Amsterdam Day Trips: Haarlem Calling

Amsterdam Day Trips: Haarlem Calling

Affectionately regarded as a “miniature

Amsterdam,” the city of Haarlem makes a rewarding destination for a break from

the Netherlands’ capital, combining a friendly village vibe with beautiful

architecture and exemplary cultural, dining and retail opportunities.

Flanked by

the scenic coastline and situated west of Amsterdam, this welcoming

municipality can be reached through a fifteen minute train journey from Central

Station and comes highly recommended for visitors seeking an authentic glimpse

into typical Dutch life. Steeped in history and dating back to pre-medieval

times, this charismatic locale boasts numerous buildings showcasing its rich

heritage, which line a series of quaint cobbled streets oozing with charm and

character.

Two such significant

structures overlook Haarlem’s primary square, the 14th century City

Hall and the iconic landmark of the Grote Kerk, otherwise known as the Church

of Saint Bavo. Dominating the skyline for centuries, the city’s largest religious

edifice features a Gothic style and a stunning and immaculately preserved

interior that evokes a true sense of history. Original tombstones secreting

celebrated figures carpet the floor, whilst the prestigious organ delights guests

with rousing concerts throughout the week, made famous for accommodating such

talented players as Handel, Mendelssohn and Mozart.

The

surrounding plaza, the Grote Markt, presents a picturesque setting for watching

the world go by, with several terraces on hand for enjoying respite and

refreshment. Mondays and Saturdays witness a surge in activity as a result of

the animated market, perfect for sampling traditional delicacies, such as the

inimitable herring or the festive oliebollen, or purchasing authentic souvenirs

and gifts. Shopping enthusiasts will be delighted by the variety of stores

available in the adjacent thoroughfares, which provide a much more pleasurable

experience than the chaos of Amsterdam’s retail avenues, complimented by a

marked improvement in customer service. This warmth and hospitality can be

found across the wealth of public amenities, with numerous bars, cafes and

restaurants at your disposal for indulging in a memorable evening of culinary

delight or jovial entertainment.

Cultural

options are also in abundance within the vicinity, ranging from the wonderful

Teylers Museum to the inspirational Corrie Ten Boom House, with arguably the

city’s most treasured establishment, Frans Hals Museum, coming highly

recommended for an enriching outing. Petite yet beautifully curated, this

endearing venue instantly captivates with its relaxed, cosy atmosphere and

fantastic array of artworks from the Golden Age master and his contemporaries.

Blending a

pictorial aesthetic with a multitude of attractions and a convivial ambience,

Haarlem grants a refreshing alternative for a fulfilling Dutch encounter,

completing an unforgettable day out from your Amsterdam rental apartment, the

best selection of which can be found here.