Half an hour's drive from Amsterdam you find Haarlem, the capital of Noord-Holland. It has been the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and proudly bears the nickname 'Bloemenstad' (flower city). Visit the beautiful city of Haarlem yourself to understand why it has inspired artists for centuries.
If you arrive in Haarlem by train, you can't miss the art deco railway station. Pick up a map with walks at the tourist information office (VVV) and it will lead you to Haarlem’s central square 'Grote Markt', city hall, St. Bavo Church and many picturesque almshouses and courtyards. Must-see museums are the Teylers Museum and the Frans Hals Museum. Modern-art fans will be in heaven in Museum De Hallen. Last but not least, Haarlem has everything you need for a perfect day of shopping.
‘Bevrijdingspop’ (Liberation Pop) is the event of the year in Haarlem. Thousands of people come to celebrate freedom on May 5, Liberation Day in Holland. Another spectacle is the annual “Bloemencorso” or Flower Parade that starts in Noordwijk and finishes in Haarlem. The city boasts cafes, restaurant and lunch rooms where you can enjoy a drink after a day of shopping and culture.