“The gate to the Wadden Sea” – they call it often. You feel, hear and experience the Wadden Sea in Harlingen as in no other place.

Harlingen is the most important harbor of Friesland, one of the eleven Frisian towns hosting the famous Dutch skating marathon and it’s one of the destinations for Tall Ships Races. It’s also a departure port for the ferries to the islands of Terschelling and Vlieland.

Some of the town’s old fortification works have survived the test of time, just as the town canals and historical warehouses and mansions. You will discover nice old lanes, bridges and houses while strolling through the old town center. Some of them are nicely decorated with authentic facade advertising. One other way to discover the town is from the water with a hired boat or a kayak.


There are several harbors in the town. Various sailing competitions get organized starting in Harlingen among which: HT sailing race, Brandarisrace, Waddenrace.

One of the interesting events to attend is “Harlinger Visserijdagen (Fishery days)” which gets organized in the summer. It’s a 4-days folk festival that aims to promote Harlingen’s Fishery. During these days, visitors can enjoy dozens of events: music, dancing, singing, arts, gastronomy, culture and sport activities. All kinds of local products are sold on the “Bright market” which guarantees authentic atmosphere and coziness.

Not to be missed in Harlingen:

  • A walk through the old town center
  • A visit to the Willem Barentsz-warf where the expedition ship of Willem Barentsz get reconstructed
  • Admire many authentic sailing ships in various harbors of Harlingen
  • Attend (one of the) many events



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