Haarlem is a city of courtyards that boasts more than 20 idyllic ‘hofjes’. Our Hofjesroute or courtyard itinerary will take you to fourteen lovely courtyard gardens and hidden ‘hofjes’. Start on the Grote Markt and turn into the Barteljorisstraat, where you will find the Hofje van Oorschot (please note that this courtyard is no longer accessible to the public).
- Discover the hidden inner courtyards in the center of Haarlem.
- See how the infirm used to live.
- Enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a leisurely lunch on the way there.
Walk through the Krocht and in a straight line into the Ursulastraat, where you will find Remonstrantse Hofje at number 16 (please note that this courtyard is not freely accessible to the public). Walk through the Magdalenastraat to the courtyard street of Haarlem: Witte Herenstraat. To your right are the Luthers Hofje, Frans Loenenhofje and Coomanshofje.
At the end of the street turn left into the Zijlstraat and then right into the third street. ’t Pand will lead you behind city hall to Prinsenhof, an old herb garden with a small peace temple and a statue of Laurens Jansz. Coster (the man who invented the printing press, according to the Dutch). Follow the path along the Stedelijk Gymnasium and turn left into the Jacobijnestraat towards the Huis van Schagen on Koningstraat 20. If the door is open, enter the courtyard to look at the garden. Walk to the end of the Koningstraat, into the Gierstraat to your right and to the Botermarkt. It takes some searching to find the four residences of the hidden Bruiningshofje to your right. At the end of the street turn left into the Tuchthuisstraat and visit the Brouwershofje at number 8. At the end of the street turn left into the Breestraat and then right into the Gierstraat, where you will find the extraordinary Wijnkoperij Okhuysen.
Walk through the Korte Gierstraat to the Hofje van Guurtje de Waal on the Lange Annastraat 40. Continue on to the Nieuwe Kerksplein and open the door with the red number 11. A small hallway takes you to the Proveniershof, which you can leave through the big gate onto the Grote Houtstraat. Walk towards the Spaarne river and turn right into the Korte Houtstraat, which is also known as the greenest street in Haarlem.
The next part takes a bit of twisting and turning through the city. Turn right into the Lange Annastraat, then left into the Doelstraat and immediately right into the Lange Raamstraat, towards the ‘de vijfhoek’ square that owes its name to the five streets leading onto the open space. Walk through the Drapenierstraat, turn right into the Vlamingstraat and continue straight ahead until you find the Hofje van Loo.
The last three courtyards on the itinerary require you to turn back across the Botermarkt, Gedempte Oude Gracht, Schagchelstraat and into the Warmoesstraat. Hofje In den Groenen Tuyn can be found at number 23. This courtyard is open from 10:00 and 12:00; ring the bell to be let in. Turn the corner to cross the Oude Groenmarkt and Damstraat and turn left into the Nieuwe Appelaarsteeg, then right into the Wijde Appelaarsteeg. The Hofje van Bakenes, the oldest Dutch ‘hofje’, dates from 1395. Walk along the garden to the most recent courtyard in Haarlem, the Johannes Enschedéhof from 2007. You can leave the courtyard through a big grey door. Walk through a big grey door and through the Lange Begijnstraat, across the Riviervismarkt back to your starting point: The Grote Markt.