Haarlemthe capital city of the province of Noord-Holland
This romantic city, situated along the Spaarne River, has earned itself many national titles. Haarlem is rated the top city for shopping, flowers, jazz and athletics. Grote Houtstraat is Haarlem's main shopping street for big name stores. Gierstraat has smaller, independent shops and good nightlife.
Open air markets are held in Market Square (Grote Markt) on Mondays (clothing) and Saturday (general market).
Shops are generally open from 9:00 to 17:00, Monday through Saturday.
Historic cityHaarlem 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 80 m high St. Bavokerk (a Protestant church and former Catholic cathedral 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 a museum for modern and contemporary art.
The oldest part of the City Hall of Haarlem on the Grote Markt was built around 1010. It is a beautiful building decorated with battlements en towers.
Museums in Haarlem
- Frans Hals Museum
→ the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world.
- Teylers Museum
→ the oldest museum in the Netherlands, about the world of the 18th century, the Enlightenment.
- Museum De Hallen
→ museum for modern and contemporary art.