Haarlem, just a 20 km away from Amsterdam, is the centre of flower growing district and export point! But the city is known not just by its flowers but also amazing old city centre and lovely Spaarne river. Haarlem is also the home town of the first class Dutch painters like Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Adriaen van Ostade ! The city's history dates back to 10th Century and a little fun fact: the New York's famous neighbourhood, Harlem, is named after here!
You can reach the city from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and then with a train ride or by a bus. You can travel inside the city with a bike, a bus or simply by walking!
The first stop should be the old Grote Markt. In this main square, the old and massive Grote Kerk or Saint Bavo Church will welcome you at first. The Church was built between 1895 to 1930 and became the main church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam. It is still in use and inside the church, there is also a cute museum where you can see artefacts from Haarlem's Catholic past. In Grote Markt, you can not only see this amazing church, but also enjoy a cake and coffee in many cafes in here! You can also see the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster who was a pioneer of book printing and very special person for Haarlem.
For the museums, you should definitely must visit the Frans Hals Museum first! Frans Hals is the iconic Dutch Golden Age painter and in this museum, you can find lots of painting by Frans Hals himself as well as other incredible painters from Dutch Golden Age!
Another important museum is the Teyler's Museum, which is the oldest museum in the Netherlands. This museum has an interesting collection of an amazing paintings and drawings, including works by Rembrandt and Michelangelo but not only that, it also has a great collection of fossils, minerals and antique scientific instruments, medals, coins and many more!
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