5. 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.