Hindeloopen/Hylpen was very isolated from the rest of Friesland. Nevertheless, the town had an important position for world trade and shipping. This was because they had a good connection to Amsterdam. The isolated location and the Amsterdam and international contacts resulted in Hindeloopen having its own language and costume. They also developed the internationally known Hindelooper painting art.
After years of prosperity and wealth, the town became a small fishing village in the 19th century. Amsterdam gained a direct connection to the North Sea. The route across the Zuiderzee and past Hindeloopen was thus no longer necessary. It was just a long detour.
Nowadays the town is still small. Less than 900 people live there. But still the town is worth a visit. It is like an open-air museum. The facades and national monuments give you a glimpse of the once rich past. Hindeloopen was even named a “top experience” by Lonely Planet. So the international appeal is still there.
Where to get the stamp?
In Hindeloopen you will find the Fries Schaatsmuseum (Frisian Skating Museum). This museum is definitely worth a visit, because Friesland and skating are inseparable. Part of the museum is the pancake house ‘De Friese Doorloper’. Here you can not only eat well, but also get your stamp.
What can you do in Hindeloopen?
There is a lot to do in Hindeloopen. We have listed our favorite activities and sights.
The fountain of Hindeloopen was created by the Chinese artist Shen Yuan. The fountain is inspired by the coat of arms of Hindeloopen, which shows a tree of life. The tree represents life, energy and wisdom. Oriental birds are sitting on the fountain. It looks like they are having a cozy get-together. Around the fountain there are big antlers where you can sit for a while to watch the birds. From the fountain you can take a walk around the town, which will show you all the beauty of Hindeloopen.
2. Fries Schaatsmuseum
Now that you’re doing the Elfstedentocht, it’s of course nice to learn more about the world’s one and only skating tour. A visit to the Fries Schaatsmuseum is therefore not to be missed. The skating museum not only has the largest collection of skates and sleds in the world, but here you can also admire the entire history of the Elfstedentocht. You can also find the largest skate in the world and a real frostbitten toe.
The royal family’s love for skating is also evident. King Willem Alexander skated on the Elfstedentocht in 1986 under the name W.A. van Buuren. The skates he wore at that time are in the museum. There are also photos of Queen Wilhelmina and the princesses skating on the Hofvijver (court pond) and a letter from Queen Wilhelmina asking for skates for Princess Juliana. Another beautiful piece is the medal from 1896 from Queen Wilhelmina for Jaap Eden, which he received after his third world championship title in St. Petersburg.
3. Pancake House 'De Friese Doorloper'
Near the Fries Schaatsmuseum is the pancake restaurant “De Friese Doorloper”. Inside the restaurant you can see many elements of ice skating. But of course that is not the most important thing. In the restaurant you can choose from 50 different types of pancakes, but also enjoy coffee or tea, buns fresh from the oven, hot waffles, “uitsmijters”, complete meals and much more.
4. Shopping in the museum
In addition to the restaurant, the Frisian Skating Museum also has a store where you can buy not just a pair of skates, but also art of Hindelooper painting. Gauke and Pieter Bootsma paint according to old tradition in this special style. In the store you can admire and buy various hand-painted items, gifts and furniture. It is also possible to experience what it is like to be a Hindelooper painter yourself during the Hindelooper painting workshop.
5. Museum Hindeloopen
Would you like to learn more about the art of Hindelooper painting? Visit Museum Hindeloopen! You can admire the beautifully painted interiors and fabrics with colorful patterns of flowers, leaves and birds. By the way, not only skating, but also Hindelooper painting is very popular with the royal family.
In addition to painting, the Hindeloopen Museum also offers a wealth of information about the town’s rich past and its shipping industry. In its heyday, Hindeloopen’s fleet included no less than 100 ships.
6. Textile Studio Durkje de Boer
Durkje de Boer enjoys traveling to faraway places to be inspired by textile art, clothing and traditions. On her travels she visits small studios, meets creative artisans and buys textiles directly from the producers she visits. This way she produces beautiful textile products in her textile studio in Hindeloopen. There you can buy a colorful collection of handmade textiles, but also beautiful quilting and folklore fabrics like Hindeloopen’s chintz and skins.
7. Chocolatier Paul Koldewijn
Paul Koldewijn makes traditional chocolate candies and other treats. He uses only the very best raw materials, such as Callebaut chocolate. He also makes sure that he always uses freshly prepared ingredients. It sounds irresistible, and it is. So stop by the bonbon manufactory, where you can taste and buy the products. You can also get various teas and other artisan products here. A visit to the store is also nice for back home. If you take a box of chocolates, they will be packed in boxes decorated with hand-painted Hindelooper art.
9. Restaurant Suderse
End your day at the Sudersee fish restaurant and liquor brewery. This restaurant is wonderfully situated in the heart of Hindeloopen. The terrace offers a view of the old courthouse and the 17th century church. You can enjoy super fresh fish dishes and taste all the brewery’s liquors. You can find Sudersee Restaurant at Buren 1, 8713 KA in Hindeloopen.