Haarlem is just on the left-hand side of Amsterdam. It’s the provincial capital of Noord-Holland. Not even a lot of Dutch people know that (unless they paid attention during geography lessons at school).
De Hofjes. These small gardens surrounded by tiny houses are a typical feature of Dutch towns. During the Golden Age (16-17th centuries), the wealthy merchants built these courtyards as charity for the poor, elderly and the needy. Today, they are places of peace and tranquility whilst the daily life passes outside its gates.
Teylers Museum. The oldest museum in the Netherlands, an interesting mixture of science, paleontology, art and numismatics. They are renowned for their thoughtful exhibitions.
The city centre of Haarlem is a dream for shopaholics as well as restaurant addicts. Leave out the regular shopping chains, bring in the unique (and expensive) shops for shoes, clothes, as well as art galleries and second-hand book shops.
Accommodation & Restaurants
Carlton Square Hotel is a perfect spot for a weekend in Haarlem. It is a comfortable, Art Deco style hotel just outside the city centre. They have nice arrangements for shopping, Christmas and short weekends.
You can eat breakfast at Hartig & Zoet, they have a number of smaller and larger breakfasts to choose from. Heartwarming scones and latte macchiato!
Have your organic lunch at Jetties, not far from the train station. A nice, open space self-service restaurant. They serve a delicious lamb burger with tzaziki and crunchy fries. All home-made and very fresh.
For diner, there are so many different kinds of restaurants, Japanese, Indian, Mediterranean, Dutch, French, to choose from. We had a lovely 3-course meal at Subliem. This is cooking mediterranean style with fish, meat and vegetables hand-picked by the chef that morning with strong hints of Egyptian flavours. A treat!