City center of Harlingen

Did you know that Harlingen covers a very lively and historical city center? Harlingen already received city rights in 1234, and our city has one of the greatest density of monuments in the Netherlands. Our rich past can definitely be seen in the presence of many historic buildings and facades. The city center of Harlingen also captures beautiful streets, unique stores, cozy pubs and a diversity of cafés and restaurants. Besides that, the city center is reachable within just a few minutes walking distance from the outer harbors.

Kleine Voorstraat

The city center marks its beginning at the Kleine Voorstraat with a view on the wonderful canal. On both sides of this canal are different stores located. When you walk farther ahead, you cross the statue of Anton Wachter. This monument is placed at the end of the Kleine Voorstraat and it's derived from the novel character of the Dutch writer Simon Vestdijk. His place of birth is located on Voorstraat 61.


Different shops related to fashion, trinkets, home interior and design can be found on the Voorstraat. When you walk through the streets, you will grasp the cozy ambiance that the city center holds. The museum of the municipality het Hannemahuis can also be found there in which you discover the rich history of the harbor and city of Harlingen. The Harlinger museum captures a wonderful collection and it is located in a previous merchant house from the 18th century.

Late night shopping hours

Entrepreneurs in the city center organize together permanent days for late night shopping hours. Until late in the evening, you can shop in the city center of Harlingen on every Thursday and on the second Sunday of each month. However, entrepreneurs will decide on their own initiative whether they open or close their shops on evenings. If you would like to visit a specific store on a Thursday or Sunday evening, we suggest to inform yourself about the opening hours beforehand. More information about opening hours of the shops can be found here.

Grote Bredeplaats

At the end of the Voorstraat, pleasant catering facilities can be found on the Grote Bredeplaats. You can enjoy delicious meals and drinks on one the many terraces. But there are also shops that are attractive to tourists such as Atelier Swoop and Tourist Info Point (previously known as VVV Harlingen). On the square of the Grote Bredeplaats, the monument of 'Tjerk Hiddes de Vries' is situated. Tsjerk Hiddes was a Frisian admiral and naval hero from the 17th century. This monument is made out of bricks and creates the form of the bow of a ship. On top of the monument, the portrait of De Vries can be seen, and on both sides, there are benches provided.

Monumental buildings

Harlingen defines a glorious and nautical history with its position as the harbor city of Friesland. You can notice this by looking at the beautiful historical buildings in the city. With over 600 monumental buildings, Harlingen captures one of the most highest density of monuments in the Netherlands. The presence of all these magnificent buildings contribute to the historical ambiance in our harbor city.


Useful information