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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.