Haarlem, Netherlands (Holland) travel video


The historic city of Haarlem is one of the
most attractive destinations in the Netherlands. We’ll take you on many walks through the quiet
pedestrian lanes but watch out for the bicycles. It seems like half the population rides bicycles
so there are plenty of these two wheelers all over the place but the historic center
is a safe and quiet zone. Take a look on the map. I’ll show you the main neighborhoods you want
to have a look at when you’re visiting Haarlem. In the center the market square with the great
church towering over, and just below there is a series of pedestrian lanes lined with
shops and cafés that are very charming, and there are little side residential lanes here
as well. Two main museums, the Franz Halls collection
and the Tyler Museum, the oldest history museum in the country. And there’s a big canal that wraps around
the whole city. You’re probably arriving by train and is an
easy 10 minute walk from the station and all along you will find a nice variety of shops
every place you turn when you’re in Haarlem. Into the heart of town which is a network
of half a dozen pedestrian lanes all of which lead to the center, the Market Square with
the big church towering over it all. It’s one of the largest market squares in
the Netherlands and most days it’s wide open with sidewalk restaurants but on Saturday
morning there’s a big open market with all sorts of cheese, vegetables, clothing, knickknacks,
antiques for sale. That Saturday market is open from about 8
o’clock in the morning until after 4 PM so it’s a big day. You can have a look at the market that go
off to the shopping lanes and come back to the market. There’s so much to see that we have an entire
separate movie later to present all about that market. We will also take you inside the big church
on the market square. It’s called Grote Kerkand, and is one of the
largest in the country, and about four centuries old, built in the late Gothic style. As usual the area around the outside of a
big church is a very busy spot, the center of town, lots of bicycles whizzing by. It’s kind of a main bicycle lane right behind
the church connecting a couple of the major squares. It’s fascinating to see how many people the
family can put on a bicycle and this one’s packing an extra bike in the cart. Notice the baby hanging from dad, mom behind
and two in the cart, five people on that bike. This neighborhood behind and just south of
the church is really one of the most attractive parts of town – the way they’ve got those
tables set up and the outdoor café ambience, and the pedestrian lane going right through
the middle of it. It’s even more interesting than the main market
square on the other side of the church. This row of small buildings is actually attached
to the outside of the church – formerly it was residences and some shops and workshops
– now there’s a gelateria their. This is typical of the Dutch style of making
full use of their churches, not just for religious purposes but for the life of the society in
general, illustrated by this model on display inside the church. The ornately gabled structure of brick and
stone next door was the meat market, built in 1602, one of the finest Dutch Renaissance
style buildings in the nation. This plaza behind the church we have been
looking at is called the Old Green Market circled here in yellow on the map, and now
we’re venturing into the network of small pedestrian lanes. This charming block is a fine example of living
the good life outdoors in Haarlem. We’re here in late September, the weather
is perfect, it’s a very relaxed atmosphere with people enjoying drinks or a meal at the
sidewalk restaurants and pedestrian strolling by. Many of these buildings date back 400 years
to the 17th century when Haarlem was at its peak of prosperity. They were homes and workshops and warehouses
of the merchants. Today there are a lot of bars and restaurants
and then it becomes a shopping street. And this leads us right into perhaps the most
charming street in Haarlem and maybe the cutest lane in the country. Kleine Houstraat. Kleine Houstraat. Yep. Little House Street. [laughs] Exactly. It’s a small street with small privately owned
boutiques mostly, so it’s not like a big shopping street with big brands, but more specialized,
specialized boutiques, yeah. Unique. Unique, yeah, yeah. And the cafés, and the cafés, yeah. Same thing, yeah, same thing, yeah. The bigger street in the center is for the
bigger brands and the bigger stores, yeah, the white street, yeah. What’s the name of the street? It’s Grote Haustraat, the little, and big
[laughter]. It’s always encouraging to see locals out
sharing the street with you, it gives you an indication you’re onto something authentic. And you might have a quick chat. What’s the name of the store? Attitude, attitude, clothing store, yeah,
ladies clothing. No surprise you’ll find lots of ladies clothing
along the Little House Street, and yet there are such unique shops you’ll find something
different and unusual. They might be a little biased, but according
to the Tourist Information Office, Haarlem is the best shopping city in the Netherlands. And if you want more details about these shops
go to the tourism website where they list 640 shops in the center with detailed info
