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Solo travel to Haarlem / Netherlands as Solo Traveller.

Exploring Haarlem: A Solo Woman Traveller’s Guide

Getting to Know Haarlem

Welcome to Haarlem, a charming city located in the Netherlands, just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam. Haarlem may be less known than its famous neighbor, but it is bursting with cultural treasures, historical sites, and plenty of opportunities for solo women travelers to have a memorable experience. Join me as I take you through the must-see attractions and hidden gems of this enchanting city. Let’s get started!

Staying Safe as a Solo Woman Traveler

Before we dive into the wonders of Haarlem, let’s address the elephant in the room: safety. Haarlem is generally a safe city for everyone, including solo women travelers. However, it’s always important to take precautionary measures no matter where you go. Stick to well-lit and crowded areas, especially at night, and trust your instincts. Always keep your belongings close to you and stay aware of your surroundings. Now that we have that covered, let’s embark on our Haarlem adventure!

Exploring Haarlem’s Historical Sights

The Grote Markt

Start your Haarlem journey at the heart of the city, the Grote Markt. This lively square is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings, including the impressive St. Bavo’s Church. Marvel at the stunning architecture and make sure to visit the church’s interior, which houses the world-famous Müller organ. Climb the church tower for a breathtaking view of the city that will leave you in awe.

The Frans Hals Museum

Art enthusiasts will not want to miss a visit to the Frans Hals Museum. Named after the renowned Dutch Old Master, this museum showcases an extensive collection of Golden Age Dutch paintings. Admire masterpieces by Frans Hals and other influential artists of the era. The museum also organizes fascinating temporary exhibitions that provide unique insights into Dutch history and culture.

Haarlem’s Hidden Gems

The Courtyard Garden

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility in the Courtyard Garden. Tucked away behind the streets of Haarlem, this hidden gem offers a peaceful retreat framed by beautiful flowers and greenery. Bring a book, relax, and enjoy the serene atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for some self-reflection and rejuvenation during your solo adventure.

The Teylers Museum

The Teylers Museum is a true hidden treasure. As the oldest museum in the Netherlands, it boasts an eclectic collection that ranges from fossils and natural history to rare books and manuscripts. Step back in time as you explore the meticulously preserved interiors of this unique museum. It’s an exceptional experience that will transport you to a different era.

Indulging in Haarlem’s Culinary Delights

The City’s Best Pancakes

A visit to Haarlem would not be complete without indulging in the city’s famous pancakes. Visit one of the local pancake houses and savor these delightful treats in all their delicious glory. From sweet to savory options, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Don’t forget to pair your pancakes with a cup of traditional Dutch hot chocolate for the ultimate culinary experience.

The Beer Culture

Beer enthusiasts will appreciate Haarlem’s thriving beer culture. Treat yourself to a visit to Jopenkerk, a former church transformed into a brewery. Sample a wide variety of craft beers while enjoying the spacious and vibrant surroundings. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live brewing demonstration. It’s a perfect spot to sit back and relax while immersing yourself in the local beer scene.

Meeting Fellow Travelers and Locals

Haarlem is a city known for its warm and friendly atmosphere. If you’re seeking connections with fellow travelers or locals, pay a visit to one of the many cozy cafes or bars in the city center. Strike up a conversation over a cup of freshly brewed coffee or enjoy a local beer while sharing travel stories. The locals are known for their hospitality and are often happy to provide recommendations, making this an excellent opportunity to make new friends and create lasting memories.

Saying Goodbye to Haarlem

As your Haarlem adventure comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the wonderful experiences you’ve had in this captivating city. Haarlem offers the perfect blend of history, culture, and a warm welcoming atmosphere for solo women travelers. I hope this guide has helped you navigate this marvelous destination with ease and confidence. Until next time, safe travels and may your future journeys be as enriching as this one!

Accommodation Options in Haarlem for Solo Women Travelers

1. Hotel Die Raeckse

Located in the heart of Haarlem, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.

2. Stayokay Haarlem

A budget-friendly hostel located near the city center, offering dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities.

3. Boutique Hotel Staats

Situated in a historic building, this boutique hotel offers stylish rooms and personalized service.

4. Joops City Centre Hotel

Centrally located, this hotel provides convenient access to Haarlem’s main attractions and cozy rooms.

5. Haarlem HolaHostel

A modern and lively hostel located within walking distance of popular sights, offering both dormitory and private rooms.

6. Camping De Lakens

Set in a beautiful natural area near the beach, this campsite offers camping spots and caravan options.

