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Haarlem is a Dutch city located in the province of North Holland, about 20 kilometers west of Amsterdam. The city is located on the east bank of the Spaarne River.
Haarlem is a historic town founded in the 13th century. It experienced a period of prosperity in the sixteenth century, as a center for the production of quality fabrics, painting and printing. The city also played an important role during the Batave Revolution of 1795. Today, Haarlem is known for its cultural heritage, museums, festivals and art scene. According to the latest estimates, the population of Haarlem is around 160,000.
Haarlem is full of things to see and do. If you want to visit the city, here are some ideas: Grand Place (Grote Markt): The Grand Place is the heart of the historic city of Haarlem, lined with historic buildings, restaurants, cafes and shops. Saint-Bavon Cathedral (Sint-Bavokerk): This 14th century Gothic cathedral is famous for its monumental organ and stained glass windows. Frans Hals Museum: This art museum presents a collection of paintings by Dutch master Frans Hals and other artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Teylers Museum: This museum is the oldest museum in the Netherlands and presents a collection of sciences and arts. Haarlem Botanical Garden: This 18th century botanical garden is located in the city centre and features a wide variety of plants and trees. Haarlem Flower Market: This colourful market takes place every Monday and Saturday at the station square.
Haarlem hosts many events throughout the year, including the Haarlemse Bokbier Beer Festival. This annual event takes place in October and features the region’s brown beers. Then there is the Haarlem Jazz & More Music Festival: This jazz festival takes place in August and presents an international program. Finally, there is the city festival (Haarlemse Dag). This annual festival takes place in April and celebrates the history and culture of Haarlem.
If you want to go to Haarlem there are several options. The easiest and most convenient option is to drive there. Haarlem is about 20 minutes' drive from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The city is also accessible from the A9 and A200 motorways. However, it is important to note that downtown parking can be difficult and costly. Next, Haarlem is easily accessible by train from Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, The Hague and other cities in the Netherlands. Haarlem Train Station is located in the city centre, making travel easier. If you are a cycling enthusiast, you should know that the Netherlands is known for its cycling culture and Haarlem is no exception. The city is easily accessible by bike from nearby cities and has a well-developed cycling network. You can rent a bike in many places in Haarlem, including the train station. Whatever mode of transportation you choose, it is important to check schedules and fares before leaving.
If you decide to visit Haarlem by car, you need to know what your parking options are.
Haarlem has many car parks in the city center. Rates vary according to car parks and parking time. It is important to keep in mind that the city has many inhabitants but that it also welcomes many visitors every year, especially during events. To make sure you have parking, book your spot on the Parkimeter platform in advance and don’t worry about your car anymore. The second option is to park in paid parking areas. Indeed, in the city center of Haarlem, there are several paid parking areas called "blue zones" where it is allowed to park for a maximum of 2 hours with a parking disc (available in shops and gas stations). Rates vary by area.
There are places on the outskirts of the city center where parking is free, including along the Kennemer Plein, the Leidsevaart and the Schalkwijk district. However, it may be necessary to walk a little to reach the city center and also, not to find a place.
As in most cities in the Netherlands, Haarlem has also set up a low-emission area to improve air quality in the city center. This zone has been in effect since January 23, 2021 and concerns the most polluting vehicles. Pre-2006 diesel vehicles and pre-1990 gasoline vehicles are not permitted to operate in the low-emission area unless they have an exemption sticker. Electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles, as well as natural gas and propane vehicles, are permitted to operate without restriction. The low-emission area is marked with signs and motorists who do not follow the rules may be fined. It is important to note that the low emission area is constantly changing and can be adjusted for the air pollution levels measured. Visitors are therefore invited to check the latest information and rules before driving to Haarlem.