With its total surface area (land and water), Friesland is the largest province in the Netherlands. The enormous wealth of water, marshland and culture makes the region a perfect holiday destination in every season. The capital Leeuwarden was - rightfully - named the cultural capital of Europe in 2018.
Water sports enthusiasts can indulge themselves at the many lakes, waterways, the North Sea and the Wadden Sea. For typical Frisian water sports such as Fierljeppen (pole vault), Skûtsjesilen (traditional Frisian sailing competitions) and of course ice skating, you’ve come to the right place. On beautiful summer days, you can enjoy swimming in the many Frisian Lakes and can make the most beautiful boat trips along extensive glades and characteristic villages.
Leeuwarden is a wonderfully well-arranged city with highlights such as the Fries Museum, De Blokhuispoort (former prison where you can now find all kinds of creative entrepreneurs and nice shops) and the old, crooked Oldehove tower that can easily be reached on foot from the city centre. Explore the unique boutiques, atmospheric cafés, restaurants and the extensive range of shops. You can experience a dynamic international student life in the city through the myriad of languages that pass you by during your visit. For a fantastic view of Leeuwarden, climb the modern 114m high Achmea tower. In clear weather you can even see the Wadden Islands from the panoramic observation deck.
In addition to the capital, a visit to, Sneek (known for the Sneekweek) and Harlingen are surprisingly special, each exuding its own inviting character. Friesland also has no fewer than four national parks, including the island of Schiermonnikoog and the Weerribben, both with their own unique flora and fauna. The neighbouring province of Groningen provides ample opportunity for a nice trip during your holiday in Friesland.
Average summer temperature: 22 degrees
The Frisian museum with impressive international works
A visit to the Weerribben National Park, where you can cycle, walk and sail
Have a drink or dinner in the Post-Plaza Hotel & Grand Café. This impressive building is located in the old post
office and has an impressive modern touch
Boomsma Beerenburger liqueur, Frisian orange cake, Frisian clogs
Like Leeuwarden, a visit to the Aquazoo zoo is highly recommended; beautifully spacious and located in the
green animal park where you can spend an entire afternoon with the whole family. The kids can enjoy
themselves through adventure routes in the various playgrounds.
This typical Frisian delicacy is orange in colour thanks to the candied thin orange peel shreds that have been
baked in. Every baker has their own traditional recipe, so no two cakes will taste the same. Your challenge:
sample as many different orange cakes as possible in all corners of the province!
In the lively center of Leeuwarden, the old prison has recently been transformed into a creative merger of
companies. Unique products are made here by around 100 creative minds and you can enjoy a delicious cup of
coffee or dinner in one of the several eateries. Every Saturday there are guided tours through the old prison by
The Sneekweek is the largest inland sailing event in Europe and always takes place in the first week of August.
Young and old can have a great time, there really is something to do for everyone, whether you like sailing or
not. A nice day out for the whole family!
With a huge selection of small boutiques, hip pop-up stores and the presence of well-known retailers, you can
go to the capital Leeuwarden for a successful shopping session. Then pay a visit to the Zaailand shopping
centre and turn from the main streets to the small streets for surprisingly quaint shops. On Saturday, there is a
large market in the square.