Surrounding area

If you have booked a stay in one of our luxury holiday homes in the beautiful Frisian city of Franeker you will certainly not be bored! There is so much to see and do in and around the city. Let us tell you about some of the highlights…

Historic city centre

Franeker is brimming with history. The city is said to have originated around 800 as a Carolingian castellum. (Castellums were first built as forts for auxiliary troops during the Roman Empire.) The name probably derives from ‘Froon-acker’, which means ‘land of the King’. Franeker’s illustrious past continues to contribute to the character of the city centre. Its impressive architectural heritage includes a Renaissance style city hall, the medieval St Martin’s Church and the Martenastins city castle built in 1498. Today the city castle houses the city’s museum, Museum Martena. If you would like to learn more about Franeker’s rich history, a visit to the museum is highly recommended!

Eise Eisinga Planetarium

The Eise Eisinga Planetarium is located in Franeker. After a prediction that the earth was about to end, in 1774 Eise Eisinga built a model of the solar system in his living room. It took him seven years, from when he first had the idea to when it was finally completed. Since 1781, Eise Eisinga’s moving model has mapped the orbits of the first six planets in our solar system. This makes it the oldest working planetarium in the world!

Boating route through Franeker

The best way to see this city on the Elfstedentocht route is from the water! Franeker is even more beautiful seen from a boat. On the Visit Friesland website you can find details of an enchanting boating route from, to, around and through Franeker. This boating route is only suitable for motorboats and canoes. You can find the route here. You can hire a boat at the Theetuin Hitzum tea garden and the Stadsherberg Franeker hotel and restaurant.

Want to try Frisian handball?

Franeker is the place to do it! A visit to the Keatsmuseum (or in Dutch, Kaatsmuseum) is a must while you’re here. The Netherlands’ oldest sport museum it is entirely devoted the Frisian game of handball. Visitors are treated to entertaining anecdotes, taught how to play the game and invited to have a go. Who will you challenge to a game?

Bite to eat?

After feasting your eyes on the sights Franeker has to offer, when it comes to culinary delights you are spoilt for choice! We image you don’t plan to do much cooking while you are away. Fortunately, Franeker has many excellent eating and drinking establishments. On the Visit Friesland website you can view the menus of several local restaurants and find dining options. You will find our personal favourites in your welcome pack on your arrival.

Harlingen, Leeuwarden, the West Frisian Islands and more!

Friesland is a wonderful place to spend a holiday. Every year thousands of tourists from home and abroad travel to this part of the Netherlands, and with good reason! There are so many activities and events to enjoy within a short distance of Franeker. These include day trips to the West Frisian Islands of Vlieland and Terschelling, an art route through the centre of Leeuwarden and a visit to the pottery and tile factory in Harlingen.

All of the sights in the province are listed on the Visit Friesland website: You can also find information about things to do in the region of northwest Friesland at