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SIGHT SEEING

The old city
The website of Citymarketing Haarlem (www.haarlemmarketing.nl, in Dutch) offers a number of brochures with walking routes passing several of Haarlems monuments. It is a very nice way of sight-seeing the city. You can download the brochures with route descriptions for free: click here>
The route descriptions are also available at the Tourist Information Center (VVV), situated in the city center opposite to the department store V&D, Verwulft 11.
A very popular walk through the city is the one leading you by typical Dutch "hofjes" (courtyard of almshouses). Haarlem used to have over 40 "hofjes". Currently there are still some 20 left, all of them populated. More information on the "hofjes" of Haarlem (e.g. openinghours) you can find in the brochure on internet: click here>

The cathedral "Grote of St. Bavo Kerk" , with its famous Müller-organ from 1768 is situated near the Grote Markt (Central Marketplace). Once this organ was played by the little 10-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! From June to August organ concerts are organized in the impressive church. The concerts (free entrance), are most often on Tuesday night and sometimes on Thursday night. Each July a multiday organ festival/concourse is organized.

On the other side of the church (at the Grote Markt) you can find the "Vishal", an exhibition space offering varying expositions of modern arts throughout the year. Entrance is free. At the Grote Markt also the entrance of the "De Hallen" museum is situated, also with various exhibitions of modern arts.
The most famous museum of Haarlem is the "Frans Hals" museum. The museum is situated in a typical historical small street called "Klein Heiligenland", with beautiful old facades and picturesque aleys. The museum accommodates paintings of Dutch master painters from the Golden Century, i.e. the well-known (militia)-paintings of the famous master painter Frans Hals from Haarlem.

Haarlem has more than fifteen museums, which all house unique collections. From paintings to barrel organs and from straitjackets to 18th century scientific machinery. The Teylers Museum, dating from 1784, is the oldest public museum in the Netherlands. Among many other museums, Het Dolhuys (the National Museum of Psychiatry) and the Historical Museum are also to be found in Haarlem.
Visit the websites of the museums for more information about current exhibitions:

Frans Hals Museum Dutch master painters from the Golden Century.
De Hallen Modern Art.
De Vishal Modern Art.
Teylers Museum Firts and oldest museum in the Netherlands (1784)
Het Dolhuys National Museum of Psychiatry.
Corrie ten Boomhuis Home of Corrie ten Boom, a hiding place from the nazis.
Historisch Museum Movie with special effects about the history of Haarlem (english spoken).
Draaiorgelmuseum Barrel organs.
Molen de Adriaan De Adriaan Windmill.

Haarlem is well know for its "Haarlemmer Olie" wonder oil. You can buy it at A.J. van der Pigge drugstore, address Gierstraat 3. The shop is well known for its "Gaper" in front of the building. It was used to indicate that the building is a pharmacy. The store is also well known for its original interior. It's worth visiting. In the same street you will find "De kunstboer"(Gierstraat 26) a gay-owned gift-shop.

To the beach
From the train station in Haarlem it takes about 15' to the popular beaches of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal aan Zee. The train arrives in the city center of Zandvoort. In summer season a bus shuttle takes you from there to Zandvoorts South-beach (nudebeach) or to the Beach of Bloemendaal aan Zee (also a nudebeach). Another possibility is to take bus line 80 or 81 from Haarlem train station direct to the beach of Bloemendaal aan Zee. The third, relaxed way to come to the beach is by bike. For only €10,00 per day a bike can be rented in Haarlem (Lange Herenstraat near train station, www.rentabikehaarlem.nl) or Zandvoort (Haltestraat, close to Zandvoorts train station, www.behindthebeach.nl). For more information on the route to the beach, please contact the Tourist Information in Haarlem: click here> or Zandvoort: click here>

In summer season particularly the beach of Bloemendaal aan Zee is very attractive for its many trendy beach parties in the beach- and lounge clubs. Well known and popular clubs are Woodstock 69, Beachclub Vroeger, Bloomingdale and De Republiek.

Zandvoorts South-beach is amongst Gay particularly popular for its large nude beach and the always crowded cruising area in the dunes. For more information about the nude beach: click here>

 

photo above:Frans Hals Museum Haarlem©2011GAY-HAARLEM.N