Article published November 2017 and updated May 2023.

In recent years the street art scene in Leeuwarden has grown significantly. Both, local and foreign artists accounted for multiple murals scattered all over the city. The artworks reflect the city´s history, culture and identity.

In fact, taking a street art tour is one of the city´s most popular activities. You can either go on a self-guided tour or join the official free walking tour organized by A Guide to Leeuwarden.

If you want to see more street arts, check out our comprehensive Guides to the colorful streets of Prague or Mostar.

Miniature people

Miniature people, Leeuwarden

Since 2019 Leeuwarden is inhabited by miniature people, a project by local artist Michel Tilma. What started out as a hobby became a tourist attraction. The figures which are equipped with a barcode are not easy to find. But you can follow this free map on Google maps or buy a paper map in the visitor center by the Oldehove tower.

Miniature people, Leeuwarden

Each miniature display has its own story to tell which you can find out by scanning the barcode. Most of them are located in the center. It’s truly an original way to explore the city. From time to time the figures are moved to new places or new figures are added.

Miniature people, camping, Leeuwarden

Parking garage – Klanderij

The walls of a parking garage like the Klanderij seem like the ideal space to boost your creativity. An international group of street artists under the name “Writer’s Block” thought the same and launched a creative jam. Shortly thereafter the grey walls were transformed into some awesome mega sized artworks.

Klanderij, parking garage, street art, bike, LeeuwardenKlanderij, parking garage, street art, LeeuwardenKlanderij, parking garage, street art, owl, Leeuwarden

A tribute to the local wildlife

The nature in Friesland, the province Leeuwarden belongs to, is characterized by a mix of wetlands, forests and agricultural farmland. One of the highlights is the Wadden Sea, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to a variety of bird and marine life.

So it´s not surprising that many artists incorporate this theme in their artworks like insects and amphibians crawling up fuse boxes.

Frog graffiti in LeeuwardenBee graffiti in Leeuwarden

Aquarium perfectly blending into the outer environment

Transparent aquarium street art, Achter de Hoven towards Potmarge, Leeuwarden

Neushoorn surroundings

The Neushoorn complex is the city’s main cultural center, music venue and a college for creative education. You will also find some amazing street art in the backyard.

The first two murals can be found on opposite walls depicting opposites of life: birth and death.

Leeuwarden street art, babyLeeuwarden street art, reaper

The other two murals are images of birds: a bird in a space suit and a sparrow.

Leeuwarden street art, birdLeeuwarden street art, bird

Mata Hari, femme fatale and key character during WW1, originated from Leeuwarden

Before landing a skyrocketing career as an exotic dancer and model, Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” was born on 7th August 1876 in Leeuwarden as the eldest of four children. Her father was doing good in the many businesses he was engaged, enabling him to build up and maintain a high education and lifestyle for his family.

In the course of growing up, first financial problems which were accompanied by marriage problems made the family bliss go out of the window, resulting in divorce.

With the age of 18 the former innocent prestigious girl from a Dutch province slowly began to take the reigns of her success into her own hands. This transformation was put into movement when she showed first interest in traditional Indonesian dances when she was married to a Dutch Colonial Army Captain. Working on her moves and holding first performances, she gave herself the artistic name Mata Hari, meaning “Sun” in the Malay language.

Mata Hari installation in Leeuwarden

Being seen as the object of desire by many male Representatives of the contemporary rich and influential high society, Mata Hari was in the best position to pull the strings in the background, infiltrating as a political spy while she was flaunting wild love affairs. In the end, however, she herself was the one who got tricked by the men she once ruled, being sentenced to death after she was revealed as a spy during the First World War.

Ancient dressed woman looking down from a balcony, graffiti in Leeuwarden

Exactly one hundred years after her death, on October 15, 1917, the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden, the birthplace of Mata Hari, organized the largest ever Mata Hari exhibition, putting the spotlight on the rise and fall of this richly gifted woman in a time when women were often oppressed by men.

Memories of another century

Streetart of officer by bike near Wetsus along Potmarge, Leeuwarden

Streetart of skating family on Noordvliet, Leeuwarden


The Elfstedentocht (eleven cities tour) is the world’s biggest long-distance ice skating event spread out over all 11 cities of Friesland. The route covers a distance of 200 kilometers along frozen canals, rivers and lakes.

An interesting fact is that the event only takes place when the ice conditions are deemed to be safe and suitable for racing. This can be once per year or span multiple years. Once the time comes, the tour is announced and starts within 48 hours.

Leeuwarden, 11 fountains

Even though the last race is more than 25 years ago, every winter it’s a popular subject to speculations.

To keep up the spirit of this cultural heritage, 11 fountains have been placed in the 11 cities of the province of Friesland. While waiting for a revival of the traditional race, you can explore some of the original fountains designed by famous artists.

Decorating a construction site

Colorful street arts in Leeuwarden, NetherlandsColorful fish streetart in Leeuwarden

Local theater De Harmonie

A male ballerina in a tutu created by an artist which named himself after the condition he suffers from: color blind. This alone is a powerful statement to not let prejudices keeping you away from doing what you love.

Leeuwarden street art, ballerina

Jockey on carousel horse

Man on horse, Zaailand, Leeuwarden

City hall

Leeuwarden street art, city hall

The grin of Roy Schreuder, Leeuwarden street artist

Face portrait street art in Leeuwarden

The beginning is near

The beginning is near, chamaleons playing in the tree, Leeuwarden

May all your dreams come true

May all your dream come true, Streetart, Leeuwarden

Lion brothers

Two Lions, Noordvliet, Leeuwarden

Skull head

Skull under bridge, Dokkumertrekweg, Leeuwarden

The Geisha

Geisha, Chinese restaurant, streetart, Leeuwarden

Colorful houses

Colorful houses streetart, Leeuwarden

King William of Oranje

Shakespeare street art in Leeuwarden

Green energy

Cow streetart, Leeuwarden

Solar panels, wind turbines and bio gas extracted from cow dung. The city is utilizing renewable energy sources and promoting a sustainable life. Situated in the vicinity of the North Sea Leeuwarden is especially vulnerable to the impacts of rising sea levels.

Intergalactic cat

Space cat streetart on house wall, Leeuwarden

Space chicken

Two chickens under the bridge at Dokkumertrekweg, Leeuwarden

Puffy elephant clouds

Streetart in the center of Leeuwarden

Trapped in Flower Power

Graffiti Klokstraat, Leeuwarden

Psycho spray can

Graffiti Sixmastraat, Leeuwarden

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