Here are some of Haarlem's highlights:
The Amsterdamse Poort (Amsterdam Gate) is Haarlem's only remaing town gate, and it was built in around 1400. Some remnants of Haarlem's ancient city wall are to be found at the base of the Amsterdamse Poort. The gate was declared a national monument in the 1960's.
The Grote Markt (Big Market) is the central market square of Haarlem - aand has been so for centuries. The square is also the centre-piece for many of Haarlem's famous buildings, including the City Hall, The Vlesshal, Hoofwacht and Saint Bavo Cathedral. The Grote Marky square is very lively and is still very much the focal point of the city, with many bars and restaurants around the square. A colourful market is held here on Mondays and Saturdays.
The Corrie ten Boom House
The Corrie ten Boom House was the home of the Ten Boom family, and is also called "the hiding place". During the Second World War, this Haarlem house was used as a hiding place for refugees being hunted by the Nazis. The refugees were hidden behind a false wall in Corrie Ten Boom's bedroom. Today, the house is a museum, restored to look as it did in the 1940's.
St. Bavo Cathedral
Haarlem's impressive gothic St. Bavo's Cathedral was built in the 14th-15th centuries, in the so-called Kustgotiek ("Coast Gothic") style. A treasure chamber containing religous artifacts is in St Bavo's cathedral's annexe.
Frans Hals Museum
The Frans Hals Museum houses a large collection of Dutch art dating from the fifteenth-century onwards.
The impressive collection includes works by the famous Haarlem painters Frans Hals, Verspronck and De Bray. There is also a modern art department, silver and crafts section and various exhibitions.
The museum is housed in a former old men's home and later orphanage. The Frans Hals Museum also has a beautiful garden.