Skip to Content

16 Best Things to do in Haarlem, Netherlands

16 Best Things to do in Haarlem, Netherlands

Are you planning a trip to Haarlem, Netherlands? If so, you’ll want to check out this here blog post of wisdom regarding things that are worth seeing and doing in Haarlem, one of the most charming cities in the Netherlands.

The perfect palate cleanser after visiting Amsterdam, the North Holland (or Noord Holland) city of Haarlem takes you to the harsh, romantic North Sea coast.

From things that are easy enough for all ages to things with an edge that only the most daring travelers will enjoy, there is something for everyone on this list.

Among these things are things that people can explore, things that they can relax with, so it’s not all action-action-action. Haarlem has much to offer for those who wish to experience it.

Below is a list of the best things you must do while visiting Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Before we get into the written version, take a tour of Haarlem with us from the ViaTravelers YouTube channel.

Best Things to do in Haarlem, Netherlands [4K HD]
Watch this video on YouTube.

It includes some food and drink as well as best tips for activities such as sightseeing or relaxing.

Best & Fun Things to do in Haarlem, Netherlands

1. Windmill De Adriaan (1779)

Windmill De Adriaan (1779)

Address: Papentorenvest 1A, 2011 AV Haarlem, Netherlands

The Molen de Adriaan or Windmill De Adriaan is one of the Netherlands’ numerous lovely sites and best museums. Built in 1779, it’s arguably the oldest museum in the city too.

The attractive windmill is one of the most distinguishable landmarks of the municipality and a well-known attraction in the Netherlands, located on the picturesque river Spaarne.

Its inherent beauty, as well as its historical importance, make it a must-see stop when visiting Haarlem and a great photo opportunity.

The mill tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Molen de Adriaan features a number of exhibits pertaining to mill technology and the mill’s rich historical past. The bottom floor of the windmill is home to a permanent exhibit about De Adriaan’s windmill that is open all year.

The lookout point for the Molen de Adriaan is 12 meters above ground level. The top of the mill, its viewing platform, and the picturesque riverbank views from the bottom of the mill allows visitors to enjoy a beautiful overview of the surrounding area.

When it comes to mementos, visitors might purchase a variety of windmill-related stuff in the museum’s store.

See Related: Best Party Cities in Europe

2. Town Hall Haarlem

Town Hall Haarlem

Address: Grote Markt 2, 2011 RD Haarlem, Netherlands

The old city hall, which dates back to the 14th Century, serves as the city’s administrative center, and is a notable monument, located opposite St. Bavokerk in the Grote Markt Square.

Since medieval times, Haarlem Town Hall has stood as a quiet, constant and magnificent witness to the decrees and judgments passed by generations of local government.

Aside from the rooms inside the hall that also served an excellent reception for weddings and other festivities, it also has a viewing platform with tables where you may enjoy the overlooking view of the historic town in the Netherlands or have a great view of the ceremonies and festivities held in the city hall or town square.

The magnificence of the medieval city hall, as well as its detailed museum and spooky underground dungeon, are among the top things to see and do on your tour of the city.

The historic city hall is also close to a number of notable sites in town, making it an easy stop for tourists visiting the area.

Nearby activities included The Town Square, Teylers Museum and Frans Hals’ Golden Age Haarlem gallery at Town Hall.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Textel Island, Netherlands

3. Theehuis de Haarlemmerhout

Address: Hertenkamplaan 1, 2012 CV Haarlem, Netherlands

A visit to Theehuis de Haarlemmerhout in Haarlem makes any trip to North Holland, the Netherlands, even more enjoyable and memorable, especially on a sunny day.

You may find beautiful meals and snacks at this gorgeous historical restaurant in town. The fact that the location also has a deer park and a petting farm adds to the overall appeal of the trip, especially for kiddies!

The place is a good spot for meeting new people and spending time with your friends. You can also enjoy a lovely glass of wine or some fresh juice at the terrace while you sit back and relax on a sunny afternoon.

