Haarlem is a charming, medieval city in North Holland. This Dutch city offers a lively cultural scene, oodles of atmosphere, excellent shopping and dining opportunities – and is close to some great beaches too!
Haarlem is the capital of the province of North Holland. Haarlem makes an excellent base for visitors to Amsterdam (only 15 minutes from Amsterdam and Schiphol airport). It is also very close to historic Leiden, the cheese markets of Alkmaar and an hour from The Hague. This makes Haarlem an excellent choice to stay in when exploring North and South Holland.
Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture and outstanding modern facilities.
The Grote Markt (Big Market) is the central market square of Haarlem – and has been so for centuries. The square is also the centre-piece for many of Haarlem’s famous buildings, including the City Hall, The Vlesshal, Hoofwacht and Saint Bavo Cathedral. The Grote Marky square is very lively and is still very much the focal point of the city, with many bars and restaurants around the square. A colourful market is held here on Mondays and Saturdays.
Haarlem’s impressive gothic St. Bavo’s Cathedral was built in the 14th-15th centuries, in the so-called Kustgotiek (“Coast Gothic”) style. A treasure chamber containing religious artefacts is in St Bavo’s cathedral’s annexe.
The Amsterdamse Poort (Amsterdam Gate) is Haarlem’s only remaining town gate, and it was built in around 1400. Some remnants of Haarlem’s ancient city wall are to be found at the base of the Amsterdamse Poort. The gate was declared a national monument in the 1960’s.