Haarlem: Tips on Exploring the City in 1-Day

June 10, 2019

A few hours in Haarlem is all that’s needed to explore the city!

If you happen to find yourself in Haarlem, here are some tips on how to make the best of your day.

For us, Haarlem is literally a 20-minute train ride away. So, last Saturday we decided to visit for the day and see what the city has to offer.

It’s incredibly easy to fall into the mundane routine weekend after weekend. And while a routine can be good for structure, it can also begin to feel like an extension of the work week. That’s why we recommend taking a short day trip to a neighbouring city every once in a while. Mix it up, you never know what hidden gems lie just a town away!

These are our tips for getting to most out of a day in Haarlem, the Netherlands:

The Canals of Haarlem, the Netherlands.

1: Wander the streets.

Being such a small city has the benefit of being extremely walkable. In fact, you don’t even need a bicycle to get around, just a decent pair of walking shoes!

Haarlem is easily one of the cutest and most picturesque cities that we have ever visited. It has a small town quaintness with all the benefits of being a modern and connected city.

2: Plenty to eat.

This little city is brimming with hot spots to curb any craving. Haarlem has traditional Dutch restaurants and bars, local breweries, café’s, crêperies, sushi, you name it!

We recommend checking out the famous Jopen brewery and bar. They often host interesting food pairing nights.

3: Store hop.

Shopping is certainly NOT one of our favourite ways to pass the day. However, Haarlem has got some pretty interesting stores for “window shopping”.

Every visit, we always make a stop at The Art of…Tea, Herbs & Spices. They have the most incredible assortment of sustainable, home-crafted tea’s and coffee beans.

Another absolute treat is the Spellenhuis. This place boasts every game under the sun, as well as a pretty good in-house cafe.

4: Explore by boat.

One of our most favourite ways to pass a summer’s day is by boating along canals. And, when visiting a new (Dutch) city for the first time, exploring by boat is always an option!

We rented a boat for a very reasonable price at Club Spaarne. Coming from Amsterdam, we were delighted to learn that we could rent a boat for 4-hours for just € 110. With that much time to boat around, it’s possible to explore the city, as well as surrounding natural areas. We recommend doing the 21km Mill Tour.

5: Grab a pizza (to-stay or to-go).

After a day of sun, and plenty of walking or riding around the city, we suggest grabbing a pizza from De Pizzabakkers. Their restaurant in Haarlem is just a few meters from the station, so no excuses!

Trip tip:

Getting to and from Haarlem, if you are staying in Amsterdam, is easy! Simply hitch a ride from one Centraal to the other, and enjoy the city by foot or bicycle. You can buy tickets for the train at the station.

Get inspired to plan your next getaway by viewing our Cityscapes Gallery.

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