Leeuwarden is a city in Netherlands that is quite popular with tourists. One of its key attractions is its long history, as amply illustrated by many, beautiful historical buildings. Among those are the museums, this city being indeed home to some of Netherlands’ finest museums. Its architecture too is an attraction: and here, we are not just referring to Leeuwarden’s historical architecture, but also what Leeuwarden has to offer in terms of modern architecture.
Still, thanks to the ancient architecture in some parts of Leeuwarden, a visitor there ends up feeling as if they are in dreamland. The scenery is just seemingly out of this world. Talking of scenery, it is worth noting that Leeuwarden also has much to offer in terms of the natural scenery that surrounds. The city center may be mainly a concrete affair, but one doesn’t need to travel for too long before encountering some natural scenery.
The way of life in Leeuwarden is generally leisurely, and things here seem to move at a different pace from the rest of Europe. The people of Leeuwarden are, seemingly, happy go lucky folks who seem to have figured out a way of radiating friendliness and seemingly genuine happiness in a nice way. You just find yourself having to let yourself be charmed by Leeuwarden and its people.
Leeuwarden is just over 140 kilometers from Amsterdam, and there is a train connection between the two cities.
Getting around Leeuwarden
As mentioned earlier, Leeuwarden has a train connection with Amsterdam. As you enter the city by train, you get to see quite a bit of its scenery as the main train station is fairly deep in the city.
To really get around Leeuwarden, you can use the buses or the bicycles. Walking (as a pedestrian) is also quite an option in Leeuwarden.
With regard to the Leeuwarden buses, you will discover that their main base is the bus station, which is a very short distance from the Leeuwarden train station. What you will also discover is that the train station has a section that holds ‘regional’ buses’ and another section that hosts ‘local’ buses. It is the latter (namely, the local buses) that can really help you get around Leeuwarden.
At the train station, you will see an establishment labeled as Fietspoint Leeuwarden. This is actually the place where they rent out bikes. So you just pay the required fee and you are given a bike – that being a bike on which you can get yourself around the entire city, at your desired pace. It’s real fun.
Things to see and do in Leeuwarden
One of Leeuwarden’s most awesome pieces of architecture is its imposing City Hall. It is built using the ‘classical’ style, and its history goes back to the 1700s. A lot of effort clearly went into erecting this structure.
Much older than Leeuwarden’s city hall is the main church, found at 95 Jacobijnerkerkhof. To be sure, this particular structure has been rehabilitated and rebuilt over the years, but part of it is from the 14th century.
The old court, known as Stadhouderlijk Hof is also quite a sight as is the Kanselarij.
Leeuwarden turns out to be home to one of those rare leaning (yet solid strong) towers. Going by the name Oldehove, this particular structure is to be found at 1 Oldehoofsterkekhof.
As mentioned earlier, Leeuwarden museums are a great source of pride for the city. These include the Fries Natuumuseum, the Museum de Gruterswinkel and T’Andere Museum.
As with many other cities that make up the Netherlands, Leeuwarden has canals that can be sailed on. You really need to consider taking a boat tour around Leeuwarden, as the experience is so much fun.
While in Leeuwarden, you will also have a chance to see the nearly-extinct otter, at the Otterpark Aqualutra.