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Bimbe in Viaggio

Family Travel Blog

A day in Haarlem, Netherlands

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Haarlem is a city in the Netherlands that retains its medieval character due to the cobbled streets and the sloping stepped roofs of the buildings.

Haarlem is an important centre of flower cultivation, especially tulips, which earned it the name Bloemenstad (city of flowers).

Thanks to the productivity of its industrious citizens, in the so-called Golden Age, Haarlem was the capital of silk, linen, tulip bulbs and craft beer.

The typically Dutch town is really pretty and worth a visit also because of its proximity to Amsterdam, from which it is about 30 kilometres away.

Haarlem what to see

haarlem church

We arrived in Haarlem by car after visiting the Keukenhof park.

Once parked, we headed for the Grote Markt, the central square where the most important monuments are located and also the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster, the first Dutch printer.

In the Grote Markt, you can admire the Town Hall, the imposing Gothic cathedral (Great Church of St. Bavon) inside which is housed a 30-metre-high organ with more than 5000 pipes, the old meat market, and the Museum de Hallen.

Strolling along the city streets, we encountered the so-called hofjes or inner courtyards surrounded by buildings, donated in the past to old people and widows by rich benefactors.

From the Grote Markt, we walked along the banks of the River Spaam to one of Holland’s most famous mills, the Adriaan Mill.

Adriaan Mill


This old windmill was built in 1778 on the remains of an old fortified tower.

It was later rebuilt in 1932 after a fire.

You can visit it inside (it houses a small museum) and climb up to the viewing terrace to enjoy the panorama of the city.

The guided tour is priced at €7.50 full price, €3.50 for children 5-12 years, free for children under 12.

Opening hours: 1 November to 30 April 13:00-16:30 Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 10:30-16:30 Saturday and Sunday.

1 March to 31 October 13:00-17:00 Monday-Friday, 10:30-17:00 Saturday and Sunday.

▶ You can buy a skip-the-line ticket for the Adriaan Mill, HERE.

If you are a fan of vintage goods, you can find several shops in the centre of Haarlem where you can go shopping.

Last but not least, visit the beautiful art deco station in Haarlem, where some rooms are used for tango lessons.

How to get to Haarlem

Getting to Haarlem from Amsterdam is very easy: you can take the Intercity train to Haarlem‘s art deco station in less than 10 minutes.

If, like us, the idea is to organise a tour around Holland, the best way to get around is by car.

We rented one in Amsterdam by comparing offers online in advance and booking it on this portal.

If you want more information about this, you can read this article.

Interested in a canal boat tour? Click on the banners:

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Where to stay in Haarlem

Hotel Lion D’Or – Located between the train station and the main square of Haarlem, Hotel Lion D’or offers simple rooms with breakfast included.

Baby cots 0-1 years old are provided on request and children up to 5 years old stay free of charge.

Private parking is available upon reservation at a cost of €25.00 per day – book here.

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