about each store listing address, websites, goods featured, and phone number contacts
with a widely diverse range of shops. This retail zone of Kleine Haustraat is only
400 m long and yet it might take you a few hours to browse your way through it. When you reach the busy cross street, which
used to be a canal, now filled in as the busy traffic street, you don’t need to go any further
on Kleine Haustraat, it’s residential on the southern extension, so turn back into the
pedestrian shopping zone for more fun. We are going to show you now all the different
shopping streets that you’d want to walk down, and then we will take you over to a quieter
residential district on the west side of town. You won’t get lost here because it’s a small
district and the streets are rather straight and run at right angles to each other, but
there’s plenty here to keep you busy for a full day just wandering around. Walk along some of these connecting streets
like Anegang, it’s almost like a wide shopping mall that joins up three of the other main
shopping streets. You’ll find the shoppers and workers are friendly
and ready to talk. How would you describe Haarlem for the visitor? Well Haarlem is like a village. It’s a town of course, 780 years, and it’s
not very crowded. You can walk on your own. In Amsterdam when you come on the street you
are moved. Here you walk alone. If you see Amsterdam and Haarlem, Haarlem
is very quiet and Amsterdam is very crowded. But we have a lot of old things. We have the oldest museum, the Tyler Museum,
on the Spaarne, yes. And of course we have the Franz Hals Museum,
a nice building, we have the great market with the enormous church, and a lot of things
to see. A lot of people say, well we stay in Amsterdam
but for one day we came to Haarlem and wow, what a beautiful city. No cars. No. No garage. No. Just bicycles. And that’s another difficulty – to park
your car, it’s not easy. But it’s quiet, those side lanes, yeah, yeah,
very quiet. There’s a lot of quiet places in and around
Haarlem. I am born in Haarlem and I’m glad to live
here, that’s great, yeah. The shop is called Camera Warehouse and if
you ever need any photo help or other kinds of information stop in – very friendly and
just two blocks south of the market square, very central. No doubt you find yourself winding back to
the market square several times as you walk around. All streets seem to lead there and from the
square you can easily head on out to the big shopping street, Grote Haustraat, the lane
with all the big famous chain stores and plenty of quirky little boutiques. You could easily visit Haarlem as a day trip
from Amsterdam which is just 15 minutes away by train with frequent train service every
10 minutes between the cities. However if you come on daytrip you’re probably
not going to be getting to the ends of some of the shopping lanes and into the interesting
little back streets or to the museums. If you spend a night or two you’ll have plenty
of time. Unlike Little House Street the Big House Street
does extend beyond the busy street here with a lot more shops all the way down to a canal,
so keep on going to notice this interesting clock arch. It’s undoubtedly the main shopping lane and
you will notice some familiar stores. Just because the city is 800 years old and
has many buildings dating to the 16th century doesn’t mean they have to be old-fashioned. Eventually you get to the end at Gasthuisvest
and now you’ll find out were all the cars have been hiding. There are busy bus lanes and cars going by,
so watch it as you cross over. Take time out for a snack or lunch as I did
at Blender, a very friendly and popular spot with great service and a lot of healthy organic
food. Across the street you’ll find the main canal
of Haarlem which extends all the way around the old town in a big loop. Part of the waterway is the river Spaarne
and the rest is a man-made canal. This typical bridge can be passed by most
of the pleasure craft, but some are a little too high and so the bridge has to come up,
it’s a drawbridge. You find this all over the country – people
on the roadway just wait their turn and the bridge operator pushes a button, the bridge
comes up, the boat goes through, bridge goes back down again and the traffic resumes. The canal has a variety of recreation users
including some standup paddle borders gliding along quite serenely. Many Dutch towns have several canals running
right through the middle of them, but in Haarlem the canal goes around the outside of the old
town. Here the city center is streets for bicycles
and pedestrians. A delightful aspect of most Dutch towns is
the corner bar, a place for the neighbors to get together, and visitors, and have a
beer and conversation, maybe have dinner. This cat is on duty guarding the entrance
to a residential compound where the public is welcome to have a look. One of the many traditional Dutch elements
found here is the “hofje”. This is the courtyard housing for senior citizens
and you find these kinds of institutions throughout the country. In Haarlem there are about 20 of these senior
residential compounds and they have got a history going back hundreds of years. This traditional form of senior housing got
