On a recent trip to Europe we visited the beautiful and historic Dutch town of Haarlem, just 20 minutes North of Amsterdam. Streets easily traversed by foot or bicycle and a lack of tourists make this a beautiful little escape from the city.
The original Haarlem (from which Harlem, NY got its name) is a picturesque community filled with open-air markets, cobble-stoned streets and independent specialty shops. We stayed in Grote Market, which is Haarlem’s 700-year-old town square.
We spent one of our afternoons sitting in the square and watching Haarlem life pass us by: commuters biking to the train station on their way to Amsterdam, kiddies getting ice cream and the church bells of Grote Kerk filled our ears with goodness.
The Grote Kerk is a hauntingly magnificent 16th century cathedral whose church bells ring like beautiful clockwork every day and it’s been said that Mozart used to play the organ that is still housed in the church.
We recommend that you stay here at The Stempels Hotel.
This amazing converted printing house has 17 rooms at fabulous rates and a delicious restaurant. It is perfectly located right across the street from the Grote Kerk in the center square.
We also visited the Netherlands’ oldest museum, which is in Haarlem: The Teylers Museum. Teylers has been open to the public since 1784 and has an incredible collection of highly significant scientific artifacts and beautiful artwork.
We really enjoyed Haarlem's collection of art galleries, antique shops and clothing stores all within a walkable 10 block radius. We fell in love with this shop: ID image styling.
With all of the modern conveniences we’ve become accustomed to, we found it really refreshing that life in Haarlem seems so simplified. Less tech, more talk. It makes you remember what is most important in life. Have you ever been to Haarlem? Let us know #SortedTravel