Did you know that Friesland is the only province with its own official language? It is not the only thing that makes the province so unique. The provincial capital of Leeuwarden with its canals, monuments and shopping streets is one of Holland’s best kept secrets. The wadden are a unique natural landscape that is transformed completely at the high and low tides. You should also visit the picturesque Eleven Cities or board the ferry to the Wadden Islands. Lonely Planet had good reasons for putting the province of Friesland number 3 on its list of hidden gems in Europe! Popular places in Friesland are:
See & do
Eating & drinking
You can find great food anywhere in Friesland. Why not go on a culinary Eleven Cities Tour? You will be able to discover smoked fish, Sneker drabbelkoeken, Frisian sugar bread, and Dokkumer Kofje (coffee) with a splash of Beerenburg (liquor)). We have selected some great restaurants in Leeuwarden for you.
Where to stay
Destinations in Friesland
Friesland, a province in the north of Holland, is just a little different from the rest of the country. It is the only province with an official second language, for instance. The Wadden Sea is a nature reserve so special that it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. But Friesland has much more than that. The Frisian lakes are perfect for boating, Leeuwarden offers a lovely urban environment, and the historical Eleven Cities each have their own charm and atmosphere. Discover the best destinations in Friesland!
The province includes four islands: Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, and Schiermonnikoog. These can all be reached by boat. The islands boast extraordinarily beautiful landscapes and special living conditions in small picturesque villages.
To do in Friesland
Water sports may be one of the best reasons to travel to Friesland. The extensive network of canals and lakes is the perfect environment for beautiful tours on motorized or sailing boats. You could visit the annual Sneekweek, for instance. Friesland is also a special place for culture lovers. The Koninklijke Eise Eisinga Planetarium is the world’s oldest planetarium that is still operational. At the Woudagemaal you will see the largest steam-powered pumping station. Which still works.
Are you traveling to Friesland by car? The Afsluitdijk is a lovely route if you are traveling from Amsterdam. Would you prefer to travel by public transport? There are direct trains to Leeuwarden from Schiphol, The Hague, and Rotterdam. Most smaller towns and villages are accessible by bus. The ferry will take you to the Wadden Islands. Timetables depend on the season, so please check the website for accurate departure times. Would you like to bring your car? Ask whether this is possible via the website. In most cases you will need to make reservations.