Haarlem is a beautiful town in Holland or the Netherlands. Like many European Capital cities, Amsterdam, the capital city of Holland is like a country on its own. Not that this city is so immensely large and highly populated. It is actually one of the smallest capitals in Europe. The culture and sights there are just so very typical for Amsterdam and not very typical for Holland or the Netherlands.
When you walk around in the city centre of Amsterdam for instance, around 70% of the people you see is a tourist like you. If you want to make most of your trip to Amsterdam we recommend you see a bit of Holland as well.
Fortunately for you, You do not have to go very far. Haarlem is the capital of the province North-Holland and yes Amsterdam is in this province too. In fact, Haarlem is only 15 minutes away by train from Amsterdam Central Station. Yes, Holland is not a very large country.
Because the Netherlands is a small country, you might want to head to some other nearby destinations. London, Paris, Brussels and Berlin are all a stone throw or less than a 1-hour flight away. KLM usually offers some great deals. You can check out some of the KLM destinations from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
What does Haarlem have to Offer?
Haarlem, Leiden, and Amsterdam are actually some of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. The city of Haarlem Holland exists for more than 750 years. Some of the buildings in the city centre are equally old. The city has a few interesting museums to offer where the queues are not even a tenth of those in Amsterdam. In fact, there never are any queues. One of these museums is the Teylers museum which is in fact the first museum of Holland and the Netherlands. The museum is a mix between an art museum and a museum of natural history. The Frans Hals Museum is another famous museum and is filled with romantic paintings.
Restaurants in Haarlem Holland
As the pictures hopefully indicate, Haarlem has a beautiful city centre with some great architecture. People in Haarlem like to spend outside whenever the sun is out even a little bit. If the weather allows it people will dine outside on the so-called Terraces of the many cafes and restaurants in Haarlem. The city is actually quite famous for its many great restaurants. In Amsterdam, it can be quite a challenge to find some good food. This is because there is simply said also so much bad food on offer. ( what do these silly tourists know). In Haarlem, you can step into almost every restaurant and find some seriously good food for decent prices. One of the places we recommend you visit is “de Dakkas”. Here you can enjoy a nice beverage while enjoying a beautiful view of the city. It is actually located on the roof of one Haarlem’s parking garages.
Hotels in Haarlem
Speaking of prices how much more value can you get for your money when it comes to finding a hotel? Since it is only a 15-minute train ride to Amsterdam why not stay in Haarlem. The Haarlem Amsterdam connection is very good, and trains depart every 10 minutes. The train station itself is also a sight. It’s the oldest train station in the Netherlands. If you have seen the Hollywood film Oceans twelve you have probably already seen it without even knowing it. You can book your wonderful Hotel in Haarlem Here. If you prefer to stay in a hostel, there is a lot less opportunity in Haarlem. There is one hostel, but it is on the edge of the city. Your travel time from that hostel to the centre of Amsterdam is 45 minutes. The prices for hotels in Haarlem are the same as the prices for hostels in Amsterdam.
Haarlem Holland Nightlife
Because Haarlem is so close to Amsterdam a lot of the younger generations tend to rather go to Amsterdam for the weekend nightlife. In Haarlem, there are few real clubs. There are a few small bar dancings that can get really cosy as soon as hundred people are in. Cafe Steels usually plays live music during the week and zeroes music at the weekend. Cafe XO usually has a DJ at the weekends. Furthermore, there is the Patronaat which always has performances or parties but requires a ticket to get in. If there is something on that you like we recommend getting the ticket. There usually is a good atmosphere in there if you are into dancing. The same goes for cafe steels even though entrance here is free. Space is not however so be prepared to get cramped.
Another famous place to get an alcoholic beverage is the “Jopen kerk”. Jopen is one of the brands that has been credited with bringing IPA back into the global market. It’s IPA Mooie Nel is based on a hundred years old recipe and considered one of the best in the world. The bar itself holds part of Jopen’s brewery ( the other part is open for visitation too and is on the industrial estate of Haarlem called Jopenbrouwerij). Jopen has won many prizes for their beers and also for their recent Gin. The Jopenkerk bar in the city centre which is inside an old church building has one the price of the most beautiful bar in the Netherlands a few years ago.