Top things to do in Haarlem

Visit markets, walk through beautiful courtyards, do some shopping in trendy concept stores, or admire the works of art in one of the museums. Haarlem has it all! So much to do, that we would like to tip you the best things.

#1 Grote Markt

The Grote Markt is the central market square of Haarlem. Several of the most interesting buildings are gathered at the Grote Markt, including the Grote Kerk (also called the ‘Sint-Bavokerk’). On Mondays and Saturdays there is a market here, from 9:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Fun fact: the Grote Markt owes its name to the former fish market (‘markt’ in Dutch) at this location.

#2 Walking routes

We are going on walks more and more often, so why not make your walk a bit more special? Haarlem offers various city walks. Will you choose a general city walk, a walk along monuments, a beer walk (in Dutch), or a walk along concealed retreats in the city? You can find them here.

Do you prefer walking without a route or outside the city? Explore the hofjes (enclosed courtyard gardens) in the city center by yourself or walk along the beach in Zandvoort or Bloemendaal, only 15 to 20 minutes away from Haarlem. If you’re in for something more exciting than walking, paddle boarding over the Spaarne in the summer is a must do!

#3 Frans Hals Museum and Teylers Museum

Does the name Frans Hals sound familiar to you? Golden Age portrait painter Frans Hals is one of the most important Old Dutch Masters. Named after him, the Frans Hals Museum has two locations where you can get to know everything about Frans Hals and discover the ancient, modern, and contemporary art. Another great museum to visit is the Teylers Museum. Established in 1784, this museum is the first and oldest museum in the Netherlands and worth a visit. Here, you can enjoy a grand collection of paintings, books, minerals, and fossils.

#4 Biertje?

Find your favorite beer in a rather unusual place. De Jopenkerk (Jopen Church) is a renovated former church which now houses a grand café, restaurant, and microbrewery. The perfect and most charming venue for delicious food and drinks. On the menu you will find a variety of dishes with a nod to their Jopen beer. How tasty! Check out the menu here.

#5 Gouden Straatjes

Did you know that Haarlem has been voted as the Netherland’s best shopping destination? A quick look around the boutique-lined streets will reveal exactly why. De Goude Straatjes (‘streets of gold’) contain cool concept stores, independent labels, charming antique shops and curiosity shops around every corner.


written by Quinty

A real dutchy, born and raised in Amsterdam. I love to hang out with my friends and family with some lovely food and drinks. Besides that, I also love to work out (to get rid of all the food calories :-)).