The 2 Best Boat Trips in Haarlem

Located in the western Netherlands, Haarlem is a charming city that boasts a rich history and plenty of things to do. With its stunning canals and waterways, taking a boat tour or cruise is undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore this beautiful city. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing sightseeing cruise or an adventure-packed water activity, Haarlem has something for everyone. Join us as we take a look at some of the best boat tours and cruises that Haarlem has to offer, and get ready to set sail on an unforgettable journey.

The 2 Best Boat Trips in Haarlem

  1. Haarlem 50 Minute Sightseeing Canal Cruise
  2. Haarlem Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

The 2 Best Boat Trips in Haarlem

1. Haarlem 50 Minute Sightseeing Canal Cruise

Experience and discover the beautiful historic city center of Haarlem from a unique perspective as you cruise around the Old Town’s canals on a 50-minute cruise. A professional skipper will meet you in the city center, and after boarding the boat, you will embark on a journey of discovery that showcases Haarlem’s unique architecture, picturesque buildings, and romantic canals.

During the 50-minute cruise, you will have the opportunity to admire beautiful attractions such as the Molen de Adriaan, the Teylers hofje, the Frans Hals Museum, and the Jopenkerk. You can also relax onboard the heated luxury canal cruise boat and enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks in the company of an experienced crew.

This is an excellent opportunity to explore the historic Haarlem Canal Belt and admire unique views of the city directly from the water.

2. Haarlem Dutch Windmill and Sightseeing Spaarne River Cruise

Explore the beautiful city of Haarlem and its surroundings with a river cruise on the Spaarne river. With comfortable semi-open boats in the summer, and fully-heated and covered options in the winter months, this sightseeing tour allows you to take in the stunning Dutch windmills including the Unicorn and Adriaan, as well as sights such as the Waag weigh house and the Tylers Museum from a unique perspective. The boat tour also offers the option to purchase delicious snacks and drinks as you glide through the city center of Haarlem. Hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as a skipper, are included in the tour, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Haarlem

Haarlem is a beautiful city in the Netherlands, known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural attractions. If you’re planning a trip to Haarlem, you may have some questions about what to expect. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Haarlem to help you plan your perfect trip.

1. What is the best time of year to visit Haarlem?

Haarlem is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. If you’re looking for warm weather and outdoor activities, summer is the best time to visit. The months of June through August are the warmest and sunniest, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 22°C.If you’re interested in visiting Haarlem during its infamous tulip season, then the best time to visit would be in April or early May. During this time, the Keukenhof Gardens are open and you can see the beautiful tulip fields in full bloom.

2. What are some must-see attractions in Haarlem?

Haarlem has many beautiful attractions that you should add to your itinerary. Some of the top attractions include:

  • The Frans Hals Museum, which features Dutch Golden Age artworks
  • The Grote Markt, a beautiful square in the heart of Haarlem
  • The Teylers Museum, one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands
  • The St. Bavo’s Church, a stunning Gothic church with a beautiful organ

3. How do I get around Haarlem?

Haarlem is a very walkable city, and you can easily explore its attractions on foot. However, if you need to go further afield, you can use public transport. The most common modes of public transport in Haarlem are buses and trains. There are also several bike rental companies in Haarlem, which is the perfect way to explore the city like a local.

4. What is the currency in Haarlem?

The currency in Haarlem is the Euro (€). You can withdraw money from ATMs throughout the city using your debit or credit card. Many shops and restaurants in Haarlem also accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand.

5. What is the language spoken in Haarlem?

Dutch is the official language spoken in Haarlem, but many locals also speak English. In fact, English is widely spoken throughout the Netherlands, so you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating with locals.

6. What are some traditional Dutch foods to try in Haarlem?

If you’re a foodie, Haarlem won’t disappoint. Some traditional Dutch foods to try include stroopwafels (two thin waffles with a caramel syrup filling), bitterballen (deep-fried balls of meat ragout), and Dutch cheeses like Gouda and Edam.

