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Haarlem is the provincial capital of North Holland, situated in one of the most populated metropolitan area in Europe, and has a rich history dated from pre-medieval times.

The city’s name is composed by three elements: Haar-lo-heim which means in old Dutch: “Home on forest dune”.

During 14th century Haarlem became a major city, enforcing tolls on trade ships sailing on the Spaarne river.

A high wall was constructed around the city to make it fortified. One of its famous gates, the “Amsterdamse poort”, is a live visible remains of the old times.

After the Leiden-Haarlem canal (which go through the tulips fields) was open, it became popular amongst Tulips traders.


The Haarlemeerhout is the oldest public park in The Netherlands; rumors has it that Napoleon’s army carved their initials on the trees.

Duration: 4-5 Hours. Mileage: 40km round bike trip.


Grote Markt: Haarlem's Market square in the heart of the old town. The wide handed square is surrounded by the great church (Built 16th century, 460ft high), town's hall, the old guards headquarters and statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster (purported inventor of a printing press).

De Adriaan: A windmill built in 1779, burned down and rebuilt. It used to produce cement, paint and tanbark (type of tree). Later it was converted into tobacco production.

Amsterdamse poort: A gate built in 1355 and is the only remaining city gate from Haarlem's middle ages defense structures.

Cathedral of Saint Bavo: A cathedral built in 1895 and has an historical museum of Haarlem's catholic past.

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