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Haarlem is the provincial capital of North Holland and sits on the River Spaarne. Known as the City of Flowers because it's at the heart of the world famous Dutch tulip fields, Haarlem is also a place of historical architecture and culture, and has been described as a smaller, more relaxed version of Amsterdam.
Recently, however, Haarlem tourist attractions haves become more and more popular with tourists visitors as they can enjoy wonderful architecture and excellent shopping reminiscent of the capital, without the hustle and bustle of the big city.
The city’s centre is a maze of narrow winding streets and medieval buildings interspersed with canals and waterways. The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in Holland which stocks a collection of paintings from the Dutch Masters, as well as a range of fossils, minerals and scientific exhibitions.
The Ten Boom Museum tells the story of the Ten Boom family who saved the lives of a number of fugitives hiding from the Nazis during the holocaust. Frans Hals Museum houses works by the portrait artist.
Grote Markt is the central market square with great architecture and outdoor cafés.
The shopping in Haarlem is excellent, with traffic-free streets packed with everything from designer boutiques to popular chain stores.
At the end of April go to a spectacular flower festival and October is “Children’s Month”. There’s also a famous Christmas market held in the middle of December.