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When someone tells you that he is going to the Netherlands, the first thing you think of is Amsterdam. But the Netherlands has a lot of other great places to offer and Haarlem is at the top of this list for me personally. I have fallen in love with the city and the surrounding area so much that I have been there five times and will certainly go again. Haarlem is an ideal mixture of city and beach and so far not as crowded with tourists as Amsterdam.
Volkstuinen: the allotments of the netherlands
And the train costs less than 5 Euros! The first few times when I was in Haarlem, I visited the town by train as a day trip from Amsterdam. But it is also worth to stay overnight in Haarlem. Holland has a very well developed railroad network. With the train you can get everywhere very fast and reliable. Similar to Amsterdam and many other Dutch cities, Haarlem has several canals that run through the city.
The old town itself is relatively small and completely surrounded by canals, so it looks a bit like an island. The old town is the heart of Haarlem, here you can find almost all the sights within walking distance, except for the national park and the beach, but more of that below. The center of the old town is the St. Bavo church with the large square in front of it, where the Grote Markt is held every Saturday and Monday. The church was built in the 15th century in Gothic style. If you have time, it is worth a short detour to the church, the nave has a beautiful wooden vault.
The church is open Monday to Saturday from For those interested in history, there is a flyer that guides you through the history of the church. The people of Haarlem are especially proud of the fact that Mozart has played on the organ of St. The organ is still played regularly today, maybe you are lucky if you are there and hear a piece. The museum is one of the main attractions for many visitors to Haarlem. They are said to have helped over refugees. In February the house was stormed by the Nazis and the Ten Booms were imprisoned.
Afterwards she told the story of her family all over the world. The entrance is free of charge.
Haarlem or delft
However, you must a guided tour. There are only 20 seats per tour, so if you want to go at a specific time, you should book online.
The tours are guided in English, German and Dutch. Inside you should be able to admire a magnificent dome and there is a tour at lofty heights between the towers with a magnificent view. Unfortunately, for various reasons we have never made it into the church.
Maybe next time. My favorite place in Haarlem!
Holland has many old churches that are no longer in use and are therefore being reused. The Jopenkerk became a brewery with a restaurant. First of all, there is really good beer here, all kinds fresh from the tap, and secondly, you can eat really well here. However, it can get very loud in the big nave, so I prefer to sit outside when the season allows.
Molen De Adriaan is a typical Dutch windmill.
The original mill was built inbut it burned down in and was rebuilt in Inside there is a museum, which you can visit for 5 Euro. We did not go inside but admired the mill from the outside and enjoyed a really good coffee in the restaurant next door. Everything is largely car-free and the stores are even open on Sundays.
20 reasons to visit haarlem on your next trip to the netherlands
On the bigger streets you will find the more famous brand name stores, but as soon as you turn a little into the side streets, you will find really great small boutiques with handicraft. A really great way to get to know the city is to visit the many historic Hofies.
In the past, houses for single women and widows were built around a small garden in Haarlem. These courtyards are real gems and are mostly open to the public, although some entrances are quite hidden. In the tourist office of Haarlem you can get a map of the city with all the courtyards on it and start your search. Attention, many courtyards are closed on Sundays to give the residents a little privacy.
If you have the time and the weather plays along, a canal trip through the canals of Haarlem is something wonderful. The trip costs between 12 and 20 euros, depending on the provider, and you will pass almost all the sights. The real attraction of Haarlem for me is the proximity to the sea and the national park.
To be honest, the first few times I was here only for that reason.
The best way to get there is by bicycle. Many accommodations offer cheap or even free bicycles for their guests, otherwise there are really many bicycle rentals in Haarlem. Tip: I always rent a bike at Rent a Bike Haarlem. Good service, nice people and fair prices.
If you tell them where you want to go, they show you on the map what the best way is by bike and they have a lot of information already on their website. From the center of Haarlem to the sea at the famous seaside village Zandvoort you have about 30 minutes by bike. But I prefer to take the way through the Zuid-kennemerland National Park to the village Bloemendaal, also directly at the sea. Until you reach the national park, you cycle through a beautiful suburban quarter with beautiful houses.
In the national park there is a huge network of paved ro, which are easy to drive on. In the national park there are many animals, from hopping rabbits to Scottish highland cattle and wild horses. On weekends the national park is also often used by locals and there are many walkers. In the summer you can swim in the sea, if you are sufficiently hardened of course also in winter.
By the way Haarlem is also known for kite surfing. On days with more wind you can watch many kites at the sea.
Often we sit for hours in coffee shops, write our blog, sort out pictures and edit them. Maybe you would like to buy us one or two? Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Submit Comment. We are Paddy and Mimi, a travel-hungry couple from tiny Switzerland in the middle of Europe. We call ourselves slow travelers, because we like to spend enough time in one place or country. Everyone who has ever been to Salzburg is enthusiastic about the city.
For a long time it was on my bucket list and now we have finally managed to visit Salzburg. And we have not been disappointed!
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Bavo Church The center of the Haarlem town is the St. Jopenkerk My favorite place in Haarlem!