Hello everyone. As well as you can guess from the title, today we’re going to discover Haarlem (don’t get confused with Arnhem thate we already visited). Are you there? Can we start? Let’s do it!

Haarlem, city of Netherlands, it is located in North Holland next to the Spaarne river. The city is very close to Amsterdam (accessible by train) and to the North Sea. Haarlem is known primarily for its magnific flowers and precisely tulips. It is known for its many “hofjes” as well (we’ll see them later); these are almshouses (built around a courtyard) funded by the church to all the women and the elderly in need. Many “hofjes” are accessible to tourists. A curiosity about Haarlem is that a neighborhood in New York City has its name thanks to the Dutch colonists (originally was called New Haarlem).

To know more (to eat, what to eat, where to play, what to visit…) continue to read.

We begin our tour doing a full immersion in the culture.



  • Grote Markt: the main square of the city. Here, as in every main square, you will find several monuments (including the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster, the first Dutch typographer) and many bars, restaurants and shops. The square is also one of the main venues where take life different festivals (Haarlem Jazz, Mars der Muzikanten… we’ll see them later).
  • Grote of Sint-Bavokerk: is a large Gothic church located at Grote Markt, all dedicated to Saint Bavo of Gand.
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Haarlem: is another great eclectic building (this term refers to a mix of different styles, from the historical to contemporary or exotic. You’ll understand just looking it!). Inside the cathedral there are different works of art and liturgical ojects of the past.
  • Stadhuis: city hall of Haarlem.
  • Vleeshal: the ancient market of meat that is a great example of Renaissance architecture. Inside the building there is the archaeological museum of Haarlem.
  • Hoofdwacht: it is a building that houses several exhibitions that tell the history of the city.
  • Waag: this building was a former weigh house (where the large objects were weighed ). Today it is a cafè.
  • Amsterdamse Poort: the gate of the city (it looks like the Zwolle gate). It is situated on a canal and to get into it you have to cross a small bridge. In the evening thanks to the lights it is even more beautiful!
  • The Frans Hals Museum: the museum is a “hofje” (we knew it before, do you remember?). It contains several works by the painter Frans Hals (hence the name of the museum) but also lots of paintings owned by the city of Haarlem. Next to the Frans Hals Museum there is the De Hallen, museum of contemporary art. Today these sites are considered national heritage.
  • Teylers Museum: art, science and natural history museum. Here you’ll find everything about archives, encyclopedias, paintings and a special room, the oval room. The museum is part of the UNESCO heritage.
  • Het Dolhuys: psychiatric Museum in Haarlem (don’t worry and read, is not as “weird” as you might think… it is quite interesting). Het Dolhuys is an interactive museum that will introduce you to the contrasts between sanity and insanity and show you the different ojects used by psychiatric hospitals but also the treatment methods. A travel into the depths of the human psyche.
  • Ten Boom Museum: it is an historical museum that preserves the cultural history of the city and the region in general. This is the secret building where Jews hid during World War II. All this makes it a place full of history and that has many things to tell. Today, however, the area has also become one of the main shopping streets of Haarlem.
  • Fotogalerie De Gang: a perfect modern photo gallery for those who love the photography and ideal to find the right inspiration.
  • NZH Vervoer Museum: is a museum dedicated entirely to the means of transport so if you love the them you can’t miss it (also the famous “Blue Tram” A327 will be there).
  • Villa Welgelegen: a beautiful neoclassical villa (unusual structure for the present style in the city) located to the north of Haarlem. Today it houses the offices of the provincial executives of the North Holland. Some rooms are opened to the public.
  • Stadsbibliotheek Haarlem: the historical library of Haarlem.

The city has some theaters and now we’ll see the most famous ones. Toneelschuur theater (it is a cinema as well), Stadsschouwburg on the Wilsonsplein. The Philharmonie is a very popular concert hall and is situated in the center of the town near Grote Markt.





Let the fun begin!

