food or a drink. This special restaurant offers culinary delights on a beautiful terrace by the water or in a cell. You can also eat while you are, literally, handcuffed around the table.

Climbing the Achmea tower

For a view over the city you can of course climb the Oldehove, but if you want to see the whole province you have to go a bit higher. This can be done from the top of the Achmea tower. The tower can be seen from almost the whole province and vice versa you can see the entire province from the tower in clear weather. Go on a Saturday for the Abe Bonnema experience to the VVV and climb the Achmea.


This beautiful park is always busy in summer. Everyone comes here to enjoy the sun together. There are also often gigs in the music dome and various events take place in the garden. In the past it was a park for the nobility of Friesland, but today it is the most beautiful marina in the north.

The city centre

The nicest shopping street in the Netherlands can be found in Leeuwarden. With no less than 30 small specialty stores, the Kleine Kerkstraat is according to the entrepreneurs themselves the best kept shopping secret of the city. There are several delicatessen shops, so on the way to the Prinsentuin you should certainly walk here.

Friesland in 'Best in Europe' list Lonely Planet

There's plenty to see and do in Leeuwarden, but don't miss out on the rest of our beautiful Province. Lonely Planet rated Friesland as third in their Best in Europe-list. The video below demonstrates exactly why!

Last modified:12 January 2022 2.44 p.m.
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