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Harlingen is one of the towns in the Netherlands with the highest monument density. In 1961, when the Act on Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments [“Monumentenwet”] came into force, Harlingen suddenly got an additional 500 monuments, which were, back then, mainly in a very poor state. By this Act, Harlingen became the first Frisian town of monuments and it has partly ensured that Harlingen is still one of the towns in the Netherlands with the highest monument density. Otherwise, many historic buildings with potential could probably have been demolished.

Guided city walk

Everyone who walks through the town centre of Harlingen, is actually walking through an open-air museum.

The town centre boasts more than 500 monumental buildings! Each one of them reminds us of the flourishing economy in the past. By its compact character, Harlingen is very suitable for a discovery by foot. At the Tourist Information Office, located at Grote Bredeplaats 12 and in The Hannemahuis, several walks can be bought to discover the town on your own. You can also book a walk with a Harlinger Guide and get to know the rich (cultural) past of the Frisian port town.

Harlingen Town Hall

With so many beautiful buildings in the centre, it is very hard to decide on the title of the town’s Most Beautiful. But the Town Hall is an absolute contestant for the title!

Look around and enjoy


This “New town of the North” [“Noorder Nieuwe-stad”] was built around 1570. The name “Zoutsloot” is derived from the salt industry that has been important to the town of Harlingen for ages. The salt imported from Southern Europe and England was dissolved in seawater, which was brought to the boil in large kettles. 

Meer over de Zoutsloot