The old city of Haarlem is located just 15 minutes away from Amsterdam. It’s a definite must-see if you want to get a truly local experience in Holland. In our inspiring Haarlem guide we’ve selected top picks for your trip to Haarlem. Well, and yes, we live in Haarlem, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
Visit Windmill De Adriaan in Haarlem
A beautiful windmill (yes, exactly like on postcards from Holland!) is located on the Spaarne river. Join a guided tour to learn more about how windmills work. And enjoy a super cool bonus: the sight of old Haarlem from the platform above the river!
Location: Papentorenvest 1a, Haarlem (12 minutes walk from the station, check the route >>)
See the organ that Mozart was playing at St Bavokerk
You will notice the Grote of St.-Bavokerk can from far away. Its wooden tower reaches 78 meters into the sky, which makes it one of the largest in The Netherlands. The church has an impressive interior and a unique atmosphere: wonderful wooden ceiling, stained glass windows and 400 gravestones, including that of a famous Dutch artist Frans Hals. As soon as you step in you will feel as you’ve been taken away by a time machine to the previous ages. An unbelievable experience!
The church also hosts a famous richly decorated organ by Christian Müller. Many world-known musicians played this organ, including Mendelssohn, Händel and the 10-year-old Mozart.
Location: Grote Markt 22, Haarlem (well, you won’t miss it!), the entrance is on the north side.
Opening hours: Monday till Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00. In July and August also open on Sundays 12:00 – 17:00.
adults – € 2,50
children 12-16 – € 1,25
children 0-12 free (accompanied by an adult)
Drink a cup of coffee at Grote Markt
Even if you feel the urge to move on, run further and see more, do yourself a favour – make a short stop for a cup of coffee at Haarlem’s main square. You definitely won’t regret it!
On Saturdays Grote Markt is very busy – it hosts a market, which was selected as the best market of Holland in 2015. Visiting Saturday market in Haarlem is a truly local experience! Taste some cheese and sausage, grab a bunch of flowers (extremely cheap!), eat a “broodje haring” (herring in white bread) – and continue your journey!
Saturday market in Haarlem welcomes its visitors every week from 8:30 to 16:00.
Visit Teylers museum, the oldest museum of the Netherlands
Opened back in 1784, today Teylers museum has rich collections of art and books, instruments and scientific objects, coins and medals, fossils and minerals. Visiting the building where museum is located is a pleasure by itself.
Well, that can be a quiz! Haarlem as a lot of hidden treasures, and hofjes – small gardens surrounded by old charitable houses grouped around a community kitchen garden with a water pump – are one of those. Find out more about the history of Haarlem hofjes and try to find all 21 of them (well, I tried a couple of times and still didn’t manage). Sometimes hofjes are really hidden from a stranger’s eye. You’ll have to find a door, which seems to lead to a private territory. Make sure it’s a door to a hofje (there should be a sign) and check opening hours (most hofjes can be visited Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 17:00) – and be a guest! A full list of hofjes: http://www.haarlemsehofjes.nl
Stop by a cafe on the Spaarne river
It’s time for a well-deserved break! Take a seat at one of the cafes near the Spaarne river (our choice is Spaarne 66 which has tables directly to the water) and enjoy watching people, bikes and boats. And a glass of wine, for sure!
Taste local beer in Jopenkerk, a former church
Can a former church be a pub? In the Netherlands it can! And that’s exactly where Jopenkerk brewery, grand cafe and restaurant are located. Jopenbier, produced in Haarlem is famous all over the Netherlands. The brewery has a wide selection of traditional and season beers. And at restaurant you can order meals combined with matching sorts of beers. We like it! Location: Gedempte Voldersgracht 2, Haarlem Opening hours: from 10:00 to 01:00. Lunch is served from 12:00 to 15:00. Restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 17:30. As a rule, it’s very busy in Jopenkerk, so we highly recommend you to make dinner reservations in advance (it’s possible to do it online). Prices: check current offers online, restaurant and grand cafe.
Take a time to look around Haarlem Station
We hope you’ll like it in Haarlem! One more tip before you leave: don’t be in a rush to take a train as soon as you come to the railway station. This place also has its secrets, beauty and a unique history. One of the oldest train stations in the Netherlands, it is also a movie star! Some scenes of Hollywood’s Ocean’s Twelve were filmed right here. Walk around and have a look. Does it feel like you are Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt or George Clooney?
How to get to Haarlem from Amsterdam? Direct trains from Amsterdam Central station to Haarlem run approx. every 15 minutes (single one-way ticket costs € 5,20, travel time 15-19 minutes). How to get to Haarlem from Schiphol? You can take a direct bus 300 from Schiphol airport to Haarlem (€ 5, travel time 36 minutes). If you prefer travelling by train you’ll need to change a train at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station (single one-way ticket € 7, travel time 28 minutes).