It is a fantastic place that needs only a small amount of walking and allows you to spend more time dining and socializing with others.

The tea served at the site, which is complemented by sweet treats, is one of the highlights of the experience.

Having dinner at Theehuis de Haarlemmerhout is a lovely experience because the restaurant is surrounded by nature’s beauty and offers terrace seating.

The majority of the meals served in the cafe are traditional Dutch specialties. Apart from eating and taking pleasure in the petting farms, the location is also a great place to relax since it offers a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere.

See Related: Best Gift for International Travelers

4. The St. Bavo Church in Haarlem

Organ inside the The St. Bavo Church in Haarlem

Address: Grote Markt 22, 2011 RD Haarlem, Netherlands

The St. Bavo Church in Haarlem, often called the Sint Bavokerk or Grote Kerk, is a popular tourist destination in Holland, and is recognized as one of the country’s most significant churches.

Built in the Middle Ages, St. Bavo Church is known as the most prominent and significant church in town, with a height of 120 feet (37 m), located on the Groote Markt in Haarlem.

Its immense splendor makes it an unavoidable must-see destination when traveling through the Netherlands. The church has seven huge bells and a great tower.

Among the best things to do in town is to admire and enjoy the beauty of this prominent monument in town as well as visit Frans Hals’ tomb beneath the church.

The church is fairly accessible, and it’s an excellent place to start a tour of the area’s most notable site. St. Bavo Church is close to Teyler’s Museums, Grote Markt, Square, Haarlem-Keukenhof, and Frans Hals Museum.

See Related: Best Road Trip Books for Kids

5. Teylers Museum

Exhibit Inside the Teylers Museum

Address: Spaarne 16, 2011 CH Haarlem, Netherlands

The Teylers Museum is one of Haarlem’s top attractions, and it should not be missed if you’re planning a fun day in the city.

It’s one of the most popular things to do on a a day trip in North Holland that any art or science lover will enjoy. It’s one of the oldest museums in town and has been welcoming visitors since 1784.

The Teylers Museum is a location that offers a variety of unique artworks, scientific instruments, fossil collections, and science-related exhibits. It also houses a wide range of art masterpieces by famous Dutch Romantics.

The museum allows visitors to discover amazing art, natural history, and scientific artifacts in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

The museum was created as a monument to the remarkable collection of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, a prominent banker, and the merchant who bequeathed his huge collection of treasures to the institution.

The museum’s most prominent features are its sizeable collection of fossils and minerals, and the Oval Room, which should not be missed if you have the chance.

See Related: Family Travel Hacks

6. Ten Boom Museum

Address: Barteljorisstraat 19, 2011 RA Haarlem, Netherlands

There are several museums in Haarlem displaying the city’s interest in art, creativity, and historical traditions.

One of the town’s many wonderful attractions is the Ten Boom Museum. It is an excellent tourist destination that should not be missed or overlooked when visiting Haarlem.

The Ten Boom Museum is best for travelers looking to introduce themselves to Dutch history and culture before exploring the rest of Haarlem.

Home to the prominent Ten Boom family, the Corrie ten Boom House is Haarlem’s oldest building, and it now serves as a museum to commemorate Corrie ten Boom, who was imprisoned by Nazis for aiding Jews and others in fleeing Nazi persecution during the German occupation in WWII.

This selfless Dutch hero saved as many as 800 lives.

The house was completely rebuilt to demonstrate what it looked like when it was used as a hiding place and almshouse for refugees fleeing the barbaric Nazi regime.

It contains a shelter and a small space behind a false wall in the bedroom of Corrie ten Boom. The museum also houses an exhibit on Haarlem’s World War II experiences.

The museum may only be seen on a guided tour, which comes in Dutch or English. The guided tour lasts anywhere from one hour to an hour and a half because each aspect of the home and its stories are thoroughly described during the tour.

During the guided tour, you will be able to see the home in its original form as well as family photographs and war memorabilia.

See Related: Best Travel Accessories

7. Proveniershuis

Address: Grote Houtstraat 142D, 2011 SV Haarlem,

Netherlands

Among the exciting things to do in Haarlem is to visit the monument of Proveniershuis.

