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Water makes the world go round in Friesland

Her aim has been to ‘think big’ and she loves to share her passion for Friesland when working with the international market.

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The largest Province in the Netherlands is the coastal region of Friesland. “Everyone knows Amsterdam, but if you drive an hour north, you’ll find yourself in the beautiful scenery of Friesland.” On the drive from Schiphol Airport to Friesland you will travel approximately 20 miles over The Afsluitdijk, the longest dike in the world. This impressive engineering feat helps the Netherlands keep the sea out and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  


The European Capital of Water Technology  Herma van Keulen started as director of Friesland Convention Partners in 2021. 

Friesland has the largest chain of connected inland lakes in Europe and includes the unique Frisian Wadden Islands. Living surrounded by water makes it only natural for the city of Leeuwarden to be the European Capital of Water Technology. Leeuwarden is home to several water-related knowledge institutions and plays host to many international water congresses.

''Being the largest province of the Netherlands means that we have a lot to offer and things to do.''


Why Friesland is one of a kind

What differentiates Friesland from other cities and regions are its vast landscapes. “Our accommodations and congress halls are similar to the other areas of the Netherlands, but we have 9 different landscapes that makes it unique. Dunes and dikes, forests and beaches, lakes and marshes. Nowhere else will you find such diverse surroundings as in Friesland.” 

In the sports world, Friesland is well known for its ice arena, Thialf in Heereveen. Besides hosting several of the top skating events including the Dutch, European and World championships, Thialf is also a great location for a conference. You might also know the Elfstedentocht, the most impressive long distance skating event in the world, 11 cities, 135 miles on natural ice. For groups there is a variety of fun things to do, either on or near the water, like sailing, rowing or cycling. The water activities are enjoyed year-round in Friesland, also by Herma, “I love living on the water. I go running along the water, I go to the beach, swimming, sailing or ice skating in the winter.”


The happiest people in the Netherlands 

Friesland is unique in many ways and one of them is the people. “The Frisian people are the happiest people in the Netherlands.” The blue skies, the freedom, the open spaces and the unique landscapes make for happy people. We receive great feedback from our international visitors as they get a lot of positive impressions. “You can hold a large conference here or enjoy a cozy terrace in the historic center along a canal and everything is within walking distance.” 

“Being the largest province of the Netherlands means that we have a lot to offer and things to do.” A conference can be at the World Trade Center in Leeuwarden and you can stay close by at a beautiful hotel in the countryside. There’s not a lot of traffic so you never spend too much time in a car or bus. “We like to say that the silence is only 5 minutes away with the cows in the green against the skyline of the capital city”. 


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