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Things to Do in Haarlem: A Guide to Exploring the Dutch City

Haarlem is an enchanting Dutch city located just a short train ride away from bustling Amsterdam. Though often overshadowed by its larger neighbor, Haarlem is a destination worth visiting in its own right. From stunning canals lined with old Dutch architecture to beautiful parks and vibrant nightlife, Haarlem offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path escape or an action-packed city break, Haarlem has it all.

Discover the Stunning Grote Kerk

No visit to Haarlem is complete without a visit to the Grote Kerk, or “Great Church,” a stunning Dutch Reformed Protestant Church. Built in the late 14th century, the church is one of the oldest in the Netherlands and boasts a rich history. The building is an architectural wonder, featuring intricate details including stained glass windows, ornate stone carvings, and a towering spire. The interior is just as impressive, with its high ceilings, beautiful organ, and incredible acoustics. Visitors can also explore the church’s crypt, which is one of the largest in Europe.

The Grote Kerk is located in the center of Haarlem and is easily accessible by foot. The church is open to visitors every day, with guided tours available in both Dutch and English. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible Dutch landmark!

Explore the City’s Historic Canals

Haarlem’s canals are one of the city’s most iconic attractions, offering a lovely view of its cobbled streets and old Dutch architecture. The best way to see the city’s canals is to take a boat tour, which will take you past some of the city’s most famous landmarks. From the cozy cafes and picturesque bridges to the stunning waterside homes, the canals of Haarlem offer a unique insight into Dutch culture and lifestyle.

The best time to visit the canals is during the summer months, when the boats are out in full force and the sun is shining. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll along the canals, which are lined with stunning old buildings, quaint shops, and vibrant street art. No matter how you choose to explore the canals, they are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Sip on Craft Beer at Jopenkerk

Haarlem is home to Jopenkerk, a popular craft beer brewery. Founded in 1994, Jopenkerk is one of the oldest craft beer breweries in the Netherlands and is well-known for its unique and delicious beers. The brewery is located in the old Jopen Church, a stunning building that serves as a reminder of the city’s history.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the brewery, taste the different beers, and even purchase a few bottles to take home. The brewery also has a café, where visitors can sample the beers and enjoy a delicious meal. The café has an outdoor terrace with views of the city, making it the perfect spot for a sunny afternoon.

Shop at the Saturday Market

Haarlem’s Saturday market is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs or find a unique gift for a loved one. The market is located in the Grote Markt, or “Great Market,” and offers a vibrant atmosphere and a wide selection of items. From fresh flowers to handmade jewelry, there is something for everyone. Visitors can also sample local delicacies such as Dutch cheeses, smoked fish, and delicious pastries.

The market is open every Saturday from 9am to 3pm and is the perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday morning in Haarlem. Don’t forget to haggle with the vendors to get the best deals!

Visit the Teylers Museum

The Teylers Museum is a must-visit for any history lover. Founded in 1778, the museum is the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands and contains a plethora of artifacts, artworks, and scientific instruments. Visitors can view rare fossils, old prints, and stunning Dutch paintings. The museum is also home to a large library of books, manuscripts, and other historic documents.

The museum also offers regular events and workshops, such as drawing classes and lectures on the history of the city. Visitors can also explore the museum’s gardens, which are home to a variety of plants and animals. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible museum!

Admire the City’s Street Art

Haarlem is home to an impressive array of street art, ranging from murals and graffiti to sculptures and installations. The city’s walls are adorned with vibrant works of art, each with its own unique story to tell. Visitors can explore the city on foot and admire the art, or take a guided tour to learn more about the artists and the history behind the art.

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Don’t forget to take a stroll through the city’s Gravenstraat, which is home to some of the city’s most impressive street art. From giant murals to intricate sculptures, Gravenstraat is the perfect place to explore the city’s vibrant street art scene.

Visit the Molen de Adriaan Windmill

The Molen de Adriaan windmill is one of the most iconic landmarks in Haarlem. Built in 1779, the windmill is the only one of its kind in the city and is a reminder of its history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the windmill, learn about its history, and even climb to the top of the tower for a stunning view of the city.

The windmill is also home to a small museum, which displays a variety of artifacts, including old tools and machinery. Visitors can also enjoy a cup of coffee or a snack in the café, which offers stunning views of the city. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible landmark!

Relax in the City’s Parks

Haarlem is home to a variety of beautiful parks and gardens, offering a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The city’s largest park, the Haarlemmerhout, is a stunning green space with a variety of trees and plants. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll, admire the flowers, or relax on one of the park’s many benches.

The park is also home to a variety of animals, such as swans, ducks, and even a few peacocks. Visitors can also explore the nearby Haarlemmerhoutbos, a large forest with a variety of trails and activities. No matter how you choose to explore the parks, they are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Enjoy the City’s Vibrant Nightlife

Haarlem’s nightlife is one of its greatest strengths, offering a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to explore. From cozy pubs to vibrant clubs, the city has something for everyone. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of live music, from jazz and blues to rock and roll.

The city’s bars and clubs are located in the Jansstraat, which is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Don’t forget to try some of the city’s famous Dutch beers, which are sure to put a smile on your face!

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Visit the Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus, or “Botanical Garden,” is the perfect place to admire the beauty of nature. The garden is home to a variety of plants, trees, and flowers, as well as a small pond. Visitors can explore the garden, take a leisurely stroll, or simply relax on one of the benches.

The garden is also home to a variety of animals, including birds, butterflies, and frogs. Visitors can also explore the nearby museum, which displays a variety of artifacts and artworks. Don’t miss the chance to explore this unique and beautiful garden!

Explore the City’s Shopping District

Haarlem’s shopping district is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs or find a unique gift for a loved one. The city’s streets are lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and boutique stores, offering something for everyone. Visitors can also sample some of the city’s famous cheese, smoked fish, and delicious pastries.

The city’s shopping district is located in the Binnenstad, or “Inner City,” and is easily accessible by foot. Don’t forget to haggle with the vendors to get the best deals!

Visit the Frans Hals Museum

The Frans Hals Museum is a must-visit for any art lover. Founded in 1862, the museum is home to a vast collection of Dutch and Flemish art, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries, admire the artworks, and even attend a variety of events.

The museum also offers educational programs, such as lectures and workshops, which are perfect for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible museum!

Summary

Haarlem is an enchanting Dutch city located just a short train ride away from Amsterdam. From stunning canals lined with old Dutch architecture to beautiful parks and vibrant nightlife, Haarlem offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s historic canals, sip on craft beer at Jopenkerk, admire the city’s street art, or relax in the city’s parks, Haarlem has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to explore this incredible Dutch city!