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Haarlem is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and has an authentic monumental center with a beautiful square and a beautiful church, De Sint Bavo. Haarlem is located on the Spaarne River. Shopping in Haarlem is a pleasure with beautiful shopping streets and nice catering establishments.

Haarlem Amsterdam

Afbeelding van een smal straatje in Haarlem met oude, smalle panden.

Haarlem was first mentioned in writings from the 10th century. However, the city’s origins date back to prehistoric times, with archaeological finds indicating habitation in the area as early as Roman times.

In the Middle Ages, Haarlem grew into an important trading city, located on the Spaarne River. The city received city rights in 1245 and developed into a flourishing center of trade, crafts and industry.

Haarlem was part of the Hanseatic League, a partnership of trading cities in Northern Europe. This period, which lasted from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period, contributed to the city’s prosperity and economic importance.

In the 17th century, Haarlem experienced its Golden Age, with a flourishing economy, art and culture. The city was known for its textile and cloth industry, breweries and flower bulb cultivation. Famous artists such as Frans Hals and Jacob van Ruisdael worked in Haarlem.

Haarlem played an important role during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), when it resisted Spanish rule. The city was besieged by the Spanish and suffered the infamous Siege of Haarlem (1572-1573), in which thousands of people died from hunger and disease before the city surrendered.

In the 19th century, Haarlem underwent a period of industrialization, with the rise of textile factories, mechanical engineering and the chemical industry. The city grew and developed into an important industrial center in the Netherlands.

After the Second World War, Haarlem underwent further developments, with large-scale urban renewal, infrastructure expansion and growth of the service sector. Today, Haarlem is a prosperous city with a rich historical heritage, a vibrant culture and a thriving economy.

All in all, Haarlem has a fascinating history, which is reflected in its historic buildings, museums and vibrant city atmosphere.

icon-check-border Authentic city with rich history

icon-check-border Nearby Amsterdam

icon-check-border Lots of sightseeing

People of Harlem

Een drukke winkelstraat in haarlem waar mensen aan het winkelen zijn

Haarlem is a diverse city with a varied population. Below are some groups living in Haarlem:

  • Families: Haarlem is popular among families because of its child-friendly environment, good schools and facilities such as parks and playgrounds. Many families find Haarlem an ideal place to live and raise their children.
  • Young professionals: Due to its favorable location in relation to Amsterdam and good accessibility by public transport, Haarlem attracts many young professionals. They appreciate the combination of a lively city atmosphere with the peace and space of a provincial town.
  • Students: Haarlem has a number of colleges and educational institutions, which means that many students live in the city. They often choose Haarlem because of the affordable rents, the cozy atmosphere and the proximity to Amsterdam and the beach.
  • Elderly: Haarlem also has a large number of older residents, who have often lived in the city for a longer period of time. There are various facilities available for seniors, such as senior housing, healthcare institutions and activity centers.
  • Expats: Although Haarlem is less known among expats than Amsterdam, expats can still be found in the city. They appreciate Haarlem’s relaxed atmosphere, historic character and good facilities.
  • Artists and creatives: Haarlem has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with many artists, designers and other creative professionals living and working in the city. They find inspiration in the historic environment and the vibrant cultural activities.

All in all, Haarlem is a diverse city with a mix of people from different age groups, backgrounds and lifestyles. This diversity contributes to the liveliness and dynamics of the city.

Highlights Haarlem

Afbeelding van de kade van Haarlem waar een grote boot aangemeerd is.

Haarlem is a city full of interesting sights and activities. Here are some highlights you shouldn’t miss when visiting Haarlem:

  • Grote Markt: The historic heart of Haarlem, surrounded by beautiful buildings, including the imposing town hall and the imposing Grote Kerk. On the Grote Markt you will also find numerous cozy cafés and restaurants, perfect for a snack and a drink.
  • Frans Hals Museum: This museum is dedicated to the famous Haarlem painter Frans Hals and his contemporaries. The museum houses an extensive collection of his works, including his famous group portraits.
  • Teylers Museum: The oldest museum in the Netherlands, located on the edge of the center of Haarlem. The Teylers Museum has an impressive collection of art, science and natural history, including drawings by old masters, fossils and minerals.
  • Haarlem Courts: Haarlem is known for its picturesque courtyards, hidden in narrow alleys and behind gates. These tranquil courtyards with green gardens provide an oasis of tranquility and are a beautiful example of traditional Dutch architecture.
  • The Jopenkerk: A former church that has been converted into a brewery and café. Here you can enjoy craft brewed beer, served in a unique and historic setting.
  • The Amsterdamse Poort: One of the last remaining city gates of Haarlem, built in the Middle Ages. The Amsterdam Gate is an impressive structure and a recognizable symbol of the city.
  • Haarlem canals: Take a relaxing walk along the picturesque canals of Haarlem and admire the beautiful facades of the historic houses. You can also take a canal cruise to explore the city from the water.
  • Zandvoort aan Zee: Just a short train or bike ride from Haarlem is Zandvoort aan Zee, a lively seaside resort with a wide sandy beach and cozy beach bars. Perfect for a day out at the seaside.

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