Location: Leeuwarden

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Leeuwarden: dynamic, sparkling, the capital of the beautiful Province of Friesland, start and finish line for the world famous ‘Eleven cities’ ice-skating tour… and now honoured by being selected as the 2018 European Capital of Culture.

The city’s heart is compact and clear, yet what it offers is as comprehensive as it is diverse; one of Leeuwarden’s most attractive features. Almost all its conference accommodation, certainly its ‘happening’ nightlife and many of its hotels are located within an easy walking two kilometre radius.

Leeuwarden is surrounded by countryside and water, with lakes and other leisure areas and amenities close at hand. These offer excellent opportunities for unique and surprising breaks from a busy schedule of meetings, or form the perfect backdrop for partner programmes or incentives. Activities in the Frisian landscape are complemented by the infinite prospects offered by the four Wadden Islands. And who can forget crossing one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites: the Wadden Sea.

The Frisian capital boasts a historic centre, numerous national monuments, a range of delightful and surprising shops and inviting café terraces. The city is one of modern paradoxes; a city that respects its past, whilst looking to the future by investing in research, development and ICT.  For instance with water technology at the Water Campus. A city in the heart of the countryside, where students, families and older residents feel comfortably at home and where companies find the space they need to grow and develop.

Leeuwarden has superb accessibility, a strong economy and a strong social fabric. In addition, Leeuwarden is recognised as one of the cleanest and most sustainable local councils in the Netherlands.

All this makes Leeuwarden a city brimful of vitality; a city which will certainly host your conference or event with pride!

Welcome to Leeuwarden.

European capital of culture 2018: Leeuwarden


The Netherlands and Malta are the two EU Member States hosting a European Capital of Culture in 2018.

The independent selection panel appointed to assess the Dutch cities applying to be European Capital of Culture in 2018 met in Amsterdam on 6 September and recommended the Dutch city of Leeuwarden for the title. Leeuwarden beat off the challenge of Eindhoven and Maastricht. The winning city will be formally designated by the EU’s Council of Ministers, normally in May 2014.

The designated city  will propose a cultural programme with a strong European dimension including the participation of citizens living in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.

The European dimension will be reflected in the chosen themes and the way in which the events in the programme will be organised.

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