started back in the 14th century as a kind of charity that was funded by religious, wealthy
people who wanted to take care of the poor and also earn credits for themselves for getting
into heaven. We’ll see a couple more in a few minutes. Typical of the Dutch pattern, you have a lot
of housing on these quiet little side streets that are mostly for pedestrians. Cars can come through occasionally for delivery
or pick up but otherwise it’s for people and bicycles – a quiet neighborhood in the center
of town. It’s a very efficient use of land while creating
dynamic neighborhood. You have shops, groceries and entertainment
nearby, while living in peace. The name of the street is Breestrat. I like it because it’s quiet – you can sit
here, I can have my wine, something and I watch the people. And your three blocks away from the, from
the supermarket and the shops everything, and my children, my children live 10 minutes,
five minutes from here. Many streets like this, maybe 100 streets
like this. Yes, yes. All over Haarlem – it’s so well-planned. It’s the old style the old plan. Yes this is the old plan. You have the street, you see that one? That’s themLange Raamstraat. Oh, okay. And that’s also a small lane. All the streets here in the neighborhood are. How many years you live here? 35 years, 35 years, in this house, wow, in
the same place you like it. You get around by bicycle? Yes. You can come by car here. But the bike is faster, easier. If I go to my work with the bike it’s only
one stoplight, but if I go with the car, six. Laughter. So it’s faster by bike. So, it’s faster by bicycle. Well thank you very much for this information. You are welcome, laughter. The people here are friendly. Laughter. So, cheers. Haarlem actually is a pretty tiny, small village
within a city. It’s very hospitable here. And you’re now actually in the center of Haarlem. It’s a really village feel – it’s like – I
know most of the people that are living here, because everybody knows each other, in the
center, in the center everybody knows. Yeah like the Jordaan, Jordaan. This is actually called the Jordaan of Haarlem. You’re in the midst of it and this is a café,
theVijfhoek, which is a bar that is filled with locals. So when you go in the center, the center of
Haarlem you’ve got a big market, you know that? Yeah the Grot Markt, the big place. And this is really for the locals where we
hang out. Well you got Harlem in New York. It’s actually deferred from Haarlem, this
city, with double a. So you’ve got, you’ve got Haarlem. Brooklyn is Breukkelen. You know Brooklyn? I live in Brooklyn. You lived in Brooklyn? The original name of Brooklyn is Breukkelen. Oh. It’s a city and Holland actually, and New
York was New Amsterdam. These historic neighborhoods have been functioning
very well for hundreds of years. Holland developed a relatively dense settlement
pattern that produced these very pleasant neighborhoods because half this country was
a big swamp, and so therefore the people clustered together in their little villages, and they
gradually drained out the marshes and created dryland. Another example of the traditional hofje with
its garden center and cluster of apartments around it, nicely protected by a wall, keep
the tourist out. Some of them are open to the public, some
not. A few modern apartments in the center keep
that same pattern of a garden courtyard. This hofje has a very inconspicuous entry. It looks like a private door but it’s open
during the daytime to visitors, so step on in you are welcome to have a look at the garden,
but don’t make any disturbing noises Just outside this one is the lively Botermarkt
square with a bunch of sidewalk cafés and outdoor bars. At the end of this you’ll find yet another
of the pedestrian lanes of the city, Gierstraat, which changes names here to Koningstraat. And now we have shown you all of the major
pedestrian lanes of Haarlem, and so you can see this is a marvelous town to come and visit
– for more than a day, it’s worth a night or two. With a population just over 150,000 it’s large
enough to offer a lot of variety and attractions and has got that great history. Parts of town are really buzzing with activity
– people out on the street – while other parts are more laid-back. And yet it’s small enough to create that cozy
village feeling. People here seem to be in less of a rush than
in the big cities and more likely to stop and have a chat. One of the most popular gathering spots is
a former church that’s been converted to a bar and outdoor terrace café – Jopenkerk
with a microbrewery inside carrying on centuries-old tradition when beer making was a large part
of the Haarlem economy. The bars of town function like communal living
rooms where people gather at the end of the day, have a drink along with endless conversations. At the end I remind you that Haarlem is only
15 minutes away from Amsterdam by train and well worth a visit. There will be many more episodes about the
Netherlands and several more movies about Haarlem. We will take you into a couple of great museums,
the Frans Hals and Teyler. And we’ll take you to that big outdoor market
filled with produce, cheese, clothing and all sorts of great stuff. Stay tuned. Take a look at our YouTube channel and be
sure to subscribe so you can be notified about our frequent uploads

