Even though Haarlem is often overlooked because of its proximity to the much larger and more famous city of Amsterdam (which only 15 kilometers east), the city of Haarlem is much older. With 150.000 inhabitants, Haarlem is the capital of the province of Noord-Holland.
Amsterdam is heaven for bicycle lovers – even though it may be a bit of a hassle to cycle through the small and busy streets. If you wander through the streets on foot, you get to see even more. The canals are a gorgeous background when discovering places like Rembrandtplein, the Vondelpark or the traditional district the Jordaan.
Bloemendaal aan Zee
Bloemendaan aan Zee (Bloemendaal by the Sea) is a popular seaside resort. It is surrounded by a national park and the beach stretches over a huge area. Bloemendaal aan Zee is easily reached by public transport, car, or by bike.
The Patronaat is Haarlem’s premier venue for music, comedy, shows, and other acts. For decades already the Patronaat is one of the top venues in the Netherlands when it comes to pop music. Be sure to check their website when you visit Bloemendaal.
Caprera open-air theater
On a wonderful place between the dunes and the forest, you find open-air theater Caprera. Caprera is mostly opened during spring and summer months, and offers a wide variety of pop and classical music, opera, comedy shows, shows for children and more. The stands are built against one of the surrounding dunes, offering the 1.100 spectators a beautiful view on the stage.
Ruïne van Brederode
The Ruins of Brederode are the remains of Castle Brederode, near the village of Santpoort-Zuid. The castle was built in the second half 13th century and its remains are well-worth a visit.