Haarlem is one of the most charming towns in the Netherlands, and it’s just a short hop away from Amsterdam. Check it out on a day trip from Amsterdam.
DAY TRIP FROM AMSTERDAM: HAARLEM
Day Trips from Amsterdam to Haarlem: How to get to Haarlem from Amsterdam
Haarlem is easy to reach from Amsterdam by train, bus or bicycle. Here’s how to get to Haarlem from Amsterdam.
TO HAARLEM BY BICYCLE
If you are feeling a little adventurous on a nice sunny day, Haarlem is just a 20km bicycle ride from the center of Amsterdam. Hop on your bike and head through Westerpark up Het Brettenpad for a lovely scenic route. Continue on past the end of Het Brettenpad to Halfweg and on to Haarlem. You can even continue on to the sea for a longer day trip from Amsterdam. Check Google maps for the bicycle routes. It’s one of the most popular cycling day trips from Amsterdam.
AMSTERDAM TO HAARLEM BY BUS OR TRAIN
It’s fast and easy to reach Haarlem using public transit. NS Trains leave Amsterdam Centraal about every 10 minutes to Haarlem and the trip takes 15-20 minutes. Check the NS website for timetables for Haarlem Amsterdam trains.
Depending on where you are in Amsterdam it may be more convenient to take the bus to Haarlem, although that takes a bit longer than the train (about 30-45 minutes). Check 9292.nl for exact directions from your location.
Things To Do in Haarlem
Once you reach the town of Haarlem, what is there to do? Luckily there is lots to see! Here are a few of our favorite attractions to make your day trip from Amsterdam to Haarlem a success.
HAARLEM SIGHTS + MUSEUMS
If it is your first visit to the charming town of Haarlem, we recommend taking a walk around the center of the city to see the beautiful architecture and lovely squares. Haarlem’s city center is filled with amazing buildings, some dating from the 13th century.
• Molen de Adriaan
The Adriaan windmill is definitely worth a visit while you are in Haarlem. A 45 minute guided tour will teach you all about the mill and you will learn a fair bit of history of the town as well.
Molen De Adriaan
Papentorenvest 1a, Haarlem
• Frans Hals Museum
This museum displays the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world, as well as work by his predecessors and contemporaries such as Floris Claesz van Dijck. Visitors rave about the fresh flower arrangements and the fascinating building (a former orphanage) as well as the amazing art.
Frans Hals Museum
Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem
• Teylers Museum
The Teylers Museum is the oldest in the Netherlands and has an interesting combination of artworks and science artifacts such as fossils and gemstones. It’s a fun place to visit with children or anyone who loves science and curios.
Spaarne 16, Haarlem
• Sint Bavokerk
The impressive Sint Bavokerk sits in a prominent position on Haarlem’s Grote Markt. Pay a few Euros to enter the large church and view the famous organ that Mozart and Handel once played. You may get lucky and see the tiny bats of Sint Bavo as they flutter around in the soaring ceilings. Don’t miss the bullet lodged in the church door as well.
Grote Markt 22, Haarlem
• Haarlem Hofjes
If you’ve already visited the Begijnhof or Jordaan hofjes in Amsterdam you know a bit about hofjes. Haarlem is chock full of these lovely hidden gardens surrounded by social housing mainly for single and elderly women and the ill. Today you can visit many of the surviving hofjes in Haarlem, but please be respectful of the current residents. You can find the self-guided Haarlem hofjes walking tour on the Haarlem City Marketing website.
Eating and Drinking in Haarlem
Haarlem is full of cute cafes, peaceful terraces and tasty food. Here are some of our recommended places to grab something to eat or drink while on a day trip from Amsterdam.
COFFEE IN HAARLEM
Our favorite coffee blog, The Coffeevine, recommends Mogador for the best cappuccino or flat white in Haarlem. We checked it out too, and found it yummy! A few cute hofjes are just around the corner, it’s a good pit stop to refuel when wandering the city.
LUNCH IN HAARLEM
The Haarlem City Blog gives several recommendations for the top lunch tents in town. Check them out! We have been to several of their picks and can heartily recommend them as well.
DRINKS IN HAARLEM
The websites mentioned above have plenty of terrific tips for places to enjoy a drink in Haarlem. But for us, a trip to Haarlem is not complete without a pilgrimage to the Jopenkerk. This fabulous brewery housed in an old church is one of the favorite places to drink and dine in the city. The beer is delicious and the setting is wonderful. Don’t miss it.
Gedempte Voldersgracht 2, Haarlem
And if you are a true beer lover you should also make a visit to Het Uiltje bar. These local Haarlem brewers have opened a little beer bar with a rotating selection of both their own beers and other microbrews. Drop in and try a tasting. They also have terrific pizza from just up the street.
Het Uiltje bar
Zijlstraat 18, Haarlem
Places to Stay in Haarlem
Of course Haarlem is an easy day trip from Amsterdam but you can also base yourself in Haarlem and take day trips to Amsterdam! You might be able to find better options on accommodations in Haarlem. Take a look at some of these lodgings:
Haarlem has quite a few apartments available to rent for travelers, perfect for those who like a little more space and independence. Take a look at Park 43, Cozy Home Flower Fountain, Studio Haarlem and Botermarkt apartment for fully stocked homes with kitchens and bathrooms. If you’d love to stay in a historic home with lots of special details check out Teylers Apartment or Keysers Huys. Both date from the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age.
Haarlem also has charming hotels and B&Bs that you might like. Take a look at cozy bed and breakfasts like BBB Haarlem, B&B Appartement ‘t Pakhuys, and B&B Het Hart van Haarlem. Good hotels in Haarlem include Amrâth Grand Hotel Frans Hals, Boutiquehotel Staats and Brasss Hotel Suites.
You can also find great places in Haarlem on sites like Airbnb. Use this link to register and you can save €30 off your first reservation!