1. Hidden streets
One of the best things about Haarlem is that it’s small enough to explore on foot. My advice would be to get lost and walk down every little street and alley. You’re bound to find something special.
This street is situated in what is called “De Vijfhoek” (the five corners) area in Haarlem.
De Vijfhoek owes its name to the five streets that form a small square in the middle of the neighbourhood. Here you will also find the traditional Dutch pub, Cafe de Vijfhoek.
Korte Annastraat is known for its most adorable mural. It is a fantastical, child-like painting of “korte Anna’s” (short Anna’s) house, complete with farm animals, trees and flowers. I think there’s even a cow relaxing in a hammock.
If you want to see more unusual street art, walk to Kokstraat off the Bakenessergracht. Here you can see Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.
This small alley connects two streets with great historical significance in Haarlem: Klein Heiligland and Groot Heiligland.
Looking at this old photo, it seems that not much has changed. 😊 As the saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
2. Narrowest house in Haarlem
At Kleine Houtstraat 45 is a charming little building – the owners claim that this is the narrowest house in Haarlem.
Inside is Geomine, a geological bookstore which also sells rocks, minerals and fossils. Books are available in Dutch, English and German.
I also love the geological-themed wall on the side of the building on Gravinnesteeg.
2: CAKE AND FLOWERS
It wouldn’t be Saturday if you don’t head home with yummy treats and fresh flowers from the market. The biggest market is on the Grote Markt, the central market square of Haarlem, at the St. Bavo Church.
A bit further up is a smaller market at De Botermarkt. They both sell similar things but at De Botermarkt it isn’t as busy as the Grote Markt (in my experience).
I bought the most delicious vegan triple chocolate and carrot cake at De Botermarkt from De Spakenburgse Bakker.
At these prices (€6,50 for 4 slices), you should just take four and decide how to eat them later. However, I can guarantee that it won’t be such a difficult decision. 😅
The bakery also sells a wide selection of artisanal bread.
In Smedestraat near the Grote Markt I can also recommend Coffee Habits Speciality Coffee. This tiny café and takeaway coffee spot serves really good coffee. Grab your beverage at Coffee Habits and enjoy with a decadent sweet treat from the market. Bij Babette, Haarlem’s only English tearoom in Kruisstraat is also a fantastic spot for tea, scones or a light lunch.
The flower kiosk at the Grote Markt is a colour and fragrance explosion. This week I went with all pink! You can pay with cash or card when buying flowers.
If you’re at the Grote Markt, look out for an unusual modern sculpture on De Oude Groenmarkt, behind the St. Bavo Church. There’s an interesting story behind it.
Please let me know if you found all these spots! Did you find anything else on the way?
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Things to see and do in Haarlem: