Discover Haarlem’s Sights and Attractions

With charming cobbled streets, narrow alleys alongside canals and medieval architecture Haarlem sightseeing is picture perfect. You can easily discover Haarlem’s sights and attractions on a leisurely stroll through the city. Or why not take a canal cruise of Haarlem to get acquainted with the city from the water?

Highlights – Haarlem’s Sights and Attractions

Come 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. Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture and outstanding modern facilities. Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem’s sights and attractions means there are plenty of things to see and do!

Amsterdamse Poort

The Amsterdamse Poort (Amsterdam Gate) is Haarlem’s only remaing town gate, and it was built 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.

Discover Haarlem's Sights and Attractions like the Amsterdamse Poort – the ancient gate to Amsterdam from Haarlem
Amsterdamse Poort – the ancient gate to Amsterdam from Haarlem

Grote Markt

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 Markt 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.

aarlem Grote Markt and Bavo Cathedral

St. Bavo Cathedral

Haarlem’s impressive gothic St. Bavo’s Cathedral was built in the 14th-15th centuries, in the so-called Kunstgotiek (“Coast Gothic”) style. You will find a treasure chamber containing religous artifacts in the St Bavo’s cathedral’s annexe.

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.

De Adriaan Windmill

An appealing landmark along the banks of Haarlem’s Spaarne river, you should not miss out on a fascinating visit to De Molen van Adriaan. The view from the 12 metre viewing platform is picture-perfect!

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, which was later an orphanage. The Frans Hals Museum also has a beautiful garden.

Teylers Museum

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. A Hop-on Hop-off Boat tour of Haarlem also starts and stops outside of the Teylers.

The Teylers Museum in Haarlem is the oldest museum in the Netherlands.
The beautiful Teylers Museum in Haarlem is the oldest museum in the Netherlands.


The Schuur is a modern theatre with striking architecture. The building houses two theatre halls and two cinemas which mainly show alternative and independent films.

PHIL (formerly known as the Philharmonie)

Haarlem’s magnificent PHIL concert hall was built in around 1885. It features a variety of classical and contemporary music.


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 over the years.


Haarlem’s former dome-shaped prison – De Koepel – has been spectacularly renovated, and is well worth a visit just to oggle at the architecture. Even if you decide not to see a movie, pop in for a drink or bite and peer through the cell doors.

The Koepel in Haarlem was a former jail
Haarlem’s former jail, the Koepel has been transformed into a trendy cinema and office complex
Dome-shaped Koepel ceiling
The dome-shaped ceiling of the Koepel