Bolsward, or Boalsert as we say in Friesland, is the city where history and architecture play a leading role. Let yourself be carried away by the rich history of this eleven cities city. Enjoy monumental buildings with unique facades in the center of Bolsward, such as those of the City Hall and the Broerekerk. Dive into the life of the famous Titus Brandsma and Gysbert Japicx in Cultural Historycenter De Tiid. Stroll through the city park, along the canals and visit the city center with cozy restaurants, terraces and nice shops. From the city you cycle through the meadows to surrounding villages that are more than worth a visit! Below you will find all the addresses for an overnight stay in Bolsward and what there is to do in the area so that you can already prepare your visit to Bolsward!
Discover Cultural Historical Centre ‘De Tiid’
Bolsward has many monumental buildings. What no one can miss, however, is the town hall from 1615. This is the showpiece of the city. Here you will find Cultural Historical Centre De Tiid (‘The Time’), a house full of stories. Discover the stories about poet and writer Gysbert Japicx and Titus Brandsma, among others, and take a look in the Antiquity Room, library or the Grand Café.
Read more about the city canals
The prosperity of the dairy trade in the 17th century is clearly reflected in the houses from that time that were built around the city canals. Prominent canal-side houses with façades in baroque, rococo, and neoclassical styles can be found at the Appelmarkt and the Marktstraat. On the longest canal, called De Dijl, you can spot marvellous cornices and wonderfully decorated stepped gables. In the summer, opt for a cruise through the historic canals.
Visit the Broerekerk
Constructed in the 13th century as a monastery church of the Greyfriar Franciscans. The church burned down in 1980. In 2006, the ruins were brought back to life in an ingenious form by architect Jelle de Jong. The glass roof he designed has returned this oldest monument of Bolsward to its social function. And provided it with 'divine' lighting. Don't forget to bring your camera.
Read more about the fountain
Inspired by the gargoyles that decorate the cathedrals and symbolically protect them against evil, Johan Creten designed the bat fountain for Bolsward. This fountain is part of the 11Fountains art project. The steps invite you to climb the bat in order to conquer your fear of it. To rise up above yourself therefore.
Read more about the Bulwark
The Hoog Bolwerk (High Bulwark) in Bolsward is a recognizable remnant of the 16th-century defences: the moat and ramparts. The canals that run around the city centre of Bolsward and the associated system are a conservation area and, together with the Hoog Bolwerk, they form a national monument. Take a walk on the shell path of this wall along the water and wander off to earlier times.
Visit the Martini Church
The Martini Tower with its large saddleback roof has dominated Bolsward’s silhouette for centuries. Not surprising when you consider that this church is no less than 68 meters long. This important monument in Friesland is usually open almost every day. Go inside and take a look at the fairly well-preserved vault paintings from the 15th and early 16th centuries. Also admire the choir stalls that are among the most important remains of medieval sculpture in the Netherlands. After your visit, stroll around the church and experience the serene atmosphere that has lingered here for centuries.
Check the route
There hasn’t been an official eleven cities skating tour (Elfstedentocht) since 1997. It has been many years since it froze long enough or hard enough to organise the ‘mother of all skating tours’. But what does start every year on Whit Monday is the 11-city cycling tour. At 235 kilometres long, it’s also quite a challenge. Especially if you encounter headwinds and a rainstorm. That’s why the Helftstedentocht (helft = half) cycle tour is a nice alternative. It’s 89 kilometres long and starts in Bolsward.
Book your tickets in Bolsward
The Broerekerk in Bolsward is the oldest monument in Bolsward. After a major fire in the 1980s, the roof of the church had come off. It now has a beautiful glass roof. The incidence of light is now beautiful and the Broerekerk is therefore now the perfect location for a photo shoot! When the gate is open you can just walk in and we definitely recommend that!More information
Toerist Information Bolsward
At the Tourist Information in Bolsward you will always be personally attended by a 'local'. So ask them about everything you want to know about experiences in Southwest Friesland. Also pick up the free inspiration magazine and the inspiration newspaper full of events and stories.Visit Bolsward