Haarlem Culture & history

Our most recommended Haarlem Culture & history

Haarlem: Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

1. Haarlem: Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

Explore the Spaarne river on a sightseeing cruise. Stay comfortable aboard ships that are semi-open in the summer and fully-heated and covered in the winter. Get carried away on the Spaarne river and see the city center and the Unicorn and Adriaan windmills from the water. Check in at the activity provider's office and board the river boat. Settle into your chair and have the option to purchase snacks and drinks as you sail along. Capture pictures of the 18th-century Adriaan windmill. Glide past the historic Waag weigh house. Take in views of the Teylers Museum of art, natural history, and science. Make your way past colorful houseboats and verdant parks as you go towards Heemstede. Go by the 17th-century Unicorn windmill before heading back to the starting point of your cruise.

Haarlem: Windmill De Adriaan Guided Tour

2. Haarlem: Windmill De Adriaan Guided Tour

Molen de Adriaan is a working windmill including a museum. The museumpart shows you the development of various types of mills, such as polder mills, flour mills, oil mills and sawmills. The sawmills were instrumental for war and trade ships with which the VOC reached the globe. Molen de Adriaan started to function in 1778 as trasmolen (cement for Roman mortar), in 1802 it was sold to be used as tobacco snuff mill. In 1865 it was converted in to a double grainmill, with wind- and steam power. The introduction of electrical power meant the end of most Dutch windmills. In 1932 the Adriaan burnt down and it took 70 years before it was rebuilt as a wotking grain mill. The Adriaan is a landmark at the river Spaarne very near the centre of Haarlem. In the milling loft below the top you can see the millstones with which grain can be grounded into flour. The flour loft below the stone floor is where the flour is put into bags. Outside on the balcony you are close to the wings and can enjoy the beautiful view of Haarlem at 12 meters height. When a miller is in De Adriaan and with enough wind you will enjoy the turning wings. The span of the wings is 26 meters. Please be aware, that the tour is in English and Dutch. Other languages will be provided with a handout to learn while being on the tour. For safety reasons, you can only go upstairs accompanied by a tour guide.

Haarlem: Teylers Museum Entry Ticket

3. Haarlem: Teylers Museum Entry Ticket

Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon, Einstein, and so many others with this admission ticket to the first museum in the Netherlands, The Teylers Museum. Walk through the stunning antique interiors and gain access to the temporary and permanent exhibitions of art and collectibles within. Exchange your admission ticket at the front office and enter a world dedicated to art and science. Be in awe of the preservation of the space as you stroll through one of the most beautiful 18th century interiors in the world. Visit the various exhibitions on display showcasing valuable artefacts of art, coins, metals, instruments, books, fossils, and minerals. Walk amongst work of the greats as you admire art created by names such as Michelangelo, Räfael, and various selections of work from the Hague School. Receive access to the Pieter Teyler House, an additional wing of the museum that is included in this admission ticket. Be in awe of some of the best-preserved historical interiors from the 18th-century Netherlands.

From Amsterdam: Haarlem Private Day-Trip

4. From Amsterdam: Haarlem Private Day-Trip

Along with your friendly, local guide, enjoy an authentic Haarlem experience on a personalized tour. Explore this picturesque city’s history, culture, and fantastic food scene as you’re led down quaint streets (those off the well-trodden tourist trail) flanked by grand architecture. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Meet your host at Amsterdam Station (or directly in Haarlem) and begin to explore this university town, an enchanting hub of leafy courtyards, gabled houses, and monuments dating back almost 800 years. Walk along tranquil canals and explore Haarlem’s quaint cobbled streets, straight from the pages of a storybook, while marvelling at grand gothic-style churches and turning down the lesser-known streets and exploring hidden gems. Peer into cosy bars, fine cafes, and the unique stores that have given Haarlem a reputation as one of the world’s best shopping cities. Visit Molen de Adriaan, a traditional windmill and a striking feature of Haarlem’s skyline for centuries. See the monumental Grote Kerk, a Protestant church in the city center that’s home to a world-famous gilded organ and a treasure trove of medieval art. Join locals browsing stalls selling fresh produce, local cheeses, clothes, and antiques at Grote Markt, an authentic taste of the day-to-day life of Haarlem’s people, and admire the grand buildings lining even the quietest of streets. Of course, in a city famed for having the best museums in the Netherlands, it would be a crime not to explore them. The Frans Hals Museum is always an excellent choice. Your itinerary can be personalized according to your preferences. Once you’ve booked, someone from the local partner's team will be in touch so arrange any preferences or special requirements.

Frequently asked questions about Haarlem

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Other Sightseeing Options in Haarlem

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What people are saying about Haarlem

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

It is a trip from mill to mill, so there are only 2. Because the weather was warm that day, it is always wonderful to sail. But it is different from other cities with many canals in and around the city, where you see many monuments, that is not the case here. You pass a few old buildings, but not many. The guide could tell well, interspersed by an audio system.

It was amazing how this museum, with the extraordinary experts work here, can united people and can make the time stop. For me it was moment of turning to myself and also to open my mind for the important things. The power of the knowledge and the wisdom of the memory.

You can also see sides of Haarlem that you otherwise only get to see to a limited extent as a tourist and can get a first impression. However, if you want to experience the sights of Haarlem, you should do the Haarlem Boat Tour.

Very pleasant cruise along the Sparne around Haarlem. Despite the oppressive heat, our guide was always ready to provide interesting and helpful explanations in Dutch and English about the places we passed along the route.

Nice boat trip, we had a very enthusiastic captain.