Standing on the northwestern area of the Netherlands, Haarlem is an outskirt city of Amsterdam. The city was a great North Sea trading port and surrounded by walls but still maintains its medieval character with gabled houses and cobbled streets. Haarlem is one of the classic Dutch cities with grand churches and museums, fine canals, great cafes, cobbled streets and historic buildings. The city is famous for its art museums, remote tulip fields and as the middle of a great flower bulb growing district. You can spend some days here on your way to Amsterdam which is just fifteen minutes away by train. The city of Haarlem has much to offer and is always ready to give.
The Frans Hans museum is a must see if you happen to be in Haarlem. It is a short stroll from the Grote Market just south of that location. The museum is in the same place Hans spent the remainder of his days and is stocked with a 17th century collection of Haarlem school. There are great works to explore there.
The Grote Kerk van St Bavo is a gothic church with a 50m high bell tower at the top. He cathedral has some renaissance artwork the star of which is the Müller organ which is 30m high with 5000 wind pipes. You can catch an organ recital at the church on a schedule.
Take a private trip out to flower road and see the tulip field. It is best in spring when the flowers are in full bloom and the short trip just outside Amsterdam will give you something to observe on the road.
Take a tour of Haarlem on foot and learn what the beautiful city has to hold in culture and nature. A tour that starts in the morning gives you a good start.