78 Replies to “Haarlem, Netherlands (Holland) travel video

  1. Very nice video and hope to visit here next year. Q: How is the internet access around this areas? Is it available everywhere? How about the public toilet? Thank you.

  2. Very nice city where I had the chance to visit the historic center last September. Spent a day there while being in Amsterdam. Just loved it.

  3. 18:02  This distance Haarlem – Amsterdam was the first one in the Netherlands that could be taken by train. Halfway there was and still is a place called Halfweg…

  4. if you will visit again, try visiting the provinces Friesland and Zealand, and the Hanseatic League cities of old in the east; Kampen, Dalfsen, Swollen etc.

  5. Far better and genuine than the majority of other tourist info videos about The Netherlands indeed! Deserve at least a 5 digit number of viewers.
    By the way, regarding the bicycle friendly infrastructure and history in The Netherlands (and comparisons with other countries),  a lot of detailled info videos via this channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/markenlei

  6. Some other places to visit in the Netherlands:
    Maastricht, Alkmaar, Deventer, Zutphen, Amersfoort, Middelburg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Breda, Utrecht, Leiden, Delft, Hoorn and Enkhuizen.
    To name just a few.

  7. Half the population owns a Bike?? You better say, everybody has one or more bikes. In The Netherlands the quantity of Bikes is around 21 million and people around 16,5 million.

  8. Cat reminded me of a little but nice fact about Holland. We don't have stray cats or dogs or any animal. Sure we have animal shelters, but if a cat wonders in to your house, someone is looking for it.

  9. Spent 4 days in Harlem last week. What a lovely little town,really beautiful. Much better than Amsterdam.
    Some nice coffee shops too. I will be back again.

  10. You do a really good job at presenting our country from an outside point of view. Nice footage and good solid information. I hope more people see your videos.

  11. I will be traveling with my family in the month of August to Amsterdam. i need some help if you could suggest me a hotel at the centre where we could stay and move around the place. i will be in Amsterdam for 7days . is it possible if i stay all the days in Haarlem,
    would it be feasible to go around by train for day trip to Amsterdam, delft .Also please recommend some good places to visit. i want to see the windmills, tulip farms, a few that i know. many thanks advance .

  12. Great video, I will visit the Netherlands in a couple of weeks and Haarlem is on my list mainly for Franz Hal museum but you'v shown me many other thing to see, thank you.

  13. Found this video while reading "The Hiding place." This city is where the Ten Boom family lived and hid the Jews from Nazi Germany.

  14. It's too bad that tourists think they've seen Holland city life (I really mean Holland, not The Netherlands) if they've been in Amsterdam. Haarlem is much more representative for it. For a city tourism is a good thing, but Amsterdam is an example that it can be too much and even disturbing. Haarlem doesn't have those problems, and that's the reason why I prefer shopping in Haarlem and skip Amsterdam.

  15. Dennis als a NYorker you didn.t know all the dutch names in NY. Founded by the Dutch. Harlem, Brooklyn, Utrecht, Flushing, Nw Amsterdam, Bronx, you have tot study those , haha

    Enjoying your youtube films

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