Haarlem exudes history and culture. The beautiful capital of North Holland is a city of many faces. Enjoy its lovely historical centre, famous museums, great culinary options, picturesque canals, beautiful façades and the very best shopping streets in the Gouden Straatjes (Golden Streets) district. Visit Haarlem for an unforgettable day out.
Experience Haarlem like a true local
From world-renowned Dutch Masters to the city's long history, Haarlem is a unique destination where the past comes alive. Want to go to a museum or stroll past historical monuments? Then a visit to the Frans Hals Museum, named after the famous painter Frans Hals, is definitely in order. And don't miss Teylers Museum. Founded in 1778, it’s the oldest museum in the Netherlands. Go for a scenic wander past historical buildings like the City Hall, the Vleeshal, the Grote Kerk (also called the St. Bavokerk) Gothic cathedral on the Grote Markt market square, and the typical Dutch windmill Molen de Adriaan. Each amazing landmark is a special monument that will remind you of days long gone. But there is more, much more to see and do...
For many years, Haarlem played an important role in the Dutch flower industry thanks to the famous bulb fields surrounding the city. It’s still known for its flower markets and the annual flower parade, the Bloemencorso. During this grand event, colourful floats decorated with beautiful flowers travel from Noordwijk to Haarlem. Like the Keukenhof, it is a popular event that attracts thousands of flower lovers.
An abundance of culture
Haarlem also has a vibrant cultural scene with theatres, art galleries and many different events, including music festivals such as Bevrijdingspop and Haarlem Jazz&More and art festivals such as Kunstlijn and Open Monumentendagen. With a fresh mix of historical charm and modern amenities, it’s an attractive city for residents and tourists alike. The Grote Markt is the perfect example of this. It’s a historical square with plenty of fresh, trendy new hospitality venues along with old-fashioned pubs for those looking for something more traditional. Interested in a quirky fact? The residents of Haarlem are known as Muggen, which is Dutch for mosquitos.
Whether you’re into art, history, music, theatre or shopping, Haarlem has something to offer for everyone and entices visitors to explore its rich cultural traditions and energy. This is in part due to its great location. Not only is there a convenient railway station, but it is also the ideal base for a beach holiday. Bloemendaal aan Zee, a popular holiday resort, is less than 10 kilometres away. So Haarlem is the place to go if you want to take in the fresh sea air and feel the sand between your toes for a day, but then head back to the city at the end of the day.
The flavours of Haarlem
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Meneer Frans is a trendy catering establishment where you can enjoy coffee, breakfast, lunch, or drinks and nibbles both inside and outside in the charming enclosed garden. It is located in the monumental building of Van Duivenboden Interieur. The same building also houses an escape room and a sports shop.Read more on instagram.com
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Haarlem is full of cosy pubs, hip clubs and trendy cocktail bars. Whether you are looking for a lively concert or an intimate acoustic performance, Haarlem has something to suit everyone’s tastes. With diverse music genres, local and international artists and atmospheric venues such as Patronaat and the PHIL.Read more on visithaarlem.com
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DeDAKKAS (yes, that's how you spell it) in Haarlem is a sustainable, innovative restaurant. It offers a rooftop terrace on top of a car park, with stunning views. But above all, the initiative shows how unused rooftops can be converted into green, liveable places in the city.Read more on www-dedakkas-nl.translate.goog
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From traditional pubs to trendy bars, you’ll find it all in a gastronomic city like Haarlem. It’s the most-mentioned city in the national pub top 100, so there’s plenty of choice! These are the 10 best pubs to go for a drink.Read more on visithaarlem.com
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High teas in Haarlem offer a combination of delicious food, various teas, atmospheric locations and a cosy ambience. It is a great way to relax and enjoy spending quality time with friends and loved ones.Read more on visithaarlem.com
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Do you love cute, furry felines? Jippie's is a cat café where you can cuddle purring cats to your heart's content. Of course, you can also just have a coffee or enjoy an extensive high tea.Read more on jippieskattencafe-nl.translate.goog
Take the local culinary cycling route
Haarlem is the ideal destination for a sustainable city trip. There are more and more sustainable initiatives popping up everywhere and the city offers an extensive network of cycling and walking paths that provides visitors with a healthy, safe way to explore the green landscape. For example, take the Local Culinary Cycling Route and cycle past cool spots with local, artisanal products. Or rent a bike via Green Bikes and explore the city. Here’s another good tip: rent an electric sloop at Green Joy's and sail over the Spaarne river in a whisper boat to see Haarlem from a different perspective.