  • De Adriaan: the windmill of the city. It is situated in a really nice area, near a canal and with a magnificent views of the closest places. The mill is fully functional but rarely used (it’s a tourist attraction). Inside it, if you want, you can visit the small museum.
  • Another option is to walk and go in search of the Haarlem gardens where you will find the remains of the castle of Huis ter Kleef.
  • The Haarlemmerhout: the oldest public park in the Netherlands. It is located to south of Haarlem. You will find lots of space to walk, play and discover the different monuments and sculptures but also many hidden curiosity. It is said that Napoleon’s soldiers wrote the initials of their names on one of the many present trees (who knows maybe you will find it, or maybe you’ve already found it!)
  • Other parks are: Frederikspark haarlem, Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland, Stadskweektuin, Kenaupark. They are really beautiful places to admire.
  •  Some of the most popular neighborhoods where you can walk or go shopping are: The Bosch, Vaart, The Street of Donkere Spaarne (located next to Spaarne river), Kleine Houtstraat, Lange Brug (Haarlem bridge with the “paint roller”).
  • Haarlem Canal Tours: tour over the canals. On the boat there will be food and drinks. Isn’t it amazing?! Lots are the tour (cultural and others) you can do.
  • Zeebaard Kayak Tours Haarlem: for the more adventurous there is a ride on the kayaks.
  • Hofje Van Staats: if you are curious to visit a “hofje”, this is one of them. A very picturesque place.
  • Escape Haarlem: escape game.

If you love the night life, here there is much to do. Now we will  see where.

  • Club Ruis: nightclub.
  • Club Stalker: nightclub.
  • Club 023: nightclub.
  • Club XO: lounge bar.

Obviously there are also the many streets and squares of the city, really busy areas (especially in summer).
And for a different night there is Pathé Haarlem cinema, located in Raaks mall.

In Haarlem there are also several festivals among them are there are: bloemencorso, a flower parade that is held every April. In the same month it is set up a funfair at the center of Grote Markt. And at the same venue come alive the Jazz Haarlem and Haarlem Culinair (culinary event) and the Haarlemmerhoutfestival, an event dedicated to music and theater. You can’t get bored here!




Now we are ready to dedicate our time to the food.

  • Boerenkool: a dish made of cabbage and potatoes with smoked sausage.
  • Andijviestamppot: this dish consists of a mix of potatoes, endives and bacon. Everything is finely chopped and assembled.
  • Rijsttafel: a dish from the Indonesian cuisine. It consists of a menu of well 12 (or even more) dishes. It is combined with chicken, meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
  • Spekkoek: cake layers (also this dish comes from Indonesian cuisine). It is a very special cake because inside it there are: cinnamon, cloves, macis and anise. This dessert is often served after the rijsttafel (that we previously saw). Would you like to taste it or no?
  • Appelflappen: a sweet made of apple in triangular shaped. Inside, besides the main ingredient, you will find some raisins and cinnamon.
  • Beer is a very present drink in Haarlem and the most popular is the Jopenbier.




Let’s move our attention to the places where to eat the typical dishes of the place.

  • Jopenkerk: brewery/pub with Dutch and European cuisine.
  • Specktakel: European, international and gluten free cuisine
  • The Wolfhound Irish Bar & Kitchen: bar/pub with Irish, British, European cuisine.
  • Steakhouse The Golden Bull: European, Argentinean and South American cuisine.
  • Napoli: Italian and European cuisine.
  • Metzo lunch en diner: French cuisine.
  • Restaurant Hout: French, Dutch, European, and vegetarian cuisine.
  • Ratatouille Food & Wine: French, European, International and gluten frre cuisine.
  • vanVeg: Dutch, European, vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
  • Dodici: international and European cuisine.
  • De Pizzabakkers Haarlem
  • Spaarne 66: bar/pub Mediterranean, Dutch, European cuisine.
  • Grand Café Brinkmann
  • Bij Babette: cafè.
  • Bar Wolkers
  • Cafe MARGAUX


Even today our tour in Haarlem is over. Stay tuned to find out which other cities in the Netherlands we will discover next time.

Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you have been or are you going to go? What did you like least and what more? We are curious to read your opinions.

A big kiss to everyone.



Below we will list the hotels that you can find in Haarlem.

http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?city=-2145280&aid=960457 – hotels in the city center.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?landmark=455&aid=960457 – hotels next to Harleem station.



4 thoughts on “Haarlem

  1. Great post! A lot of useful and information and ideas.

    I live near Zwolle and am slowly getting to visit other areas and towns within the Netherlands

    Haarlem is yet another destination I would like to visit so I have pinned this post for later.

    Thanks for sharing!

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