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Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands. Friesland consists of the mainland and also the islands Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, which all have ferries to the mainland. Friesland mainly is an agricultural province, but also tourism is important for the Frisian economy. Many tourists visit the historical centres of villages in Friesland and the lakes are popular for sports like sailing, skutsjesilen and in winter ice skating.

Friesland history: From 500BC on the Frisians settled along the coast of the North Sea from Belgium to Denmark. After it was incorporated in the Frankish empire it was divided in three parts. The western part became Holland. Between 1581 and 1795 Friesland was autonomous, but they lost this when they became a province of the Netherlands. Despite this the Friesland has its own flag, language and anthem.

Friesland sightseeing and activities: Touristic places in Friesland are the cities Leeuwarden, Sneek and Harlingen. Further villages like Makkum, Hindeloopen and Stavoren are popular in Friesland. Those cities and some of those villages have a train station, which makes it for tourists easy to visit Friesland. Cycling also is a nice way to explore the province. For water sports you have to be in the southern part of Friesland where most lakes are.



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Harlingen                                          Gaastmeer                                       Waddenzee


How to get in Friesland: By car: from Amsterdam take first A10, then follow A8 and A7 to Purmerend. After Purmerend just follow the A7 until you reach Makkum, which is about 80km from Purmerend. From Utrecht take A27 in the direction Almere. Take the A6 to Emmeloord when you are at the end of the A27. Follow Joure after Emmeloord.                                                                                                                     Public transport: first take the train to Zwolle. The intercity train coming from Utrecht will split in Zwolle. Be sure you are in the part that continues to Leeuwarden! In Leeuwarden you can continue by train to Harlingen or Stavoren, but there also are several stations before you reach Leeuwarden. You can plan your Friesland trip here and read more about using public transport here.


Cities in FrieslandVillages in FrieslandFriesland attractions & sightseeing
DokkumHindeloopenKoninklijk Eise Eisinga Planetarium
FranekerMakkumThialf (ice-skating)
HarlingenStavorenIr. D.F. Wouda-gemaal
LeeuwardenFriesland activities
Sneek Parks in FrieslandCycling
De Alde FeanenWater sports
Friesland eventsDrents Friese Wold
ElfstedentochtFriese Meren
Friese Ballonfeesten (Joure)Lauwersmeer


Friesland map

Zoom in on the map of Friesland and click the symbols for more information about how to get to Friesland: