10 things to do in Hindlupen (Netherlands)

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the shipping industry created wealth for the people of Hindruppen.

At the time, the town of 100 ships even developed its own clothing style and interior design.

Hindeloopen was once located in a bay in the North Sea (the Zuiderzee), which in the early 1930s was transformed by the Afsluitdijk dam in the north into a large inland freshwater lake IJsselmeer.

Open to the coast, the IJsselmeer is the windiest lake in Europe, and kitesurfers flock to Hindeloopen in summer.

The well-preserved town and harbour are beautiful, and the museum details the unique culture of Hindruppen and ice skating, a historic event throughout Friesland.

1. Small Town Tour


What the Hindeloopen lacks in scale it makes up for in its charm.

You can go from one end to the other in a few minutes, but it’s impossible because you have to stop and stop to take pictures of the harbour, canals, bridges, and the skyline and moxa from the grassy levees View of Selmer.

The Hindeloopen part is a protected urban landscape in the Netherlands and also has the Frisian name “Beschermd dorpsgezicht” (protected village scene). More than 30 Dutch national monuments can be seen in this small area.

End at the charming old port with a lock, a 17th century locksmith’s house and a typical wooden bridge.

Grab a table at one of the nearby waterside cafes and restaurants, and dine by the quaint wooden lifeboat houses and masts of the harbour.

2. First Frisian Skating Museum

Skating is an important part of Frisian culture, and in the Middle Ages the first ice skates with metal blades were made here.

Hindeloopen takes part in the Elfstedentocht (Tour of Eleven Cities), a 200-kilometer canal tour that connects the cities of Friesland in winter.

This only happens when the ice is right, and the race is only given two days’ notice (the last time was in 1997). The Skate Museum tells the story of the game 250 years ago and has the largest and most diverse collection of skates in the world, including examples dating back to the 800s.

You’ll learn how animal bones were used to make skates in the past, and visit a blacksmith’s forge and carpenter’s workshop.

You can learn about modern speed skating, a sport dominated by the Dutch.

Some 20th century champions such as Evert van Benthem, Jeen van den Berg and Rein Jonker have donated medals, trophies and other memorabilia to the collection.

3. Grote Kirk

Grot Kirk

The medieval church at Hindeloopen was destroyed in the Eighty Years’ War in 1570 and reconstruction lasted from 1590 to 1632. The spire at the top of the tower, the last after a lightning strike in 1701, was replaced from 1724 by a beautiful eight-sided structure with balustrades around it and topped by a dome beneath a sailboat-shaped weather vane.

The south entrance to the church has a portal carved from beech in 1658, with the coat of arms of Hindeloopen inlaid on the gable.

The organ at the rear of the church dates back to 1813 and was made by the Van Dam company in Leeuwarden.

The decorative box, although old, should have been made in the mid-1660s.

4. Hindrupen Museum

Hindrupen Museum

The local museum, located in Hindeloopen’s former town hall, will help you learn about the town’s long and interesting history.

The series focuses on Hindeloopen’s 17th and 18th century shipping trade and the huge influx of wealth it generated.

In a series of rooms, you can see unique local interiors and costumes, as well as exquisite homewares, painted furniture and artworks, resulting from this income.

There are many artifacts related to shipping and fishing, giving an impression of what the port looked like in the town’s glory days.

5. Sluishuis (Sylhús)


The most beautiful monument in the port of Hindeloopen is the locksmith’s house on the shore side.

Together with the lock next to it, this dates back to the 17th century and was given an open wooden bell tower in the 19th century.

Facing the water on the levee is a sanctuary with benches where locals come to pass the day and share gossip.

Such spaces are common in Frisia, hence the name “leugenbank” (reclining chair). Inside the sanctuary, on the façade of Sluihuis, you can see the coat of arms of Hindeloopen and the date of 1619. The leugenbank itself was built in 1785 and was used for fish auctions in the early years.

6. Choppy Huisman Museum

Choppy Huisman Museum

Definitely worth the 5-minute train ride to Workum, a museum dedicated to self-taught painter and draftsman Jopie Huisman, who was born in the village in 1922. Opened in the mid-80s, the museum moved to an old school building in 1992, with a modern extension in the early 2000s.

Huisman’s work is known for its realism, love of nature and empathy.

He has a knack for finding meaning in mundane objects and scenes.

In the exhibition, combined with the audio guide, you can follow his artistic development and learn about the different styles he adopted.

Since the renovation, some of the objects depicted in his work, such as the children’s doll and the breeches he wears in the self-portrait, are on display.

The museum has also opened a 25km trail in the Frisian countryside to the places where he painted or inspired him.

7. Flora en Fauna Fontein

Flora en Fauna Fontein

In the late 2010s, the 11 cities of Elfstedentocht were linked through an interregional art project.

Each city has a fountain, designed by outstanding artists from one of 11 different countries.

Some big names are involved, such as Jaume Plensa, Shinji Ohmaki, Jorge & Lucy Orta, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla and Cornelia Parker.

The fountain Flora en Fauna at Hindeloopen was created by Chinese-French artist Shen Yuan.

Made of copper, steel, accoya and stone, the piece is partly inspired by the giant cedar that appears in the Hindeloopen badge.

Exotic birds perch on trees surrounded by large wooden antlers representing heraldic deer.

8. Water sports

Kitesurfschool KiteMobile

Above the water Hindeloopen’s constant exposure to the breeze, combined with many hectares of smooth, knee-deep water, has turned this stretch of shore at the IJsselmeer into an aquatic centre.

Within 5 km, there are several companies (Dutch Kite Surf Club, Kitesurfschool Freeriderz, Kitesurfschool KiteMobile) that provide equipment and lessons for activities such as windsurfing and of course kitesurfing.

The Dutch Kitesurf Club offers flexible course options, from a two-day beginner’s course to a one-week training camp.

The centre offers other activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, and barbecues are held every Saturday at the Welgelegen campsite in summer.

Alternatively, you can buy a fishing license and spend a few days fishing IJsselmeer for bass, snapper, roach, eel, luther, ide and silver carp.

9. Beach


There are many small beaches along the IJsselmeer in Hindeloopen.

These narrow sand strips are surrounded by the grassy slopes of the dykes and bathed in mild seawater.

On a warm midsummer day, Hindruppen’s beaches are just right for swimming in the shallows and relaxing in the sun.

At other times, the beach is windy, so it’s not uncommon for the sky to be full of kites, whether it’s families with kids flying kites or kitesurfers performing stunts in the water.

10. Cycling


The South West Frisian countryside criss-crosses with safe cycle paths.

While this may sound confusing, knooppunten (nodes) at intersections on the network make the system easy to navigate.

These nodes have maps, village details, and information on local restaurants and accommodation.

You might want to follow the Ixelmeer coast or explore Lake Friesland inland, with 24 idyllic rural bodies of water, all connected by rivers and canals.

From Hindeloopen, you can also take part in a dedicated children’s bike tour, as well as a themed route along the Friesian Elfstedentocht (Tour of Eleven Cities) route, which leads you to the picturesque windmills of the countryside.

Where to Stay: The Best Hotels in Hindlupen, The Netherlands
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