Workum (or Warkum as we say in Friesland), is one of the famous Frisian cities that has enjoyed city rights since 1399. Located on the shores of the former Zuiderzee and bordering the Frisian lakes, Workum was an important merchant city for the region. Simply walking around the old city centre is an attraction in itself. Along the route, you'll encounter the many stepped gables, saddle roofs and the Great (St. Gertrude) church. No wonder the city became a protected heritage area in 1988. You can admire the intimate paintings by rag and bone man Jopie Huisman and there is also a museum that will introduce you to the rich history of Workum.Or visit the beach because this Elfstedenstad, located on the IJsselmeer, has an ideal beach for children and (kite) surfers because the water is shallow. As a result, Workum is also a busy place in summer! Plan your visit and discover below where you can stay in Workum, what there is to do in Workum and where you can have a bite to eat in the area. Have fun in Workum.
Visit the Jopie Huisman Museum
The Jopie Huisman Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Frisian master painter, Jopie Huisman. His body of work very much reflects the human touch. We can recognise his love of nature, his compassion and also his capacity to add value to minor, modest and discarded objects. Jopie was also known as a narrator of amusing anecdotes, often a little embellished. Jopie transports you into his world and lets you share his passions.
Read more about the fountain
The lions that have graced the coat of arms of Workum for many centuries, played a leading role in this fountain, one of the 11Fountains project. While the city arms lions are intended to be awe-inspiring, the artist has given these beasts a healthy dose of British humour. Like playful cats, they form a heart of water through which you can see the city, while they roar: “Look at our city.”
Visit the Sint Gertrudis church
The beautiful Market Square 'De Merk' in Workum - where you'll also find the Waag weighing house and the old City Hall - is home to the largest late-Gothic church of Friesland. Here, you'll find a unique collection of decorative funeral biers. This church welcomes thousands of tourists each year, attracted by these intriguing funeral biers used for transport of coffins during the funeral. The decorative painting or lack thereof says a great deal about long-forgotten lives.
Visit the Tourist Information
The Tourist Information Centre in Workum (information point in Het Boekhuis stationer and bookstore) has a free booklet on Art in Workum, giving information on all arty addresses. Check out the model of the world-famous Pauper's fountain (better known in Friesland as the penis fountain), dismantled in August 2019, in Museum Warkums Erskip. Fascinating detail: the dismantled parts have apparently become decorative objects in Workum homes.
Visit the Blazerhaven
Alongside the sea lock in Workum, you'll find the Blazerhaven, a museum harbour filled with original sailing fishing boats dating from the first half of the previous century. A beautiful and photogenic spot to visit.
Read more about the lighthouse
You'll find Workum lighthouse on the Hylperdyk at the entrance to the harbour. It's known as the Toarntsje (little tower), which is very apt for the square white brick tower. At nine metres, Workum lighthouse is not particularly tall. Nowadays, the lighthouse is illuminated by electric lamps that work on solar cells. But each year, the first traditional sailing boat returning from the local Strontrace is welcomed with a traditional fire lit on the tower.
Visit the Façade stone wall
No city is ever complete. There will always be construction and demolition work. In Workum too, many buildings have been added and demolished over the centuries. Façade stones have been saved from many of these former buildings. Under the gateway alongside number 18 on De Merk market square, we find a wall in which 22 old façade stones have been incorporated. Information signs provide an explanation and a map of the city, showing those buildings from which these stones have been retrieved.
The 'strontrace' is the main annual event in Workum. It centres around the historic ships that must sail to Warmond, transporting a bag of manure as quickly as possible. The so-called strontweek ('stront' is Dutch for manure) also includes many different activities, some of which you can join in. Race one of the sailing ships over the dike to the IJsselmeer lake, step on board the Beurtveer ferryboat, visit the fishing days, sail a model boat, and much more!
Jopie Huisman Museum
The Jopie Huisman Museum is dedicated to the work and life of the Frisian self-taught master painter Jopie Huisman. The human dimension is the common thread in his oeuvre. You can see his love for nature, his compassion and also his ability to give value to the small, modest and discarded. Jopie was also known as a narrator of tasty anecdotes, often exaggerated. Jopie takes you into his world and makes you share in his passions.
A city with a real beach
The beach at Workum, also called It Soal, can be found about 3.5 kilometers from the center of Workum. This beach is ideal for a day with the family. The water is shallow, so children can play safely. This beach is also very popular with water sports enthusiasts because of the shallow water and the wind always blows favorably. The perfect conditions to master kiting. You often see these colorful kites above the IJsselmeer, and that image alone is worth a visit.
“ SIMPLY WALKING AROUND THE OLD CITY CENTRE IS AN ATTRACTION IN ITSELF; THE MANY BEAUTIFUL MONUMENTS AND FACADES ALL LINED UP FOR ATTENTION. ”Lynn, Belvilla.nl
Tourist Information Workum
At the Tourist Information in Workum 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 the Tourist Information