And we’re back with another video! Yes, WE. And yes, Haarlem, of all places. They call it Amsterdam’s wiser older brother and the city is a calmer version of its sibling. The description is both accurate and not. Haarlem is, indeed, an older city, officially dating back to 1245 (Amsterdam became a city only fifty-five years later.) But despite comparisons with the capital, Haarlem has enough unique gems to make it one of a kind. With a Neo-Romanesque cathedral from where you can see both dragons and the beach – the Cathedral of Saint Bavo (or Koepelkathedraal). With the oldest museum in The Netherlands, also dubbed the Museum of Wonder – The Teylers. With a brewery in a church – the Jopenkerk. Among many others.
I think Haarlem’s proximity to Amsterdam often makes people overlook it as a destination for leisure. A fifteen-minute train ride doesn’t scream adventure. What I have learned is that the city is perfect for slow travelers and staycations. I’m specifically thinking of reading sessions in its former almshouses of lush courtyards (or hofjes) which are open to the public, strolls around its picturesque cobblestone quarters such as the Vijfhoek, and a non-crowded canal cruise in the river Spaarne.
If your budget allows for a splurge, and you fancy old-school hotel charm, definitely try the Carlton Square, where I stayed. If you prefer to book an apartment, you might want to have a look at these options.
For me, this exploration was all about team-work. My good friend Jan Arsenovic came along to a glorious full Haarlem day curated by Visit Haarlem + Amsterdam & Partners. Disclaimer: this is not sponsored content, however the experiences were their courtesy. We filmed everything: from our very instagrammable shots in majestic interiors to drinking two cocktails simultaneously and posing in underwear in the hotel room; everything got registered on video. That masterpiece is up on my YouTube channel, to which you ought to subscribe. You also ought to let us know your thoughts.
Part 2 to this saga took place in Dutch Planet Flower aka Aalsmeer, check it out!
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