Travel Guide Europe Netherlands North Holland Haarlem



Haarlem is a middle sized city in the west of the Netherlands, a short stretch from North Sea and 20 kilometres from Amsterdam. It is the capital of the province North Holland and has about 150,000 inhabitants.

Like many other cities in the Netherlands, Haarlem enjoys centuries of history. Settlements have existed where it is located for over 1,500 years ago, though Haarlem began to grow in acclaim around the start of the Middle Ages. Today, a stroll through the historical heart of town is a great way to soak in the rich heritage of the place. Head to the central Great Market and admire landmark buildings such as the Saint Bravo Church and the old town hall, which has been built, destroyed and rebuilt several times since the 14th century.

Almost the entire city centre is car-free, so shopping and enjoying some good food and drinks is possible in a relatively quiet way.



Sights and Activities

Haarlem's main sights are its lovely historic centre and its fine art museums. You'll get a good idea of what the city has to offer by just wandering the streets in the centre for a while, as many monumental buildings and the most prominent museums are all there. The tourist information office can provide maps and walking routes as well as guides, if you don't want to miss anything.

Haarlem's main market square, with the huge Saint Bavo church right on it, is the heart of the old city. Not only the church, but several monumental buildings can be found on different sides of the square and when the weather allows, it's lined with outdoor café terraces. You'll also see the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster, locally called "Lautje", a pioneer of book printing who has become an icon of Haarlem.


There are several good museum to enjoy in Haarlem:

  • The Teylers Museum is the oldest public museum in the Netherlands. It opened doors in 1784 along the shores of the Spaarne river, and has a wide collection of machinery, fossils, paintings and coins. Als temporary natural, cultural and historical displays are shown now and then.
  • Frans Hals Museum. This museum is dedicated to the Dutch Golden (17th) Century, with many paintings from famous dutch artist, like Frans Hals of course, but als from Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael.



Events and Festivals

Koningsdag (King's Day)

In 2013, the Dutch throne was passed on to King Willem-Alexander and what used to be Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) will from 2014 become Koningsdag (King's Day). The date will be changed to the 27th of April, which is the king's birthday. In 2014 however it will be on the 26th of April because the 27th falls on a Sunday. On this day the streets of almost every sizable town in the country come alive with activity.



Getting There

By Train

Haarlem is a 15-20 minute train ride away from both Amsterdam and the international airport of Schiphol. From the train station, you can walk to the central Great Market square in about 5-10 minutes.

By Bus

good alternative is to use the big red and grey "R-net"-bus, line 300. It runs every 6–10 minutes between Schiphol and Haarlem Central Station, or you can get out at Wulft/Centrum. There are a fair amount of stops along the way, but for a lot of the journey there is no traffic because the bus has its own dedicated lane. The trip is approximately 45 minutes. You will need to carry your luggage on the bus with you. As on all public transport in the Netherlands, you pay with a OV chipcard and a single trip costs €3.64. There are many bus stops clustered in this area—the one for the R-net 300 is across the street, and is indicated on the sign at the bus stop.



Getting Around

Haarlem is best seen on foot: it's a 10- to 15-minute walk from the train station to the city centre. If you don't want to walk, bus lines 2, 73 and 300 will take you from the central train and bus station to busstop "Centrum/Verwulft" in about 5 minutes.

Although Haarlem's waterways aren't quite as numerous as those of Amsterdam, there are enough of them to make a tour of the city by boat a nice experience. Boats are operated by Post Verkade cruises (€9.50, Dutch only) and Haarlem Canal Cruises (smaller groups, open boat, €12.50) and leave from opposite Teylers Museum. It's best to call ahead.




Scattered through the inner city, you'll find a large number of restaurants. There's something for everyone and every budget, with many different styles of restaurants and a broad variety of cuisines.




Beerbrewing has been a very important industry for Haarlem. The historical Haarlems beer, recreated in 1995 is Jopenbier or Jopen.




  • Stay Okay Haarlem, Jan Gijzenpad 3, 2024 CL, ☎ +31 23 537 37 93, e-mail: haarlem@stayokay.com. Check-in: from 15:00, check-out: 10:30. The Stay Okay Hostel chain generally offers simple and clean private rooms as well as dorm beds. It's popular with international youngsters and one of the cheapest options around. This one is located out of Haarlem, so you will have to take a bus, but connections are good. Line 2 stops right in front of the door. Alternatively, you can take a train to Santpoort-Zuid and walk 10 minutes. €23 for a dorm bed.
  • Ambassador Hotel & Joops Hotel, Oude Groenmarkt 20, 2011 HL, ☎ +31 23-5125300, e-mail: info@haarlem.com. Ambassador Hotel offers plain but fine rooms right in the city centre. Under the name Joops Hotel it offers cheaper, more basic rooms too. The location is great and service is friendly. Breakfast is not included in the price. The reception is open 24/7. €79 (Ambassador) €52.50 (Joops) for a double.
  • Amrâth Grand Hotel Frans Hals, Damstraat 10, 2011 HA, ☎ +31 23 5 18 18 18, e-mail: info@hotelfranshals.nl. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. One of the best hotels in town, with good rooms and facilities right in the centre of town. Breakfast is rather expensive (€18.50) but good. If you're not on a budget, there are spcious deluxe rooms and junior suits available. €125.
  • Amadeus Hotel, Grote Markt 10, 2011 RD, ☎ +31 23 5324530, e-mail: info@amadeus-hotel.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Friendly hotel with 15 small but clean rooms, located in a historic building on the main square. A rather steep stair will take you to the reception, which is located on the first floor. From there, an elevator is available to take you higher up in the building. Good value for money. Rooms on the square side have nice views but can be a bit noisy. breakfast is included. €60/€85 single/double.
  • Carlton Square, Baan 7, 2012 DB, ☎ +31 23 531 90 91, e-mail: info@square.carlton.nl. Check-in: 14:00. Classic, good hotel in the historic centre of town, with good rooms and spacious suites available. Rooms are equipped with all the amenities you would expact from a 4 star hotel and the staff is helpful. Here, as in comparable hotels, breakfast is extensive but doesn't come cheap, at €18.50. €109.
  • Haarlem Hotel Suites, Korte Veerstraat 40, 2011 CL (reception), ☎ +31 23-5407146, e-mail: haarlemhotelsuites@gmail.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. This "hotel" offers a few lovely, individual apartments, all in the direct neighbourhood of the reception. Most are in old houses, all are adequately equipped with furniture and small kitchens, allowing for self-catering. Mind that they are on the first floor, with no elevator. Expect service like in a mid-range hotel, including towels, shampoo etc. Reception is shared with Lambermons suites and is not open 24/7. €95-€115.

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Keep Connected


Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.

Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.

From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.

The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.

It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.


The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).

Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.

Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.

If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 52.379493
  • Longitude: 4.637718

Accommodation in Haarlem

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as well as dr.pepper (6%), bentivogli (1%)

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This is version 17. Last edited at 13:05 on May 3, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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