Spending a Day in Haarlem
A great day trip from Amsterdam would be a visit to the city of Haarlem, west of Amsterdam. Getting there is very easy. It’s just a short 10-minute trip on the intercity sprinter train leaving Amsterdam Centraal.
Beer lovers, your first stop in Haarlem should be the Jopen Brewery. This industry dates back to the 15th Century in the city when 100 breweries or so were open for business at the time. Jopen is actually an old original Haarlem beer which was restored back in 1995 by a group that started again the production of such delight.
Indeed the easiest way to explore the city would be on a scooter. After driving and roaming without any plan in mind, we spent our afternoon in Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. One may find a small swimming lake there which makes it a great place to soak up the sun and enjoy the landscape which is astonishing. A restaurant by the lake may also offer the possibility of a relaxing lunch.
If you fancy a longer cycle or scooter ride, Haarlem is very close to Bloemendaal aan Zee, a beautiful beach off the town of Zandvoort. During summertime, the beach and the town itself are bustling with activities.
Besides, if you feel like doing some shopping there, Haarlem’s main shopping street is called ‘De Gouden Straatjes’. It actually means streets of gold when translated in English. There, you’ll find a vast variety ranging from designer shops to art studios and even vintage collections.
Haarlem Street Markets
Mondays & Saturdays – 0900 until 1600
Located in a square by the St. Bavo Church, the Grote Markt is a picturesque sight no one should miss if in town during its operating days. Being the most popular market in the city, it is guaranteed that everyone will find something suited for him and his budget. Moreover, the market is surrounded by terraced bars which can be an opportunity to sip a chilled drink while watching people go by their day.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday – 0900 until 1600
Wanna do it like the locals? This is where most of them shop, the Boter Markt. Also situated in the city centre, this is as authentic as it can get! This market is open on four days a week, each day focusing on a different range of products as follows:
Mondays: Second-hand Clothes
Wednesdays: Collector’s Items & Books
Friday: Agricultural Products
Saturday: General Market