Top 5 museums

in Leeuwarden

Museum-fatigued? Not at all! Leeuwarden is the home of several extremely interesting museums, with various wonderful exhibitions and events throughout the year. We’ve made a top 5, so that you know which one of the many museums fits best with your interests, when you visit Leeuwarden.

The Fries Museum

Often referred to by the people of Leeuwarden as the ‘patat museum’, but with little to do with potatoes, the renovated Fries Museum is the pride of Leeuwarden. Its exhibitions often gain national attention, with those featuring Mata Hari, or MC Escher selling out quickly. The current exhibition: 'Fenduq' by Éric van Hove, does still have tickets available, at the moment! In addition to its rostrum of exhibitions, the museums’ permanent collection is diverting, too, and includes the sword of the West Frisian rebellion leader Pier Gerlofs Donia, referred to in Friesland by his nickname Grutte Pier.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is as much a part of Leeuwarden as the Oldehove and SC Cambuur. Every child in the city visits the museum at least once, whether with family or with their school- to learn about nature, geology, and biology. It’s a special place, full of winding corridors, exhibition rooms, cases of specimens, and even an under-water world. Come to learn about the history and future of Friesland’s special natural circumstances.


Standing on the Grote Kerkstraat, the Princessehof is a stunning Dutch-baroque style former royal palace (and adjoining buildings) that houses a world-class collection of ceramic art. A museum that firmly moves with the times, the exhibitions are often cutting edge, such as 2017’s Sexy Ceramics.

Boomsma Beerenburg Museum

When you think of Friesland, naturally you also think of Beerenburg. The herbal (and herby) drink is the national drink of Friesland, and this is a museum devoted to it. Luckily, this is also the premier location for tasting the famous drink. Once you’ve imbibed some of the history of Beerenburg, and discovered how the drink is made with a tour round the distillery, head to the tasting room, to sample some of the huge collection of drinks from the Boomsma family.

Fries Verzetsmuseum

This is a museum within a museum, within the Fries museum. Though located in the same building, the Fries Verzet museum has its own unique collection. Here, you can experience the stories of Frisians in war time- and their struggles against the occupying forces in World War 2.

Maybe we’ve suggested museums that you’ve already been to? In which case, have a look at our museums page.​

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