Must-See Places in Haarlem

1. Grote Markt

Located in the city center, this historic square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and lively cafes.

2. Frans Hals Museum

Discover the works of famous Dutch painter Frans Hals in this art museum, showcasing his impressive portraits.

3. Teylers Museum

Be amazed by the world’s oldest public museum, featuring a diverse collection of art, science, and natural history.

4. Haarlem Cathedral (Saint Bavokerk)

Visit the stunning Gothic cathedral known for its impressive organ and beautiful stained glass windows.

5. Corrie ten Boom House

Explore the home of Corrie ten Boom, a brave woman who helped Jews during WWII, and learn about her inspiring story.

6. Haarlemse Hofjes (Courtyards)

Wander through the charming hidden courtyards scattered throughout Haarlem, providing peaceful green oases.

7. Amsterdamse Poort

Admire the last remaining city gate of Haarlem, dating back to the 14th century, and learn about its historical significance.

8. De Adriaan Windmill

Climb to the top of this iconic windmill for a panoramic view of Haarlem and learn about its importance in milling history.

9. Haarlemmerhout

Enjoy a stroll or a picnic in this lovely city park, dating back to the 13th century and boasting beautiful scenery.

10. Ten Kate Markt

Experience the vibrant atmosphere of this local market, offering a variety of fresh produce, cheese, and other delights.

Favorite Foods to Eat in Haarlem

1. Stroopwafel

The stroopwafel is a famous Dutch treat loved by locals and tourists alike. It consists of two thin waffles that are sandwiched together with a caramel-like syrup filling. The waffle is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, making it a delightful sweet snack. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or tea for a perfect break during your visit to Haarlem.

2. Raw Herring

A unique and traditional Dutch delicacy, raw herring is a must-try for adventurous food lovers. The herring is usually served with onions and pickles. To eat it in the traditional way, hold the fish by its tail, tilt your head back, and let the herring slide into your mouth. It may sound unusual, but the flavor and texture can be surprisingly enjoyable.

3. Bitterballen

Bitterballen are small, deep-fried meat-based snacks often enjoyed with a glass of beer. The crispy outer layer hides a creamy and flavorful filling made from a mixture of beef or veal broth, meat, and spices. These bite-sized treats are perfect for sharing with friends while enjoying a cozy evening at a local pub or bar in Haarlem.

4. Dutch Cheese

Netherlands is renowned for its cheese, and Haarlem is no exception. Indulge in a variety of Dutch cheeses, such as Gouda, Edam, or Maasdammer, to experience the rich and distinct flavors. Many cheese shops in Haarlem offer cheese tasting, allowing you to sample different types before purchasing your favorites. Don’t forget to pair the cheese with some delicious Dutch bread or crackers.

5. Poffertjes

Poffertjes are small, fluffy pancakes typically served with butter and powdered sugar. These mini pancakes are a popular street food in Haarlem and can be enjoyed as a sweet treat or a quick breakfast option. The soft texture and sweet flavor of poffertjes make them an irresistible and comforting snack during your visit to Haarlem.

Daily Costs for Solo Travellers in Haarlem

Food

– Average cost for a meal at a budget restaurant: €10-15
– Mid-range three-course meal for two at a typical restaurant: €50-60
– Fast food combo meal: €7-10
– Basic groceries (per week): €30-40

Stay

– Budget hotel/hostel per night: €40-70
– Mid-range hotel per night: €80-120
– Airbnb (shared room): €30-60 per night
– Airbnb (entire apartment): €70-120 per night

Transportation

– Public transportation ticket (one-way): €3
– One-day unlimited public transportation pass: €7.50
– Short taxi trip within the city: €10-15
– Bike rental (per day): €10-15

Safety for Women Solo Travellers in Haarlem

General Safety

– Haarlem is considered a safe city for both locals and tourists.
– The crime rate is relatively low, with mostly minor crimes reported.
– It is advisable to take general precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and not displaying valuable items openly.

Night Safety

– Haarlem has a vibrant nightlife, and the city center is usually safe to explore at night.
– Stick to well-lit and populated areas when walking alone at night.
– It is recommended to use public transportation, taxis, or ride-sharing services when returning to your accommodation late at night.

Street Harassment

– While street harassment can occur in any city, it is generally infrequent in Haarlem.
– If faced with harassment, confidently and firmly assert your boundaries.
– If necessary, seek help from nearby establishments or bystanders.

Local Customs and Etiquette

– In general, Haarlem residents are friendly and respectful.
– It is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting religious or cultural sites.
– Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions to show respect and avoid any unintentional offense.