Haarlem Sights & Attractions
With charming cobbled streets, narrow alleys alongside canals and medieval architecture Haarlem sightseeing is picture perfect.
Explore Haarlem’s compact city centre – a maze of narrow streets and scenic waterways – filled with beautiful medieval houses, historical sites, museums and other places of interest.
Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture and outstanding modern facilities. There are plenty of things to see and do in Haarlem!
The Amsterdamse Poort (Amsterdam Gate) is Haarlem’s only remaing 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.
The Grote Markt (Big Market) is the central market square of Haarlem – aand 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.
The Corrie ten Boom House
The Corrie ten Boom House was the home of the Ten Boom family, and is also called “the hiding place”. During the Second World War, this Haarlem house was used as a hiding place for refugees being hunted by the Nazis. The refugees were hidden behind a false wall in Corrie Ten Boom’s bedroom. Today, the house is a museum, restored to look as it did in the 1940’s. St. Bavo Cathedral 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 religous artifacts is in St Bavo’s cathedral’s annexe.
Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum houses a large collection of Dutch art dating from the fifteenth-century onwards. The impressive collection includes works by the famous Haarlem painters Frans Hals, Verspronck and De Bray. There is also a modern art department, silver and crafts section and various exhibitions. The museum is housed in a former old men’s home and later orphanage. The Frans Hals Museum also has a beautiful garden.
The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in the Netherlands. It boasts an extensive collection of paintings by the old masters as well as a large collection of fossils, minerals and scientific instruments.
The Toneelschuur is a modern theatre with striking architecture. The building houses two theatre halls and two cinemas which mainly show alternative and independent films.
Haarlem’s magnificent Philharmonie concert hall was built in around 1885. It features a variety of classical music mainly.
Holland is famous for live music, and whilst Amsterdam has the renowned Paradiso, Haarlem is blessed with the Patronaat. The Patronaat has played host to hundreds of famous local and international bands and artists.