Best of Haarlem

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Haarlem
Set between Amsterdam and the sandy coastline to the west, Haarlem is a picturesque city of cobblestone squares, gabled houses and canalside parks. Excellent lodging and dining options make Haarlem a good base for exploring Amsterdam (a 20-minute train ride away), though there’s much to see and do in the town itself. Haarlem has some magnificent churches, including towering St Bavokerk, with a pipe organ once played by a young Mozart. As the former home of 17th-century Dutch painter Frans Hals, Haarlem is an important destination for art lovers, with museums showcasing some of the finest works by Hals and other great Dutch artists.     

The old lanes of Haarlem are a delight to explore, particularly in the spring when the flower boxes are full of colorful tulips. The historic centuries-old buildings have many stories, which you can learn about on visits to places like the Corrie ten Boom House, where hundreds of Jews were hidden until they could be taken to safety. Beyond town, you can head out on a cycling tour to the national park of Zuid-Kennemerland and see a rolling landscape of dunes full of plant and animal life.
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The coast of the North Sea
Explore Coastal Landscapes & Dutch Villages by the North Sea - 5 Days

Discover the coastline of the North Sea on this active 5-day adventure. Start the trip in historic Haarlem, where you'll see original works by the great painter Frans Hals before setting off on a self-guided e-bike trip to a beach resort. Ride over to National Park Zuid-Kennemerduine, home to the largest dune area in Holland. Then continue to Bergen, a scenic village that's long been popular with artists. You'll base yourself here for the last few days of the itinerary, riding to a pair of resort towns, visiting the famous cheese market of Alkmaar, and seeing the windmills of Zaanse Schans before the trip ends in Amsterdam.

A picturesque canal in Amsterdam
Best of Amsterdam & Haarlem - 5 Days

This enlightening 5-day journey will take you to the highlights of Amsterdam and its surrounding region. Start at the Anne Frank House, then enjoy a private boat tour along the city's canals before visiting two world-class art museums, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. On a day trip to the countryside, you'll see historic windmills, wander around a quaint fishing village, and sample traditional Dutch cheese in Edam. Spend the last part of the trip in the charming city of Haarlem, an easy side trip from the capital, where you'll visit the oldest museum in the Netherlands.

A mosaic rendition of "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
Discover the Dutch Masters - 5 Days

Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals: Dutch art history is full of famous names. On this short trip, you'll view their masterpieces on display in world-class museums and visit the places where they lived and worked. Stroll along the cobblestoned streets and charming canals of Den Haag and Haarlem, step into Vermeer's former residence in Delft, and see where Rembrandt painted his iconic works in Amsterdam.

The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam
Explore Dutch Seafaring History - 5 Days

Immerse yourself in the seafaring history of the Dutch Golden Age on this enlightening 5-day trip. The Dutch East India Company was extremely important in trade during the 17th and 18th centuries. Discover reminders of this rich past as you gaze upon naval scenes in Frans Hals’ paintings in Haarlem, stroll along city canals bordered by ancient warehouses in Middelburg, tour Hoorn's historic harbor, and ride an antique boat across IJsselmeer lake. You'll also travel on an old steam train, cycle to a coastal fort in Zeeland, and wander around a replica of an 18th-century cargo ship in Amsterdam.

Map of Highlights of Holland - 10 Days
Highlights of Holland - 10 Days

Experience the best of Holland along with some of its hidden gems on this 10-day trip! From big cities to charming small villages, you’ll experience a perfect cross-section of what the Netherlands has to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to admire all of the traditional Dutch characteristics: cheese markets, famous painters, typical canals, rich history, churches with stained-glass windows, windmills, lovely squares, and ancient cobbled alleys. In addition to exploring picturesque smaller cities such as Gouda, Leiden, and Delft, you will also visit Amsterdam, home to the country’s most famous museums, the vibrant, modern harbor city of Rotterdam, and even get some beach time!

Bicycles beside the canals of Amsterdam
Map of Cycling Tour of the Netherlands - 7 Days
Cycling Tour of the Netherlands - 7 Days

Enjoy a Dutch-style vacation by exploring western Holland on two wheels! On this dynamic weeklong cycling trip, you'll pedal through forests, flower fields, and sand dunes, stopping to see picturesque windmills and historic monuments along the way. You'll ride into the wilderness of protected national parks, sample cheeses in Gouda, and stop for sightseeing in charming cities and villages including Delft and Leiden.

Dutch cheeses for sale at a shop in Amsterdam
Highlights of Holland- 7 Days

Welcome to the Netherlands! On this weeklong adventure around Holland, you'll see the famous canals and art museums of Amsterdam, the vibrant harbor city of Rotterdam, historic monuments in The Hague, and the windmills and cheese markets of Leiden and Haarlem. Train travel is quick and convenient between destinations, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the Dutch lifestyle. Finish the trip with a relaxing bike ride to the coast of the North Sea.

The historic center of Bruges
Cycling Tour of the Netherlands & Belgium - 14 Days

Pedal past windmills, tulip fields, and castles on this wonderful two-week cycling tour of the Netherlands and Flanders! You'll explore green landscapes and coastal scenery as you make your way between historic Dutch cities like Haarlem, Delft, and Leiden, then cross over to Belgium, where medieval architecture and locally made chocolates await. There's so much to see and do in the region, and there's no better way to see it than on a bicycle.

Spotlight on Van Gogh
Art Tour of the Netherlands & Belgium - 14 Days

The Netherlands and Belgium have produced some of the most famous names in art history: Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Peter Paul Rubens, and Jan van Eyck, to name a few. On this two-week tour you'll learn all about their lives and work. Ride an e-bike through landscapes that inspired the Dutch Masters, tour Rembrandt's studio, view priceless masterpieces in world-class museums, and view the famed Ghent Altarpiece in St Bavo's Cathedral. This lively itinerary isn't only about art, you'll also enjoy a food tour of Antwerp, explore a national park, and relax on river beaches with locals.

A masterpiece by Hieronymus Bosch
Map of Art Tour of the Netherlands - 10 Days
Art Tour of the Netherlands - 10 Days

Some of the most notable masters in European art history were Dutch: Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Vincent van Gogh, Hieronymus Bosch, to name a few. On this leisurely itinerary around Holland, you'll learn all about their legacies. Visit the region where van Gogh lived and worked, peek inside Vermeer's studio, revel in street art inspired by Bosch's fanciful paintings, and view masterpieces on exhibit at a museum inside Hoge Veluwe National Park. The tour isn't only about art, though — there's time set aside for boat tours, sampling Dutch cuisine, and cycling to the coast at your own pace.

Other popular travel destinations in The Netherlands
Amsterdam · Rotterdam · Leiden · The Hague · Dordrecht · Delft · Texel · Hoorn · Bergen · Utrecht · Gouda · Nijmegen · Terschelling