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What is life like in Haarlem, a beautiful town in the Netherlands?

Haarlem is one of the most beautiful old towns in the Netherlands, offering a wealth of historic buildings and monuments and a vibrant community of 150,000 inhabitants. Although it is the second largest city in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, the capital of the province of Noord-Holland and has a truly cosmopolitan feel, it is still a city of comfortable proportions.

Beautiful, historic city centre

Haarlem, often compared to a miniature version of Amsterdam, has a similarly picturesque old-world charm, with cobbled streets, winding waterways and gabled houses. Rich in historic architecture, the city is vibrant with culture, nightlife, top restaurants and some of the best shopping streets in the country. All this living history also inspires many entrepreneurial visions, with young digital companies and agencies attracted to Haarlem. Haarlem reflects much of what Amsterdam has to offer, but on a smaller scale. With striking architecture that inspired the painters of the Golden Age and a cosy, rural atmosphere, the city truly captures the meaning of the Dutch word gezellig.

Getting around Haarlem

The residential areas in this compact city are well connected to the centre, so distances to travel are minimal (just a short bike ride away). The city is opposite the North Sea beaches (easy to reach by bike), and Amsterdam city centre is just a 15-minute train ride away.

Excellent restaurants and fashion boutiques

The elegant city centre is considered the shopping capital of the Netherlands, offering international designer fashion, chain shops, independent boutiques and stylish interior design shops. The gastronomic culture is also extremely strong. There is a wide selection of restaurants and cafes, and new establishments are opening all the time, spurred on by the entrepreneurial spirit of the city.

Culture and creativity in Haarlem

Discover artistic and scientific masterpieces at the Teylers Museum, masterpieces of the Golden Age at the Frans Hals Museum and lose yourself in top-quality culture at other monumental theatres, concert halls and galleries.

International schools Haarlem

The International School Haarlem is located nearby. This is a school that offers education at primary level and has been expanded to include secondary school as of 2018. There are also schools in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Haarlemmermeer in the area.

Social diversity

Haarlem’s large international community has many well-established groups such as expatsHaarlem, an English-speaking social and business network that provides support services for international newcomers and organises frequent community events. Weekly markets on the Botermarkt, the Haarlem Jazz & More festival, food markets and Christmas markets are just some of the events that create a sense of community. Not to forget the numerous museums, theatres, concert halls and cinemas. When it comes to eating and drinking, Haarlem’s wide selection of bars and restaurants follow international food trends, have English menus and English-speaking staff.

Moving to Haarlem

Haarlem is the perfect location for locals who want to be close to both Amsterdam’s bustling city centre, the beach and the countryside. If you want to move to a quiet, picturesque town from which you can move to the centre of entertainment at any time in no time, then Haarlem is the place for you. Take a look at our range of removal companies, pack your bags and move to the place of your dreams without any unnecessary stress.