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HaarlemCulture & history

Our most recommended Haarlem Culture & history

Haarlem: Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

1. Haarlem: Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

Explore the Spaarne river on a sightseeing cruise. Stay comfortable aboard ships that are semi-open in the summer and fully-heated and covered in the winter. Get carried away on the Spaarne river and see the city center and the Unicorn and Adriaan windmills from the water. Check in at the activity provider's office and board the river boat. Settle into your chair and have the option to purchase snacks and drinks as you sail along. Capture pictures of the 18th-century Adriaan windmill. Glide past the historic Waag weigh house. Take in views of the Teylers Museum of art, natural history, and science. Make your way past colorful houseboats and verdant parks as you go towards Heemstede. Go by the 17th-century Unicorn windmill before heading back to the starting point of your cruise.

Haarlem: Windmill De Adriaan Guided Tour

2. Haarlem: Windmill De Adriaan Guided Tour

Molen de Adriaan is a working windmill including a museum. The museumpart shows you the development of various types of mills, such as polder mills, flour mills, oil mills and sawmills. The sawmills were instrumental for war and trade ships with which the VOC reached the globe. Molen de Adriaan started to function in 1778 as trasmolen (cement for Roman mortar), in 1802 it was sold to be used as tobacco snuff mill. In 1865 it was converted in to a double grainmill, with wind- and steam power. The introduction of electrical power meant the end of most Dutch windmills. In 1932 the Adriaan burnt down and it took 70 years before it was rebuilt as a wotking grain mill. The Adriaan is a landmark at the river Spaarne very near the centre of Haarlem. In the milling loft below the top you can see the millstones with which grain can be grounded into flour. The flour loft below the stone floor is where the flour is put into bags. Outside on the balcony you are close to the wings and can enjoy the beautiful view of Haarlem at 12 meters height. When a miller is in De Adriaan and with enough wind you will enjoy the turning wings. The span of the wings is 26 meters. Please be aware, that the tour is in English and Dutch. Other languages will be provided with a handout to learn while being on the tour. For safety reasons, you can only go upstairs accompanied by a tour guide.

Haarlem: Teylers Museum Entry Ticket

3. Haarlem: Teylers Museum Entry Ticket

Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon, Einstein, and so many others with this admission ticket to the first museum in the Netherlands, The Teylers Museum. Walk through the stunning antique interiors and gain access to the temporary and permanent exhibitions of art and collectibles within. Exchange your admission ticket at the front office and enter a world dedicated to art and science. Be in awe of the preservation of the space as you stroll through one of the most beautiful 18th century interiors in the world. Visit the various exhibitions on display showcasing valuable artefacts of art, coins, metals, instruments, books, fossils, and minerals. Receive access to the Pieter Teyler House, an additional wing of the museum that is included in this admission ticket. Be in awe of some of the best-preserved historical interiors from the 18th-century Netherlands. Teylers Museum will be in a summer festival spirit, from 8 July to 3 September 2023. Take our highlights tour and discover within 30 minutes all there is to know about the oldest museum in the Netherlands, join in with one of the many activities or lean back at the lemonade bar in the museum café: with Enjoy the Summer at Teylers, there is something to do for everyone. For more information see website

Haarlem: 'The rise of Haarlem' Guided Walking Tour

4. Haarlem: 'The rise of Haarlem' Guided Walking Tour

The capital of North Holland has a long and chequered history. Originally famous for Beer, Linen and Tulips, Haarlem was the jewel in Holland’s crown during the Dutch Golden Age. The city has been repeatedly besieged, fought over, burnt down and then rebuilt several times. Haarlem was occupied in the Second World War and was a hotbed of resistance until Liberation. Haarlem can best be described now as Amsterdam’s cool, relaxed, sophisticated older sister. My original tour of Haarlem covers many of the city’s best loved and most beautiful buildings, including the Grote Kerk of Sint Bavo, the historic town market square, the Molen Adriaan windmill, the Teylers Museum and many more. This tour has a little bit of everything from Art and Architecture, life and death in Medieval and Renaissance times, to tales of local Resistance heroines and heroes in World War Two. You will also find out about the city’s most famous residents and visitors. With each stop a window to the past will be opened, in the process painting a picture of the city from its humble beginnings to the present day. There is a story waiting for you on every corner. I have been giving my original English speaking tour of Haarlem since 2019, many imitators have since sprung up therefore I do not list my full itinerary online, however my tour focuses and stays within the oldest parts of the city in and around its beautiful little streets, courtyards, hidden Hofjes and secret gardens. I customise the tours at the introduction towards the things that you are most interested in. The tour will also help you to make the most of your time in Haarlem with sightseeing tips and the best things to do and places to eat pointed out along the way. We finish the tour at a beautiful rooftop terrace this also makes a great photo opportunity or if everyone fancies it a local craft brewery depending on the mood. If you are going elsewhere in The Low Countries after Haarlem you will enjoy it much more after taking this tour as you will be able to recognise the famous architecture styles, know what the buildings were for and a little more about the people behind them. I look forward to meeting you and seeing you on one of my tours.

Haarlem: City Walking Tour

5. Haarlem: City Walking Tour

During this 2-hour walking tour you will discover the city of Haarlem accompanied by a professional tour guide. See the main landmarks, such as the Sint Bavo Kerk, Amsterdamse Poort, Molen de Adriaan and Corrie Ten Boom house. Walking along the Spaarne you will learn about the history of the city. All the way from its inception in 1245, to its latest eccentricities. Its picturesque streets, beer making history and tulip tradition have made Haarlem famous in the Netherlands and abroad. You will also get acquainted with some of its main personalities, Franz Hals, Lauren's Janszoon Koster, Peter Teyler, Kennau Hasselar and Corrie ten Boom. This experience will transform you from a tourist into a Haarlem explorer, by the end you will know which are your favorite parts of the city and how to make the most of your stay.

Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide

6. Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide

Enjoy a combination entry ticket to the HOF Museum and the Frans Hals Museum. The locations are 7 minutes away from each other in the historical center of Haarlem. Experience the collection’s stimulating mix of old masters, modern, and contemporary art. Show your ticket at the door and explore the Frans Hals Museum, a place where old and new connect in a way that challenges visitors to take a fresh look. Take in highlights like the six Civic Guard paintings by Frans Hals himself. Go for a short 7-minute stroll to the museum’s HOF location which features the world’s largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals, alongside old masters and modern art. On view now in Frans Hals Museum HOF: are the exhibits 'Haarlem Heroes,' 'Other Masters'(permanent collection show), and from 30 September 2022, 'Newcomers.'

From Amsterdam: Haarlem Private Day-Trip

7. From Amsterdam: Haarlem Private Day-Trip

Along with your friendly, local guide, enjoy an authentic Haarlem experience on a personalized tour. Explore this picturesque city’s history, culture, and fantastic food scene as you’re led down quaint streets (those off the well-trodden tourist trail) flanked by grand architecture. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Meet your host at Amsterdam Station (or directly in Haarlem) and begin to explore this university town, an enchanting hub of leafy courtyards, gabled houses, and monuments dating back almost 800 years. Walk along tranquil canals and explore Haarlem’s quaint cobbled streets, straight from the pages of a storybook, while marvelling at grand gothic-style churches and turning down the lesser-known streets and exploring hidden gems. Peer into cosy bars, fine cafes, and the unique stores that have given Haarlem a reputation as one of the world’s best shopping cities. Visit Molen de Adriaan, a traditional windmill and a striking feature of Haarlem’s skyline for centuries. See the monumental Grote Kerk, a Protestant church in the city center that’s home to a world-famous gilded organ and a treasure trove of medieval art. Join locals browsing stalls selling fresh produce, local cheeses, clothes, and antiques at Grote Markt, an authentic taste of the day-to-day life of Haarlem’s people, and admire the grand buildings lining even the quietest of streets. Of course, in a city famed for having the best museums in the Netherlands, it would be a crime not to explore them. The Frans Hals Museum is always an excellent choice. Your itinerary can be personalized according to your preferences. Once you’ve booked, someone from the local partner's team will be in touch so arrange any preferences or special requirements.

Private tour of Haarlem with a proffesional local guide

8. Private tour of Haarlem with a proffesional local guide

Haarlem, the beautiful, captivating medieval capital of North Holland has for centuries proudly been standing in the shadow of Amsterdam. But Haarlem is much more than the “little Amsterdam without the crowds”. In this fun English/Dutch tour we will discover Haarlem's highlights, history, heroes, hofjes, hospitality, hidden gems and heaps more! Within two hours we’ll walk and talk from the train station, along stunning views and hidden places to the beating heart of Haarlem: the Big Market square. From here everything that Haarlem has to offer is just a few minutes walking away. Book this walking tour and I will enthusiastically show you the city in which I grew up, by blending my personal stories, academic backgrounds, knowledge as architect and storytelling experience. You will learn why Haarlem suffered for its bravery, is now progressively enjoying the good live and for centuries has been Hollands city of flowers. You will grasp the essence of Holland and Haarlem, and like many, will probably fall in love with wholesome Haarlem.

From Amsterdam: Rotterdam and Zaanse Schans Private Day Trip

9. From Amsterdam: Rotterdam and Zaanse Schans Private Day Trip

Start this tour with a pick-up from your hotel. From here, drive to the countryside of the Netherlands and explore Zaanse Schans, a must see when visiting the Netherlands. Explore these beautiful windmills and also see the original wooden houses, barns and shops. Your guide will take you inside one of these windmills. You also get the option to visit a cheese-making factory and stroopwafel factory. Here you can see how the Dutch cheese and waffles are made. From there, you will drive to the beautiful Rotterdam, the second Dutch city you will visit on this tour. Discover how the destruction of World War II led to an intensive rebuilding process and to Rotterdam becoming one of the most daring examples of modern architecture in the Netherlands. First, you will explore the city center of Rotterdam, here you will find many architectural sights like the new Markthal, the famous Cube Houses, the Erasmus Bridge and the Town Hall of Rotterdam. When going inside the Martkhal, you are able to take a break to eat and drink something. After, the guide will drive you to a more historical part of Rotterdam called Delfshaven, this is one of the few parts of the city that wasn't destroyed by the bombing. After Delshaven, your guide will drive you to explore the port of Rotterdam. Rotterdam houses the biggest port in Europe and until 2004 it was the biggest port in the world. After your visit to Rotterdam, your guide will drive you back to your hotel or any other desired location in Amsterdam.

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What people are saying about Haarlem

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

Our son lives in Harrlem and it was a must to go to see the Windmill. Our guide on the 1pm tour was such a delightful pleasant lady and very enthusiastic about the workings of this incredible windmill. We arrived a little early and was encouraged to watch the video in English to see the full history of the windmill, which again was fascinating.

It was amazing how this museum, with the extraordinary experts work here, can united people and can make the time stop. For me it was moment of turning to myself and also to open my mind for the important things. The power of the knowledge and the wisdom of the memory.

You can also see sides of Haarlem that you otherwise only get to see to a limited extent as a tourist and can get a first impression. However, if you want to experience the sights of Haarlem, you should do the Haarlem Boat Tour.

A nice and informative tour. You could tell that our guide is very attached to windmills, especially De Adriaan, with heart and soul.

Excellent tour. Very informative. And received great recommendation to go to Jopen (Beer church) in Haarlem for lunch.