Haarlem Travel Guide - The Brilliant Alternative to Amsterdam 

Known as the City of Flowers, Haarlem is a place of historical architecture, culture, outstanding modern facilities, and is often considered the next best thing after visiting Amsterdam.

Only 20 km from the DFDS Seaways destination port of Amsterdam, Haarlem is a city and a province, at the heart of the Dutch flower-growing industry.

A cruise to Holland can easily accommodate a trip to this Dutch charming city.

The historic city centre with its broad range of period architecture is criss-crossed by scenic waterways. The fine old cathedral of St Bavo on the main square dominates the skyline.

Other attractions include world-class, traffic-free shopping facilities, which has been voted the best in the whole of The Netherlands, and a thriving cultural agenda.
Haarlem has been described as a pocket-sized, relaxed version of Amsterdam, and is the 2nd most popular DFDS Seaways mini cruise departing from Newcastle.

Top 10 Things to Do and See in Haarlem

Visit the Frans Halsmuseum for an insight into Haarlem's history

Haarlem has a rich history and a thriving cultural scene, so there are plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the highlights:

Frans Hals Museum

Museum with a large collection of Haarlem art dating from the fifteenth-century onwards, including works by the painter Frans Hals for which it is named.

Grote Markt

The central market square of Haarlem which is the centre piece for many famous buildings, including the City Hall, The Vlesshal, Hoofwacht and Sint-Bavokerk

Sauna van Egmond

A luxurious beauty spa with saunas, steam rooms and swimming pools.

The Corrie ten Boom House

The Corrie ten Boom House was the home of the Ten Boom family, and during the Second World War was used as a refuge by fugitives in hiding from the Nazis, who were hidden behind a false wall in Corrie Ten Boom's bedroom. Today, the house is a museum, restored to look as it did in the 1940's. 

The Grote-Kerk of St. Bavo

Gothic cathedral built in the 14th-15th centuries, in the so-called Kustgotiek ("Coast Gothic") style.

Teylers Museum

The oldest museum in the Netherlands, with an extensive collection of paintings by the old masters as well as a large collection of fossils, minerals and scientific instruments.


Theatre with two theatres and two cinemas showing alternative and independent films.

Tmall History Museum

Museum presenting the history of Haarlem, once a thriving commercial centre rivalling Amsterdam.


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