Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland, European Capital of Culture, start and finish line of the world-famous Eleven Cities Tour and historic Oranje-Nassau city.
A city with surprising shops, fascinating museums, a cosy city centre with more than 800 monuments and special modern architecture. A stroll through the streets will immerse any visitor in its rich history, and inspire them with its atmosphere.
Old and new go hand-in-hand in Leeuwarden. Modern art adorns the cosy streets of the historic city centre, graffiti artists paint bring colour to grey walls and the ancient leaning tower Oldehove is the backdrop for many festivals. Opposite the monumental station stands the tall mist fountain ‘Love’ by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.
The historic city centre is small enough to make anyone feel at home but at the same time large enough to wander around for hours. Leeuwarden is full of hidden gems: cosy bars in unexpected places, restaurants located in beautiful monumental buildings. Winding canals crawl through the entire city centre, surrounded by lovely terraces on the waterside.
In the heart of Leeuwarden is the bustling Nieuwestad street with the city canal, where many small shopping streets lead to. Behind the beautifully refurbished old facades, passersby often discover unique boutiques. The Kleine Kerkstraat has been voted ‘Best Shopping Street in the Netherlands’ twice.
In 2018, Leeuwarden-Fryslân was European Capital of Culture, a year in which the entire province committed to art and culture for a new Fryslân in which we take better care of each other and the earth. Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2028 (LF2028) builds on this. A triennial is organized every three years – in 2022, 2025 and 2028 – and involves young culture makers, creating in surprising places and building a creative programme.
In 2022, Leeuwarden will celebrate its first Triennial: the Arcadia. The city will celebrate 100 years of culture. Creatives will show the world through installations, exhibitions, conversations and performances. They will expose old traditions and new visions for the future.