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Haarlem Sights and Landmarks Guide, Netherlands

Haarlem Sights – The Compact City

Haarlem is an ideal tourist destination as its compact city centre houses all the main sights that are in a range of 15 minutes’ walk from each other: museums, historical landmarks, pubs and coffeeshops – they all make up an atmosphere which is sure not to leave you unimpressed. The city has given a great deal of importance to the preservation of its municipal art collection and historical buildings and contemporary tastes will be satisfied by the wide range of music and art festivals that take place throughout the year. For example, the local daily newspaper was the first of its kind and is still published today, while The Teyler, the first museum in Holland, is still packed with visitors to this day. One of the most common Haarlem sights is the so-called hofies, privately funded houses for single elderly women. They still function today and some of them are open for visits.

Haarlem Sights – Main Objectives

When choosing from Haarlem sights to visit there are some objectives that are not to be missed by any lover of arts and history. It all starts with the Grote Markt (the main square) which hosts some of the main buildings in the city and is the focal point for the architectural aspect of this town. Here you can find the City Hall, the meat market and the Hoofdwacht, a historical building that dates back to the 13th century and functioned as the first town hall in Haarlem. The Stadsbibliotheek (Public library) is itself a historical landmark and is an objective that shouldn’t be missed. St Bavo Protestant Cathedral has been Haarlem’s most important sight since the 13th century and it is built in an impressive gothic style architecture. Its Catholic counterpart, St Bavo Catholic Cathedral, has a wonderful Victorian architecture with a huge copper dome that is visible from almost everywhere in the city. For the best art collections you should visit the Frans Hals Museum and if you’re interested in natural history the Teyler is the place to go.

Haarlem Sights – Hidden Haarlem

The Amsterdamse Port is a small beautiful gatehouse that stands in the city via Amsterdam and is quite a delight with its delicious towers that used to be of great importance in medieval times. The interior is not open for visits but you can walk through it and get a feel of how people used to defend themselves in those days. A more contemporary on the edge building is the V&D, which houses large department stores and lies on the busiest shopping street in Haarlem. If you are more of a wanderer you will surely stumble upon one of Haarlem’s Secret Gardens, which are secluded in the courtyards of various buildings around the historical centre. But one of the best sights this city has to offer when heading south towards Rotterdam is its spectacular tulip fields, which is an image you are sure to keep with you for the rest of your life.

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  • adamHaarlem
    review by adam posted more then 30 days ago
    Haarlem is a small town, situated near Amsterdam about 20 km from the Dutch capital. It is know for it's rich history, beautiful architecture and it's prominent market square. The Sint-Bavokerk is the symbol of the city which lies also at the market square. Once a former catholic...
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