The attraction is a complex of historic buildings, established in 1704, that is encircled with a picturesque rectangular garden. It is an attraction that takes a notable space in the route of Haarlem hofje.

The attraction buildings are now used as rentals with shops, food places, and a lunchroom to see.

Among the beautiful highlights to see is the ancient temple of St. Michael monastery.

Visiting Proveniershuis is convenient for a frame of reference since it is close to key sites in Haarlem, such as the St. Elisabeth Hospital. The nearby hotels, clinics, and dining facilities are all worth seeing near this historic complex.

See Related: Epic Tips for Stress-Free Travel

8. Het Dolhuys

Address: Schotersingel 2, 2021 GE Haarlem, Netherlands

Do you want to learn more about psychiatry?

The Het Dolhuys Museum and Attraction in Haarlem is the ideal site to visit if you want to learn more about the inner workings of the mind.

In the museum also known as Museum van de Geest, visitors can delve into a fascinating tour of psychiatry and its history.

Built in the 16th Century, it was formerly a facility for the housing and treatment of mentally ill people and a leper home before becoming a museum in 2005.

It provides an educational tour, and visiting the museum is eye-opening, helping to remove the harmful stigma associated with mental illness.

The award winning museum’s mental illnesses and linked psychotherapy displays have received several accolades, and its specific collections and exhibitions have seen ringing reviews.

Het Dolhuys showcases not only permanent exhibits but also organizes temporary exhibitions around psychiatry and other psychiatry-related themes.

It is situated behind the Haarlem Central Station and closed to several attractions, such as the Frans Hals Museum, Teylers Museum, and great spots for biking in town, Haarlem-Keukenhof.

See Related: Ideas for Weekend Getways

9. Haarlem Canal Tours

Haarlem Canal Tours

Address: Spaarne t.h.v. huisnr. 17 / Spaarne across from

house no. 17, 2011 CD Haarlem, Netherlands

Embarking on a Haarlem Canal Tour is one of the most enjoyable things to do while in Haarlem. This lovely lazy experience provides a delightful tour of this gorgeous city aboard an open-top boat, adding to a pleasant and memorable journey in the Netherlands.

Participating in the Haarlem Canal Tours is a great way to see the city’s sights while also getting a feel for the beautiful sailing waterways of Haarlem.

It can be the best way to see the main sights of the city, and if you’re after a more exclusive tour you can hire your own boat and guide!

After crossing through the scenic Spaarne River, the tour continues to the Bakenessergracht, the town’s oldest canal, before continuing via the Nieuwe Gracht canal to reach Singels.

The Cathedral of Sint Bavo and the Windmill De Adriaan are two of the sites that may be seen throughout the tour.

Several of Haarlem’s most well-known contemporary and historical buildings can be seen on this tour of the city. A boat tour will also involve discussions of the city’s history, culture, and architecture at a delightfully slower pace.

See Related: Best Travel Movies to Inspire You

10. Cruise Around Old Town Haarlem by Bike or Via Walking Tour

Haarlem, Netherlands

Address: Stationsplein 11 L, 2011 LR Haarlem, Netherlands

This fascinating city, located outside of the city Amsterdam in the northwest Netherlands, is well worth visiting. In this beautiful old town, you can see medieval cobblestone alleys and gabled houses from every direction.

Haarlem is a fascinating city to visit because of the beautiful scenery it offers and because of the large number of exciting things to do in Haarlem.

While meandering through the town’s old streets, you can indulge in exquisite Dutch cuisine at one of the many restaurants dotted throughout the town that provide delectable meals.

You can also like spending the day visiting museums, as the city is brimming with historical and art institutions.

The municipality also provides green space for residents to decompress and enjoy outdoor activities such as picnics, strolls, playing, and taking photographs of Haarlem’s stunning tulip fields, among other things.

The city is a pot full of excitement and a plethora of natural scenery to explore.

See Related: Hotel vs Motel vs Inn

11. Frederikspark

Address: Frederikspark 14, 2012 DA Haarlem, Netherlands

The Dutch know their way around a beautiful garden, and visiting parks are one of the best things to do in Haarlem. Among the best is Frederikspark, one of the most beautiful parks in the city, which is conveniently located near other city landmarks.

Enjoy a range of outdoor adventures with your family in this delightful setting where you may unwind. It has provided its sublime grounds to locals and visitors searching for a tranquil and scenic environment to rest in since 1890.

A day spent relaxing and enjoying the park is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Haarlem’s streets.

In order to reach the park, public transport like a bus or train may be necessary, but if you’re around the neighborhood, walking is just fine.

Frederikspark has a number of picnic and play areas, as well as hiking trails to work up a sweat.

There are many parks in town, but this charming park is less crowded, making it more ideal for visiting to enjoy the beauty of nature and unwind with ease.

See Related: Top Sites for Booking Tours

12. Frans Hals Museum

Address: Groot Heiligland 62, 2011 ES Haarlem, Netherlands

The incredible Frans Hals Museum is home to a number of natural wonders, spectacular monuments, and a magnificent collection of art.

The Frans Hals Museum is easily one of the best museums on the city map, open since 1913.

Also known as de Hallen Haarlem, the museum is primarily dedicated to the renowned Dutch painter Frans Hals, and it houses the world’s largest collection of his works.

Art and history lovers may enjoy examining the 16th Century, 17th Century, and Dutch Golden Age art collections in de Hallen Haarlem. The Frans Hals collection is not the only one displayed at the museum as other famous artists’ works are also on display.

Other collections include modern art by Monet and Corbet. There’s also an incredible collection of an 18th Century dollhouse, which includes thousands of small items, children may enjoy a day in the museum.

Of all the places to visit in Haarlem, the Frans Hals museum is one of the best places to visit with the family.

See Related: How to Pack Formula for Air Travel

13. Cathedral of St. Bavo

Address: Leidsevaart 146, 2014 HE Haarlem, Netherlands

The Cathedral of St Bavo in Leidsevaart, Haarlem, is a beautiful Catholic church and among the two St Bavo churches in town.

It is widely regarded as the second most significant church in Holland and is a popular tourist destination.

In terms of size, it is comparable to Cologne Cathedral, a remarkable church located in the charming German city of Cologne.

On the outside, there are a plethora of one-of-a-kind ornaments. On the inside, it has been beautifully decorated with numerous reliefs and a dazzling ceiling.

In addition to witnessing the splendor of the church decorations, you will also visit the crypt located beneath the cathedral, which holds the Kathedraal Museum.

This compact museum houses a variety of art treasures and is an outstanding aspect of the church to explore.

See Related: Best Travel Lenses

14. Barrel Organ Museum Haarlem

Address: Küppersweg 3, 2031 EA Haarlem, Netherlands

The Barrel Organ Museum Haarlem is one of the best museums on the map to get your history fix. You can enjoy their diverse collection of barrel organs at this museum.

Barrel organ music is a traditional Dutch staple, and the museum was created to house and display Haarlem’s collection of historic organs, which had accumulated over time.

Since it first opened its doors to the public in 1969, the gallery has welcomed thousands of visitors eager to discover the extensive collection of antique and rare barrel organs on display.

There are many important historic organ objects on display in museums, such as The Kunkels Organ, which is utilized for performances and on loan from the National Museum of the Netherlands.

The best part about this museum? The website says it’s FREE to visit every Sunday!

See Related: What is a Hacker Fare?

15. Artis Class Haarlem

Raccoon in Zoo

Address: Arthur van Schendelpad 1, 2024 CP Haarlem,

Netherlands

Take a break checking out the museum, go outside, and enjoy looking at fascinating animals. The Artis Class Haarlem is a charming zoo and park to visit in Haarlem.

It is an urban zoo that houses many animal species, including birds, amphibians, and giant animals. The zoo is a great family place and among the excellent destination to explore with kids.

Aside from the animals under the care and the main highlights of the zoo, Artis Class Haarlem has much more to offer. On your visit, you may enjoy the displays of galaxies, stars, planets, and more on the attraction’s planetarium.

From animals and galaxies, Artis zoo is also recognized as the first museum of microbes in the world. Among its highlights is its massive fungal wall.

There is also another museum to enjoy in the zoo aside from its outdoor wonders.

Artis zoo also houses the Groote Museum, a gallery with living displays and focuses on sharing the importance of the relationship between man and nature.

See Related: Free Printable Travel Planner

16. Amsterdamse Poort, Haarlem

Address: 2011 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Take a look at historic landmarks in Haarlem as you visit the Netherlands and stroll through the Amsterdamse Poort, also known before as the Sparwouwer Poort in Haarlem.

It is a beautiful ancient old city gate in the intriguing town of Haarlem, and it is worth visiting. Of the twelve original gates in the medieval town, this is the only one that has survived.

Located at the end of the historical path from Amsterdam to Haarlem, it was built in 1355 and has survived the test of time.

In addition to its historical value, the gate has become a famous tourist destination too in the area since it makes heading back and forth to neighboring Amsterdam more convenient, and it allows travelers to do so on the same day.

As well as having an impressive monument in front of the entrance, depicting one of the city’s folk heroes, the gate is surrounded by breathtaking scenery and a pleasant ambiance.

See Related: Best Travel Apps for Europe

Final Thoughts

There are many things to do in Haarlem that span from family-friendly activities, like exploring the Artis Class Haarlem zoo and park, all the way to historical landmarks.

If you’re looking for something new to explore on your next vacation or business trip, be sure to check out some of these things.

We hope this article has helped you discover a few cool ideas about what’s possible when visiting Haarlem.

To learn more about visiting Haarlem and traveling Europe, join our free travel newsletter to get the best travel advice directly to your email inbox.

If you want a visual experience of our travel guides, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest updates on our travel experiences.

FAQ

How to find things to do in Haarlem?

Haarlem is an awesome tourist destination with things to do for tourists all year round. Haarlem has a very rich history and the townspeople never forget that! The best things to do in Haarlem are:

– Haarlem Old Church (although you can’t currently go inside due to renovations, it’s still worth a visit!)
– Vrouweparade (a procession of laypeople)
– Bicycling at Kinderdijk (world heritage site chock full of windmills)
– Strolling through Begijnhof (the last surviving beguinage in Holland).

Is there a list of things to do in Haarlem and what they are like?

In Haarlem, there are things to do for tourists of all ages and backgrounds! In fact, Haarlem has a lot to offer, from Dutch masterpieces to nature reserves. What about things to do?

Well, you should take a stroll around the city center or visit scenic Beuningen, but maybe go even further by going home with some handmade wooden shoes made by a local shoesmith.

What are the best things to do in Haarlem?

Haarlem is a city in Holland that has many things to do. You can enjoy the city, go to nature, and eat food. This Dutch city is very popular and will catch your attention.

You can walk through town and not miss some popular tourist attractions like the stunning St Bavo’s Cathedral, Huis ten Bosch Palace Garden, or cafes like Pieter Cornelisz Hooft (coffee), De Drie Gezusters (lunch) and ‘t Smalle (dinner).

Related Resources

Lock In Your Travel Now
Booking Flights
Use Skyscanner to book the cheapest flight possible. Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine as you can find flights around the globe and from every airline possible. You'll be in great shape to get the best price possible.

You must grab a free trial or join Scott's Cheap Flights Premium to get cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox. My favorite cheap flight alert was 25,000 Delta SkyMiles to London non-stop.

Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It's a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Use World Nomads to find the best policy for your travel schedule.
Looking for Extra Travel Perks?
Check out these best travel rewards credit cards to enjoy extra rewards points that can be redeemed for flights, hotels and more. In addition, several of these cards will help you enjoy some amazing travel benefits like lounge access, travel credits, upgrades and more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!