Sneekweek Sailing Regatta
The city of Sneek brims with vitality during Sneekweek Sailing Regatta. Each year in August, visitors come in their droves to watch the boat race and to enjoy the street entertainment, complete with bands, markets, a funfair and fireworks. Sneekweek is the largest sailing event on European inland waterways.
Organised by Sneek Royal Yacht Club (Koninklijke Watersportvereniging Sneek or KWS) in the northern province of Friesland, this special event has taken place since 1934. Sneekweek has been compared to Kiel Week in Germany, although it’s a lot more intimate.
Sneekweek - the largest inshore sailing regatta in Europe
The largest inshore sailing regatta in Europe.
Sneekweek’s claim to fame is being the largest inshore sailing regatta in the world, but it’s also famous for its unique atmosphere, which should not be underestimated. Sneek is also one of the eleven cities in the Elfstedentocht – the eleven-city ice-skating race. Take a trip to Sneek and discover it for yourself!
Throughout the week, revellers can enjoy festive activities in Sneek, including markets, funfairs and live bands playing in the streets. Crowds come from far and wide to soak up this extra special atmosphere. The terraces outside cafes and bars are packed with people and when the weather is pleasant, it makes for the perfect late summer celebration by the sea.
Soak up the atmosphere of Sneekweek
The opening ceremony takes place on August 2 at 9pm, with a traditional “fleet review” or vlootschouw of the boats representing each of the competition classes, showing off their glorious sails as they make their way along the city canal to join the fleet on the open water, accompanied by music. Expect to hear live brass bands and good old singing in Dutch and Frisian. The ceremony ends at midnight with striking fireworks.
The final race day, known as Hardzeildag, takes place on Wednesday, August 7 and is considered the highlight of the whole event. On Tuesday, August 6, there is also a prolific race called the Holland-Friesland Rainbow race, which sees the Frisians racing against the Dutch. Check out the Sneekweek website for more information.
Plan your visit to Sneekweek
If you're entertaining the idea of taking a trip up north to attend Sneekweek, it's easier than you may have thought to get there by public transportation. Sneek has a train station, which can be reached from most Randstad cities in 2,5 to 3 hours, although you will most likely need to change trains in Leeuwaarden or Almere.