City of Haarlem

capital city of the province of North Holland

Haarlem - situated along the Spaarne River - has a beautiful historic city centre, famous museums, shops, restaurants and the beach around the corner.


Grote Kerk or St.-Bavokerk has dominated the city skyline of Haarlem for centuries

Historic city

Haarlem is full of historic buildings. In the heart of Haarlem is the Grote Markt, one of the most beautiful squares in the Netherlands. Come face to face with the 78 m high St. Bavokerk (from 1370), where 10 year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played music (in 1766).

Near the church is the Vleeshal (originally a 'meat hall' where butchers sold their goods), a lavishly decorated Renaissance building with bull heads on the façade. It's nowadays one of the 2 locations of Frans Hals Museum, a museum for modern and contemporary art.

The oldest part of the City Hall of Haarlem on Grote Markt was built around 1010. It is a beautiful building decorated with battlements en towers.

Grote Kerk or St.-Bavokerk (1370-1520)

This impressive Reformed Protestant church and former Catholic cathedral (until 1573) was built in Gothic style on the central Grote Markt square in Haarlem. In the middle of the church building is an ornate 78 metre high wooden, lead-covered late-Gothic crossing tower.

Haarlem is home to the Teyler Museum, the oldest in Holland. The painter Frans Hals lived in Haarlem, and has a museum dedicated to his work.

Museums in Haarlem

Frans Hals Museum  - which has the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world - has 2 different locations: Hof (in the former 'Old Men's House') at Groot Heiligland 62, and Hal (former Vleeshal or Flesher's hall) at Grote Markt 16.

Teylers Museum  - an art, natural history, and science museum - is the oldest museum of the Netherlands. Since 1778 the museum has welcomed the public to view paintings, drawings, fossils, minerals, instruments and books. The beautiful Oval Room (from 1784) is the only authentic 18th-century museum interior in the world. Art lovers visit Teylers for its fine collection of Dutch masters and its world-famous prints and drawings by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael and Goltzius, to mention but a few.

City for shopping

It's fun shopping in Haarlem with a wide range of shops and boutiques in the historic centre. Grote Houtstraat is Haarlem's main shopping street for big name stores.

The Golden Streets

Smaller, independent boutiques, exclusive interior design shops, trendy fashion shops, hip concept stores, vintage boutiques, children's shops and artisanal specialist shops are in the picturesque Golden Streets , (like De 9 Straatjes in Amsterdam).

Shop opening hours

Shops are generally open from 9:00 to 18:00, Monday through Saturday. Most shops in the centre of Haarlem are even open every Sunday. Open air markets are held on Grote Markt on Monday (clothing) and Saturday (general market).

more impressions

Sheep on the heath, Anton Mauve (approx. 1880-1888) in Teylers Museum

frans hals museum

City Hall of Haarlem, built around 1010

frans hals museum

The Manieristenzaal, Frans Hals Museum

tsaar peterhuisje

The Amsterdamse Poort (1355), former gateway to the city from Amsterdam, one of the few visible traces left of the old city wall

visit other historic cities on day trip distance from Amsterdam: