Leeuwarden

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Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland. The city is home to about 95.000 inhabitants, including 19.000 students, including some foreign students (mostly Germans). The city is home to three Universities of Applies sciences: Stenden, Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden and Van Hall Larenstein.
Leeuwarden has its own group on Be Welcome and one on Couchsurfing. There is also a communal Facebook page. There are over 200 CS & BW-members in Leeuwarden. Since many people decide to just visit the big cities in the Netherlands there are not many CouchSurfers looking for a couch in Leeuwarden. Therefore it's relatively easy to find a host.


Meeting and Events

Hospitality community

The Leeuwarden community organises two regular meetings and one big annual event. Besides these events there are more events organised every now and then. Just keep an eye on the fora on BW en CS for those.

  • The monthly meeting is organised every Wednesday in the middle of the month. Between 10 to 25 people meet up every time at cafe de stee.The meetings are announced both on BeWelcome and Couchsurfing.
  • The Breakfast club: Every Tuesday morning there is a breakfast meeting in the HEMA at 9:15.
  • Welcome to Fryslan: In 2012 Leeuwarden started hosting a big event in the summer called Welcome to Fryslan. It has since then become an annual event with a maximum of 100 atendies (to keep things personal). In 2014 it will be organised on August 28-31.


Other Events
April 20th Art and Book market Oosterstraat
April 29th Queens day
May 5th befrijdingsfestival Fryslan, Liberation day, music and more
May 9th Flower market, biggest flower market of the north of the netherlands on Ascension day
May 9th Hemels festival, dance party at Ascension day on the oldehoofsekerkhof
May 24-25th Fries Straat festival, Street theatre and music
June 2th Loop Leeuwarden, Run through Leeuwarden
June 21,22,23 CityProms, Classical music throughout the innercity
July 14th, dancetour, dance party
July 26,27,28 Welcome to the village, indie music festival
August 10th Into the grave, Metal festival
August 31th City Jazz, Jazz festival
September 6,7,8 Ljouwert Culinair, Eat good food in the open air
September 14,15 Open Monumentendag, Monuments open their doors for you
September 21th Freeze Festival, Frisian music festival
November 6-10 Noordelijk Film Festival, film festival in the art house cinema
November 23th Explore the north, indie music and poetry festival

Getting Around

Train
Leeuwarden is the train hub of Friesland. It has a connection with:
- Heerenveen, Zwolle, Amsterdam/Rotterdam
- Groningen
- Franeker, Harlingen
- Sneek, Stavoren

Walking
THE way to get around in Leeuwarden. The historic centre of Leeuwarden is small and everything is within walking distance. From the train station it is only a 5 minute walk to the city center. The main shopping street is the Nieuwestad with the big chains. Smaller and more interesting streets are Kleine Kerkstraat, Sint Jacobsstraat and Oosterstraat.

Bike
If you want to see a bit more of leeuwarden than just the city centre, it might be handy to get around on a bike. Everyone uses bikes all the time (so be carefull for them!). Most hosts can teach you how to ride along on the back of them. A good way to see Leeuwarden and around is to rent a bike. You can rent one at the trainstation

Car
The best way to get to see the surroundings of Leeuwarden might be by car. You can easily rent one at snapcar

Bus and Tram
There are a lot of bus lines that cover the whole of the city. Most buses run 'till midnight. Check the bus lines in here. A route planner, combining different forms of public transport can be found at 9292ov.

Necessities

Free maps are easy to find at the tourist information centre.

Internetcafe's
The pubic library is probably the best place to get internet


Food

Organic
EkoPlaza

Supermarkets
In and around the city you can find them here, here and here.
On Sunday the Selam market is also opened. They also sell superb Turkish bread. Another option might be the Eastern European Supermarket Liusja (Schrans 20).

Restaurants
By Us Sideius II Leeuwarden Lounge De Lachende Koe

Nightlife

Leeuwarden is a small city but there is always something to do in the city. For a actual view of nightlife in Leeuwarden you should always check the Uitloper, which is a weekly guide containing the movie schedule, concerts and other nightlife-events. There is also a paper version that you can find in some bars.

Bars
Bars can be found all around the city center. You can find some of them clustered together in the Oude Doelensteeg (also known as pub street), Ruiterskwartier and Grote Hoogstraat.

  • De stee: on the opposite side of the train station. regular meeting spot for the couchsurfing community of Leeuwarden.
  • Scooters: located on the Ruiterskwartier. Thursday karaoke, Friday and Saturday live music.
  • Paddy o'Ryan: Irish pub
  • Cafe de Spoek Music bar for smokers

Music & Theatre

Cinema

Clubbing

Sights and Activities

Leeuwarden has an old historic centre with over 500 monuments.

Monuments

  • The Oldehove is now a symbol of the city. The leaning tower had to become the highest tower of the Netherlands, is leaning 1.68m. You can climb it.
  • De Waag: The old weighhouse.
  • Grote or Jacobijnerkerk.
  • Princessehof: Now a China Museum, once the birth house of M.C. Escher.
  • Bonifatius Church. Open on Wednesday and Saturday. You can climb the tower.

Guided tours

  • A Guide To Leeuwarden: Offers Free Walking tours (based on tips). Every Saturday from 12:00 at the Oldehove.
  • Historical Centre Leeuwarden: 2 hour walk along the historical sights of Leeuwarden. Every Sunday in June and July for €5,00
  • Blokhuispoort: Guided tour through the former prison Blokhuispoort by a former prison guard. Every Saturday for € 7,50
  • Boat tour through the canals of Leeuwarden. From May to October for €5,00.

Museums