Groene Mug Festival
There are several options for environmentally conscious, sustainable shopping. Stroll through the shopping streets and discover sustainable frontrunners. There are also annual sustainability markets, where circular initiatives, organisations and companies come together to inform and inspire visitors. The Groene Mug Festival is also very popular: a sustainable festival where you can enjoy live music, lectures, workshops and tastings of local and organic products. Events like these help create a sustainable community and encourage a greener lifestyle among residents and visitors.
Green tips in Haarlem
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The Haarlemmer Kweektuin is a green oasis equipped with an organic garden, greenhouse and various sustainable initiatives. Located in the greenhouse garden, the Kweekcafé is a cosy establishment where you can enjoy organic and local dishes, drinks and homemade delicacies.Read more on www-haarlemmerkweektuin-nl.translate.goog
Located west of Haarlem, this National Park and conservation area is home to vast dunes, forests, beaches and an interesting variety of flora and fauna. The park has several walking and cycling paths so you can spend a great day out in nature. You might even see some Highland cattle, roe deer or Shetland ponies!Read more on holland.com
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By Lima, located in the heart of the city centre, is a sustainable eatery best known for its healthy, organic dishes. It offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local suppliers.Read more on instagram.com
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The Haarlemmerhout is the oldest public park in the Netherlands, with a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. It is popular with recreational visitors and has a nice petting zoo, a teahouse and a music pavilion.Read more on www-visithaarlem-com.translate.goog
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You will find this stylish, historical estate near the town of Overveen. Discover beautiful gardens, woods, ponds and stately buildings at Elswout, where you can stroll along winding paths and enjoy the peace and beauty of nature.Read more on www-staatsbosbeheer-nl.translate.goog
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Natural playgrounds are perfect places for children to climb, clamber, explore and often play with water. Here is a list of beautiful natural playgrounds in and around Haarlem.Read more on mugjes.nl
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Named as the best vegan restaurant according to the 2022 Vegan Awards, Mama Gaia’s mission is to give you a taste of how good completely plant-based food can be.Read more on instagram.com
Explore the Haarlem courtyards
Another outstanding feature of this city is the picturesque Haarlemse Hofjes. These are beautiful courtyards surrounded by small houses, offering a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Smack dab in the middle of the city! Exploring these hofjes (courtyards) is like discovering hidden treasures. Some of the best-known hofjes are Proveniershof, Hofje van Staats, Hofje van Oorschot and the oldest: Hofje van Bakenes. Each of these is a remarkable place, often with a long and interesting history. There were once 40 of these little gems, now there are over 20 historical and even some new hofjes in (and just outside) the centre of Haarlem.
Characteristically, most of the hofjes are built around a garden. They are charming places to visit but keep in mind that people live in the surrounding houses. So don't talk too loudly and preferably keep your visit relatively short. HofjesinHaarlem.nl has a good overview of all the hofjes, along with the necessary background information and photographs.
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The Corrie ten Boom House is a lesser-known museum, but certainly no less impressive. This museum tells the story of ordinary Dutch people who helped Jews go into hiding during World War II.Read more on corrietenboom.com
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A lovely, free(!) petting zoo that is home to llamas, chickens, sheep, pigs, rabbits and horses, among other animals. Ideal for hanging out with the kids and enjoying nature in the city.Read more on maps.app.goo.gl
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The Jopenkerk in the centre of Haarlem is a unique brewery and catering establishment located in a former church. Here you can enjoy local craft beers, tasty dishes and an atmospheric setting where history and good times come together.Read more on jopenkerk.nl
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The owner, Joy, calls it 'Jamaican high end'. After years of serving Jamaican food in food trucks, she decided to open her own bistro. Get a taste of the Caribbean at Little Jamaica Haarlem.Read more on littlejamaica.nl
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The Wijngaardtuin is a public garden in the city centre. But because it is slightly hidden, not everyone knows about it. In other words, it’s a real hidden gem and it offers a lovely view of the Grote or St. Bavokerk.Read more on nl-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog
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This is a picturesque little neighbourhood, much like the Jordaan in Amsterdam, where it’s nice to walk around and soak up the cosy atmosphere. The neighbourhood gets its name from the five streets that come together to form a square at the centre.Read more on nl-m-wikipedia-org.translate.goog
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