So, you are traveling to Haarlem? Fantastic choice to explore a gorgeous dutch city located next to the beach. Haarlem is a picturesque little city famous for its tulip trade, art museums, and beautiful traditional houses.

It is also the home to the hotel “Hello I’m Local“, an accommodation with a tranquil vibe for the slow traveler!

We picked the brain of the Hello I’m Local Team to bring you this travel guide with secret things to do in Haarlem. They are the perfect people to give recommendations in Haarlem outside the tourist box!

We cover great bike rides, beach, nature, tasty food and drinks to enjoy!

Discover: De Banjaard in The Netherlands – a small village worth checking out.

Haarlem is located only a short 15 min ride away from the famous city of Amsterdam, home of the two 5 Star Hostels Cocomama Hostel and Ecomama Hostel.

Here is our guide to cool things to do in Amsterdam.

So you have the choice to stay inside busy Amsterdam or stay in the more tranquil Haarlem. If you head over to Amsterdam, here are our 5 Local Tips Amsterdam!

We share with you following 5 Tips for Haarlem:

  1. Ride to a cool beach bar – Sustainable efforts, beautiful design, and hip vibes!
  2. Yum! A recommended Restaurant in Industrial Decor
  3. get to know Haarlem from a different angle
  4. another unique dutch bike ride and outdoor recommendations
  5. a truly local things to do in Haarlem

1. Ride to the beach: San Blas Beach Bar

Sun is shining, time for some beach adventures! 
Rent a bike and cycle through the National Park on a beautiful summer day to Bloemendaal or Zandvoort beach. Relax, get tanned, have a drink or lunch at one of the beach bars and dance till moonlight at the best beach parties.

One of our favorite beach bars is San Blas at Bloemendaal beach. 
San Blas is a sustainable beautiful designed beach bar. A rooftop covered by solar panels, build with sustainable materials and all their products delivered without packaging. 

This bar has a great terrace to relax on a spring or summer day with lots of nice organic yummies on the menu.

During winter you can dream away next to the fireplace with a hot chocolate watching the ocean towards large glass sliding doors.

Open: All year round every day from 09:00 till 23:00
Also great to celebrate a big party, check www.sanblas.nl

Address: Zeeweg 84, 2051 EC Overveen, Haarlem

Ride to the beach: San Blas Beach Bar

Ride to the beach: San Blas Beach Bar

2. Fortuyn – Restaurant in Industrial Decor

So many treasures in the city, which one too choose for lunch or dinner?

Fortuyn is one of the treasures we would like to share with you. 
This place is beautiful decorated with a mix of industrial interior and old details in a monumental building. 

In the open kitchen the chefs are working with a great charcoal oven.

You can enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner. All the dishes are made of sustainable and organic products, all local and so yummie. 
With a coffee or one of the famous cocktails you can check out the hustle and bustle on the Grote Markt facing the great church.

Website: www.fortuynhaarlem.nl

Open Monday till Sunday from 10:00 till 01:00

Address: Grote Markt 23, 2011 RC Haarlem, Netherlands

Fortuyn - Restaurant in Industrial Decor

Fortuyn – Restaurant in Industrial Decor

3. Stand-Up Paddle: Supadventures

Imagine yourself on a sunny day, watching the boats go by and you are easy standing on a surfboard and paddling through the canals of Haarlem.

What on a surfboard? Yes! 
Stand up surf is an awesome new way to get to know Haarlem from a different angle.

Clear the mind and enjoy this great and peaceful way to discover all the great spots. Anybody can learn this and you only need your own human power!

Supadventures shows you how to do it in about one hour and gives you one of your best adventures in Haarlem.

Website for more information and bookings: www.supadventures.nl

Stand-Up Paddle: Supadventures

Stand-Up Paddle: Supadventures

4. Ride like a local

Looking for a local experience? 
Nothing beats riding around on an old school Dutch bicycle. There are some great places to go.

Go check out the tulip fields in bloom in March-May or take a ride to Spaarndam and check out Hansje Brinker. 
Definitely check out the beautiful “Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland”. Ok, you will not find any elephants, but we do have or own local bison’s!

Through the National Park it will take you about 1 hour to get to the beach.

Address: Zeeweg 12, 2051 EC Overveen, Netherlands

Find all tours in Haarlem here.

Ride like a local

Ride like a local and discover landscape you would not expect

5. Local market at Grote Markt

The local market in Haarlem on Saturday is nominated as one of the best markets in the country. 
No surprise, because you will find the biggest collection of local treats like flowers, Dutch candy and awesome cheeses.

Address: Grote Markt, 2011 Haarlem, Netherlands

Local market at Grote Markt

Local market at Grote Markt

More useful information

Cheap Flights:

Still looking for cheap flights? Have a look at Omio.com and Kiwi.com, it’s a powerful flight search engine – they even have a so-called “radius search”.

Here is our full review of Kiwi.com.

Walking Tour:

We enjoy a walking tour as the first thing to do when arriving to a new city. It’s usually the perfect introduction since the guides usually share tips and tricks on the city.

Find all tours with prices here.

Packing List:

5 years traveling in style and counting. We share our best packing tips in our smart packing list. You can even download the list and print it out.

Find the packing list here.

Cool Hostel in Haarlem: Hello I’m Local Hostel

Hello Im Local claims to be the “most local boutique hostel in the world”.

Check out their interior design, created by local experts: from a chandelier made out of clogs, swing in a bed room, and a cosy outdoor patio fireplace with small concerts!

Read: 3 best hostels in Amsterdam

Hello I'm Local in Haarlem, the Local Boutique Hostel

Smart and Simple Packing List

It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality accommodation, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.

The most important things to pack are: Read the full packing list here. Download Hostel Packing List