7. Where are the best places to shop in Haarlem?

Haarlem is a shopper’s paradise, with many independent boutiques and designer shops. The most popular shopping streets in Haarlem are:

  • Grote houtstraat
  • Zijlstraat
  • Kleine Houtstraat

8. What is the nightlife like in Haarlem?

Haarlem has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, pubs, and clubs. The most popular nightlife areas in Haarlem are:

  • The Grote Markt
  • The Zijlstraat
  • The Lange Veerstraat
There are also many cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year, including the Haarlem Jazz & More festival and the Haarlem Winter Beer Festival.

9. Where are the best places to stay in Haarlem?

Haarlem has many great options for accommodation, including hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts. Some popular areas to stay in Haarlem include the city center, the Haarlemmerhout park area, and the Spaarne river area.

10. Is Haarlem a safe city?

Haarlem is a very safe city, and you shouldn’t have any problems exploring its attractions. However, it’s always a good idea to take basic precautions like keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding walking alone at night in quiet areas.

How to spend your time as a tourist in Haarlem

Haarlem is a beautiful city located in the Netherlands. It is just 15 minutes away from Amsterdam and a perfect destination for tourists who are looking for a peaceful and historic place to explore. Haarlem is a city that is rich in history, culture, art, and natural beauty. If you’re planning to spend your time as a tourist in Haarlem, here is a step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your trip.

1. Take a walking tour of the city

The best way to explore Haarlem is by taking a walking tour. There are many free walking tours available that will take you through the beautiful streets of Haarlem. You can also hire a guide who will provide you with a personalized tour that suits your interests. Walking tours will take you through the most cobbled streets of Haarlem, beautiful canals, historic churches, and museums. Some of the popular walking tours include ‘Historic Haarlem Walk’, ‘Street Art Tour’, ‘Museum Tour’, and ‘Haarlem By Night Tour.’ Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes and a camera to capture the beautiful sights.

2. Visit the Frans Hals Museum

The Frans Hals Museum is a must-visit place for all art lovers. The museum is named after the famous Dutch painter, Frans Hals, and has a huge collection of his masterpieces. The museum is also home to many other Dutch painters from the Golden Age. The museum has a beautiful garden and has separate wings for modern art and contemporary design. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the museum and learning about the art history of the Netherlands.

3. Explore the Grote Markt

The Grote Markt is the central square of Haarlem and is always buzzing with activities. The market is surrounded by historic buildings, cafes, and restaurants. The city hall, known as ‘Stadhuis,’ stands in the middle of the square and is a beautiful example of Dutch Renaissance Architecture. The Grote Markt is also the place where the ‘Haarlem Jazz and More Festival’ takes place every August. Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as ‘Kibbeling’ and ‘Stroopwafels.’

4. Climb the St. Bavo Church tower

The St. Bavo Church is one of the most historic and iconic landmarks of Haarlem. The church has a beautiful Gothic architecture and is home to the world-famous Muller Organ. You can climb to the top of the church tower and enjoy the panoramic views of Haarlem city. The climb is quite steep, but the view from the top is definitely worth it.

5. Take a bike tour to Zandvoort Beach

If you’re visiting Haarlem during the summer months, then a bike tour to Zandvoort Beach is a must-do. Zandvoort is a popular beach town located just a few kilometers away from Haarlem. You can rent a bike from any of the rental shops in Haarlem and take a leisurely ride to the beach. The bike ride will take you through beautiful dunes and natural reserves. Once you reach Zandvoort, you can relax on the beach, go for a swim in the sea or try some of the beach sports.

6. Visit the Teylers Museum

The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in the Netherlands and is home to many historical artifacts and scientific instruments. The museum has a beautiful collection of fossils, minerals, and fine art. It also has a separate wing that houses the world’s oldest functioning physics laboratory. You can spend a few hours exploring the museum and learning about the science and history of the Netherlands.

7. Take a canal tour

A canal tour is another great way to explore Haarlem’s rich history and culture. Many boat tours depart from the Spaarne River and take you through the beautiful canals of Haarlem. The boat tour will take you through the historic city center, past the windmills and gardens, and to the outskirts of the city. You can learn about the city’s history from a different perspective while enjoying the beautiful views.


Haarlem is a beautiful city that is worth visiting for its history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or a nature enthusiast, there is something for everyone in Haarlem. By following this step-by-step guide, you can make the most of your trip and create unforgettable memories. Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties and bring back some souvenirs to remind you of the wonderful time you had in Haarlem.

The 2 Best Boat Trips in Haarlem