Haarlem De Adriaan windmill

This Haarlem has 2 A’s – In Photos

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

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”.

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  1. 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!

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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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