Culture in Leeuwarden


Leeuwarden is the perfect place for a cultural trip. It is for good reason that the city was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018! You can find history, modern art and everything in between at the museums in the city. With alternating first-rate exhibitions, the collections are always up to date. But art and culture is also everywhere on the street: the entire city is decorated with street art and in the historic city centre, you can admire all the beautiful old buildings. Are you coming to experience the culture in Leeuwarden? We have compiled a list with the best tips.

Museums in Leeuwarden - Discover

You will find the most beautiful and exciting exhibitions in the museums in Leeuwarden. Everything from special ceramics in the Princessehof to a surprising introduction to Friesland and special changing exhibitions in the Fries Museum.

Street art in Leeuwarden

In Leeuwarden you don't have to search long when it comes to art. The whole city is an open-air museum! You will find the most beautiful street art here, from special murals to colourful electrical boxes. A street art project and something you need to look for are the Miniature People. These tiny Liwwadders (Leeuwarden citizens) are hidden in dozens of places in the city. You will discover street art in Leeuwarden during the street art tour of A Guide to Leeuwarden or on your own with the Do-It-Yourself tour.

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Street Art Leeuwarden

Historic city centre - History

Upon exploration of the historic city centre, you will pass some of the most beautiful places and buildings, with the most unique stories. Stroll past the two palaces, beautiful churches, hidden courtyards and guest houses, and much more. The city breathes history! And did you know that Leeuwarden used to be the Royal Residence of Friesland? The Frisian Nassau’s were established here from 1584 to 1747 and the city still has a touch of royal allure. Of course, you can't miss the Oldehove, the ‘leaning pride’ of the city. This tower has been here since 1529 and the top of the tower is displaced almost two meters  horizontally. For the best view of the city, climb the 183 steps to the top.

Arcadia - The sequel to LF2018…

The organization of Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 (the European Capital of Culture in 2018) will host the first edition of the Arcadia triennial in 2022. This sequel to LF2018 consists of a 100-day cultural programme, in which the organization will address the future of mienskip (community), landscape and heritage. Arcadia 2022 runs from May 7 to August 7, 2022.

In Leeuwarden, the BOSK art installation travels through the streets of the city for 100 days. BOSK is a slow-walking forest of fifteen hundred large and small trees. The story of BOSK will be reinforced by various cultural activities and will address the need to look differently at the relationship between humans and nature.

Curious about the events that will be organized in 2022 as part of BOSK? Then keep an eye on our calendar.


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A taste of culture - culinary

There is also plenty to discover in Leeuwarden in the culinary field! From restaurants located in the most beautiful historic buildings to culinary enjoyment of the best products from the region.

Agenda - what to do?

The calendar of events is packed with cultural activities. You can experience the most amazing events in Leeuwarden. Curious? View our calendar of events here.

More to explore - in Leeuwarden

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