This Haarlem has 2 A’s – In Photos

Right next door to Amsterdam is Haarlem – yet another little romantic city that charmed us in the Netherlands.

Nestled along the River Spaarne, the city was founded in the 10th century.  It is rich in both history and beauty.  The Grote Markt sits directly in the centre of town and the Sint Bavo Cathedral towers over it.  The “De Adriaan” windmill has been rebuilt after a fire in the 1930’s destroyed it (it took 70 years to rebuild it!). Countless restaurants and pubs line the cobble stone streets in the center, perfect for wandering and people watching. And the beaches of Zandvoort are a quick bus or bicycle trip away.

Haarlem in Netherlands


Haarlem Grote Markt Sint Bavo

 Haarlem De Adriaan windmill at sunset


Haarlem De Adriaan windmill


Haarlem River Spaarne at night


Haarlem riverfront at night

In 1658 the Dutch founded New Haarlem on Manhattan Island in the “New World”. In 1664, after the English capture of the settlement, they renamed it New York, but left the name of Haarlem in Netherlands.  Of course, to be more English, the spelling was changed by removing an “a”.

25 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • October 21 2011

    Keep the Haarlem photos coming!! I have very fond memories of this town. When I was there, me and a friend stayed with his grandmother in one of the canal-houses. It was great, except for the vertical staircase. These shots take me back!
    Phil recently posted..In Photos: Possibly Strange Sights in West Africa

    • Pete
      October 22 2011

      Thanks Phil! Glad to bring back some memories. I wish we would have found a house-sit on a house boat. Warren and Betsy with Married With Luggage found one in Amsterdam that would have been amazing.

  • October 21 2011

    Lovely work! We loved living in the Netherlands and would go back again in a heartbeat. It’s a beautiful country. So glad you’re enjoying it!
    Alison recently posted..Nine Things To Do in Cologne, Germany

    • Pete
      October 22 2011

      Thanks Alison, it really is a beautiful country. We can’t wait to return and explore more!

  • October 21 2011

    Oooh, that fourth photo of the windmill is AWESOME! When we make it to Amsterdam we’re definitely going to have to check out Haarlem (with the two A’s).

    • Pete
      October 22 2011

      If you do make it, we know a lovely little place to stay at, where the lady has bicycles to let you use and it’s super cheap.

  • Kim
    October 21 2011

    Wow, beautiful. Fantastic photos and a charming little town. Just one more place to add to my list, dammit.
    Kim recently posted..My Life With F Words: Fear and Faith

    • Pete
      October 22 2011

      Thanks Kim, you are not the only one with a long “to see” list, ours is out of control 🙂

  • October 22 2011

    Love the evening photos! I love little towns like this. Can’t wait to visit next time I’m in the Netherlands.
    Andrea recently posted..Travel Photo: Orvieto

  • Abby
    October 22 2011

    Amazing photos!! You do the best work… You’ve also convinced me that I need to go back to the Netherlands!

    • October 25 2011

      Thanks Abby! There is so much to see/do throughout the country – you’d love it! It really took us by surprise.

  • Alouise
    October 22 2011

    These photos are great. It looks like your photography just keeps getting better and better. Haarlem looks so pretty. I makes me want to go back to The Netherlands.

    • October 25 2011

      Thanks Alouise – we practice a lot on our photography, so I am glad to hear you think we are improving! Haarlem is a great city and definitely worth a stop the next time you are there.

  • I was going to tell you I love the first photo… and then the 2nd… and then the third… well, you get the idea. I can see why you loved this town so much.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Buenos Aires Odd Jobs: The Tour Guide Part 1

    • October 25 2011

      Thanks Stephanie! It’s a photographer’s dream!

  • October 25 2011

    Amazing how many people go to Amsterdam and never make it out of the city to see the ‘real’ Netherlands. I always advise people to check out either Haarlem or Utrecht, since they are so close. For the more adventurous, I recommend either Alkmaar, Edam or Enkhuizen.

    p.s. You guys should really check out the Aalsmeer Flower Auction while you are in Amsterdam. Ask about it at the VVV. I always recommend it to people, I, as of yet, know of no one who actually did it other than me. You do have to get up awfully early to catch the action (6AM) but it is so worth it. I’d love to see a real blogger’s perspective (and photos) of it.

    • October 25 2011

      Haarlem was such a pleasant stop, I hope more people do start to make it out there. And DAMN, but I wish I had known about the flower auction! Sadly, we have moved on from Amsterdam. Next time!

  • Patricia
    October 29 2011

    Seriously, besides being THE COOLEST couple ever…you have THE MOST AMAZING pictures! <3 p

    • Pete
      October 29 2011

      you are too kind. Thank you Patricia!! <3!!

  • October 31 2011

    i didnt know that the the dutch influenced the american harlem
    Zablon Mukuba recently posted..Volunteer in Africa

  • Deb
    November 3 2011

    Gorgeous photos. I had never even heard of Haarlem before today, but now I want to go.

    • Pete
      November 3 2011

      Thanks Deb, we had not heard of it either until actually reading it in Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There.

  • November 12 2011

    Wonderful photos of Haarlem. A have very fond memories of a visit to Holland a couple of years ago. Being a fairly small country it was easy to see a lot of it in a short space of time and the dutch are a very friendly lot. I particularly enjoyed the old churches and St Bavo Cathedral was awesome.
    travelyn recently posted..Terracotta Army | Emperor Qin

  • November 13 2011

    Great pictures of Haarlem. I’ve been there a hundred times and about 98 times it rained unfortunately 🙂 Never seen it that nice!!
    Sebastian recently posted..Best Pictures of Norway

  • December 11 2015

    We are so lucky to be living in Haarlem, we love your blog and didn’t know you had been here in the past. If you ever are back let us know and we will buy you a coffee and some friets! 😉

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