Culture in the city

Discover Leeuwarden in the autumn and winter: the capital of Friesland, start and finish of the Frisian Eleven Cities Tour (Elfstedentocht), city of the House of Orange-Nassau, Mata Hari and the European Capital of Culture 2018!

Discover Leeuwarden!

Not only is Leeuwarden a beautiful city to see in the autumn and winter, but there is also plenty to do. Why not go skating on Leeuwarden’s ice rink, the Elfstedenhal or take an ice hockey- or curling lesson instead. Rather not find yourself on thin ice? Then discover the city on foot by joining one of the many city tours on offer, such as the Street Art Tour.


If you fancy something cultural, visit one of Leeuwarden’s many museums. Get to know Margaretha Zelle, the girl behind the iconic Mata Hari in the Frisian Museum, or visit the Pier Pander Museum or the Princessehof Museum of Ceramics. Lovers of theatre and music can visit venues such as Neushoorn, The Harmonie, Podium Asteriks or Blokhuispoort. Here, you can enjoy one of the many exhilarating performances and shows.

Mata Hari, the myth and the girl 

On October 14, 2017, one hundred years after her death, the Frisian Museum opens the largest Mata Hari exhibition to date. You get to know Margaretha Zelle, the girl behind the iconic Mata Hari, through her personal belongings, photographs, scrapbooks, letters, and military files. Join her on her journey from her birth place Leeuwarden to the Dutch East Indies, where fate stalks her. Experience her glorious rise in the Parisian dance theatres and discover the web of intrigue that ensnares her during the First World War.