Facts and information about Haarlem
Being just outside of Amsterdam, Haarlem is also a much visited city in the Netherlands. Therefore the population is always confronted with different languages. Also, Dutch TV is in the original language having Dutch subtitles when language isn’t Dutch. A great part of the population therefore understands you when you try speaking in English. German and sometimes French are also understood.
Haarlem's center is one big pedestrian zone. Driving into Haarlem's center is therefore not possible. However it does have plenty of parking space available. To travel around Haarlem is easily done on foot, but riding the bicycle gives you the real Dutch feeling of the city and the bicycle is green.
Best travel time
The weather in Haarlem is mild. The average temperature in winter is 5°C and in summer 18°C. Luckily there aren’t many extreme weather situations, but it does rain a lot. Due to its oceanic location it is very susceptible to weather patterns of the ocean. Places that have a similar climate are Paris, Berlin and Seattle.
Telephone reception in the city and suburbs of Haarlem is good, but when traveling the countryside it may be possible for a weaker signal, or even no signal.
Country and People
Traditions and Culture
Haarlem has a lively nightlife with cozy clubs, discotheques, bars and cafes in all shapes and sizes. The Poppodium Patronaat is a venue that has been in the top ten venues in the Netherlands for years, it has a strong program and has its very own character. In The Light Factory events like dance parties and cultural events take place, an excellent place for going out. In summer, the terraces on the Grote Markt, the Butter Market, the Old Groenmarkt, the Klokhuisplein and along the Spaarne are filled with people. Also the Oerkap at the edge of the city is a special area for going out in summer. Haarlem has everything for a great day of shopping. The low-traffic, historic town has plenty of exclusive shops, trendy boutiques, charming antique stores and curio shops and numerous specialty shops in every conceivable area. In the main shopping streets you can also find the most important (inter-)national shopping chains. This enormous diversity in yielded Haarlem a number of times the 'Best shopping city in the Netherlands' on. The "best shopping street of the Netherlands' the Little Houtstraat is also located in Haarlem.
According to the Permanent Survey on Living Conditions (POLS) of the (CBS) from 2001-2003, almost two thirds of the population of the agglomeration Haarlem - 64.4% - were not religious minded, 18.2% of the population Roman Catholic, 6.3% Dutch Reformed, 2.8% reformed and 6.4% Reformed Islamic. St. Bavo is the patron saint of the city. The veneration of St. Bavo is adopted from Gent, a city that maintains close ties with Haarlem because of the textile industry. Haarlem is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Haarlem since 1853, which since January 1, 2009 is called the diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam. The cathedral of this diocese is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Bavo near the Leidsevaart. Before the construction of the St. Bavo Cathedral the seat of the Haarlem diocese was in the Episcopal Palace Nieuwegracht in Haarlem, the property still functions as bishop house nowadays.
In Haarlem there are 8 trains leaving for Amsterdam, with 6 an hour from the central station and 2 an hour from Haarlem Spaarnwoude. There are also 6 trains an hour leaving for each The Hague and Leiden. Connexxion operates the bus lines of Haarlem. They serve the city and it’s greater area including Amsterdam. The OV-chipkaart is the only ticket that is valid in Haarlem, it is a prepaid ticket which can be used in various transportation methods. You just need to validate and invalidate the ticket when entering and when leaving.
When getting to Haarlem you will land at Schiphol Airport. From there the quickest way to Haarlem is with the Zuidtangent Bus, which is a special bus rapid transit with the route Haarlem-Hoofdorp-Schiphol-Amstelveen-Amsterdam. It takes about 40min to Haarlem. At Schiphol there are numerous shops inside and outside of immigrations. There are also Hotels were you can stay at if you arrive late at night and want to stay the night instead of departing for yet another trip. At the Sheraton you can get a day of wellness for €20. Rental cars are available by these 3 rental companies: Auto Europe, Argus, Carhire 3000. However, as Haarlems center is a pedestrian zone it is not recommended to rent a car if you are not planning on seeing the region. As public transport is extensive it is also very easy to get to other places in the region without a car.
Discover and Enjoy
Experience and enjoy
In the field of arts and culture Haarlem is a bustling center. Apart from the activities of going to museums and venues, there are annual events – large and small. The event season traditionally opens in April with the Flower Weekend. On May 5, there is the largest and oldest liberation festival of the Netherlands, the Bevrijdingspop. You can taste nice foods in August during the Haarlem Culinary, and in august as well, there is the Haarlem Jazz, the largest free jazz festival in the country. Every year it offers a top program again and again. The Haarlem monuments are on display during the open monument days in the second weekend of September, and October is Children's Month. In that month, there are plenty of cultural, creative and sporting activities for children. The year is traditionally closed off with the Warmoeskwartier Pieck Parade and Christmas market in the Grand Market. Also, there are two annual events like Stripdagen Haarlem, International Organ Festival and Choir Biennale
The city is famous for its Hofjies (small courtyards surrounded by private houses/apartments in the middle of the city); it still has a total of 19 Hofjies. Another great sight is the Grote Markt (great market); there you can see the City Hall, the Vleeshal (meat market), the Hoofdwacht and the Sint Bavokerk. Next to these great sights there are still any other sights in Haarlem, like: The Stadsbibliothek Haarlem The Frans Hals Museum The Toneelschuur (Theater) The Huis ter Kleef The Teylers Museum The Villa Welgelen The windmill De Adriaan Het Dolhuijs The Haarlemhout park The city gate, Amsterdamse Poort The ten Boom Museum
There is great art from the Golden Age in the Frans Hals Museum, including works by local painters Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael and Pieter Saenredam. In the Teyler Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands,you can imagine yourselves being in the 18th century. The Dolhuijs allows visitors to interactively learn about the history of psychiatry.The museum won the Dutch Design Prize in the category Exhibition &Experience Design. Haarlem is traditionally a city of art and culture and still, there is much experience here. High quality program in theater, dance, film and music are offered by the Haarlem Podium, the Haarlem Theater, the Philharmonic orchestra, the Toneelschuur and the Patronaat. Haarlem also has a reputation to uphold as a writer city. Many famous Dutch writers were born here and/or worked/works here. Think of big names like Nicholas Beets, Louis Deijssel, Godfried Bomans, Louis Ferron, Harry Mulisch and Lennaert Nijgh.
Haarlem is known for its rich culinary life. The city has next to Maastricht the most bars and restaurants in the Netherlands. Haarlem is something for everyone, from trendy coffee shops and excellent cafés to drink venues and fine restaurants, from basic to exclusive. But good food and drink is also offered during 'Culinary Haarlem', the annual event in August where several restaurants present themselves to the public. Haarlem also has many culinary specialty shops. The most unusual shops, bakeries, caterers and delis are brought together in one convenient brochure. This shopping tour is available at VVV Haarlem Verwulft 11or downloaded from here (Dutch). In Haarlem you can also find the typical Dutch foods like, frites speciaal, Oliebolli, Krokketten, Pannekoeken, andVla. Also here you will find that the Dutch kitchen has been infiltrated by the Indonesian cuisine. The Dutch are also very fond of this sort of food.
- Bergen aan Zee
- De Cocksdorp/Texel
- De Koog/Texel
- De Rijp
- Den Burg/Texel
- Den Helder
- Den Hoorn/Texel
- Den Oever
- Egmond aan Zee
- Hollands Kroon
- Ouderkerk aan de Amstel