This charming and handsome hamlet has all the unique elegance and charm of the capitalwithout the college-kids-and-coffeeshop crowds. The train from Centraal Station takes less than half an hour, and the whole town canbe thoroughly explored in an afternoon.
Haarlem is something of a wealthy suburb today, a Wellsley or Westport to Amsterdam. The shopping tends to be quite upscale, especially by Dutch standards, with high-end boutiques in fashion, furniture and antiques.
One unique spot with more edible goods is the Tromp Kaashuis. Located in the center of Haarlem’s principal pedestrian shopping street, Tromp offers a huge selection of Dutch and international cheeses, including a variety of unique Gouda offerings. Some of the wheels are the size of tires.
The friendly staff is enthusiastic about pointing out smart pairings or making recommendations, and can also seal purchases for transatlantic travel. There are also tankards of olive oil and displays of crackers and other accompaniments, Tromp is the only stop needed for an evening of snacking.
If possible, plan to visit during a market day, when dozens of foodand flower stalls sprout in the shadow of the beautiful St. Bavo’s. No matter which day you make it, come to Haarlem ready to enjoy the best of Holland.Tweet