DIY walking route through the historic center of Leeuwarden


On this DIY walking route you will go through the historic city center of Leeuwarden. You walk along the biggest sights, hidden alleys and most beautiful street art. Almost every sight has a sign with information in Dutch and English. The walking route is about 6 km long. In addition, you can take a number of trips along the route if you want to see even more.


This map is for sale at the Visitor Center Leeuwarden and Ut Streekie. The card costs only 2 euros.

Eat and drink

Get yourself something to eat or drink along the way. In the city center, you will also come across lots of nice shops and places to eat and drink along the way! Read our tips for great shops here. And here our tips for eating and drinking.


The municipality of Leeuwarden has placed signs at most of the sights with information in Dutch and English. In addition, we have placed a number of stories and videos below with stories from our guides with additional information. The video’s are in Dutch, but will try to add English Subtitles to all of them. Click on the titles below to get information about the sights without a sign.

Watch the video below with our guide Henk to hear the story behind this mural. Turn on the subtitles!

The masterpiece of sculptor Pier Pander (1864-1919) is located in this temple. In the summer months you can visit it via the Pier Pander museum. If you can’t get in, you can watch the Cosmic U music video below. They recorded a live session in the temple.

EXTRA: This fairytale 19th-century English Landscape style cemetery, sits 700 m from No 20. Cross the Noorderbrug and go straight ahead at the 1st roundabout, past Rengerspark. At the 2nd roundabout, turn right through the gate with ‘Memento Mori’ on it.

Before World War II, many Jewish people lived here, near the synagogue. Jewish life was very visible in this neighbourhood. On the window of Bij de Put 9 is a beautiful poem (in Dutch) by Judith Nieken about the past and present of this neighbourhood.

Klaas Lageweg has pictured a Japanese Ronin here. Musashi was the founder of Japanese martial art. The church was not so happy with this violent wall. But according to the Karate school, which commissioned it, they should just see it as a modern version of George fighting the dragon. They could live with that.

In the video below, you can hear our guide Henk explain the story behind the mural. Turn on the subtitles!

Watch the video below with our guide Zenon to hear the story behind this mural by Roy Schreuder. He also tells you where to spot another hidden mural that is not listed on the map. And he tells you about his favourite place to get lunch in Leeuwarden. Turn on the subtitles!

EXTRA: If you love vintage cars and other old stuff, you should definitely take a look inside this packed warehouse.

EXTRA: The Gabbemagasthuis is one of the city’s most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, with coloured bricks and a beautiful tile tableau.

This is Leeuwarden’s old prison. Now there are all kinds of fun things inside. So wander around here. But don’t forget to pop into the back wing, the H-wing. There you will discover more about the history of the Blokhuispoort and there are all kinds of nice shops too!
Our guide Christina also went into the prison in 2021, during one of the lockdowns she made the video below. Turn on the subtitles!

EXTRA: If you’re a fan of Street Art, be sure to take an extra lap to Klanderij car park, as this is where the 2019 Writer’s Block Mural Art festival took place and you can discover some 40 large murals. Curious about more Street Art? Then get our Street Art Map!

This is one of the city’s most beautiful alleys. Possibly named after Saint Cyprian, a bishop from Carthage (3rd century).

Kelders 33 is the building where Mata Hari was born. On the ground floor, her father had a hat and cap shop. After a fire in 2013, the façade was restored as it once was in Mata Hari’s time. Recently, a new hat and cap shop opened here again, where you can also buy all kinds of souvenirs about Mata Hari. Or just have a cup of coffee.
Next to the water you can see a statue of Mata Hari. This statue was placed 100 years after the birth of Mata Hari.

Because the real Elfstedentocht often takes a while to take place, we are good at coming up with all kinds of alternative ways to do the tour. In 2018, that included a trip past 11 fountains.

In the Bollemanssteeg, many residents have pasted a poem by their neighbor Judith Nieken on the door. That’s why they put up a new street name sign at the end of the street: Poeziesteeg! (Poetryalley)

Watch the video with our guide Henk. He tells you another nice story about Maria Louise.

For anyone who is curious and wants to know more!

Join one of our walking tours with one of our guides. Every Saturday at 12 pm you can join a public tour in English. But you can also book a private tour on any day of the week.

Follow A Guide to Leeuwarden on instagram and watch some of our diy tours in the stories and highlights.

Check out the other Do-it-Yourself routesClick here to see which other routes are available

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