The Netherlands is a country I'll always return to. There is so much to love about this beautiful country!
We stayed in Haarlem for a few reasons, its a charming city with great culture, cafes and restaurants outside of Amsterdam, but also a quick and easy train ride into the city. Haarlem is less crowded and touristy than Amsterdam and a perfect spot to escape the crowds.
Things to do in Haarlem
Frans Hals Museum: Located in a 17th Century building, dedicated to portrait painter Frans Halls & the Dutch masters.
Tylers Museum: Displays on art and science.
Windmill De Adriaan: 1779 an 18th Century riverside windmill with scenic views.
Ten Boom Museum: Guided tours of onetime family home used to hide Jews during WW2.
Jopenkerk Brewery: Old church turned brewery
Grote Market: Central plaza with a twice weekly farmers market. Many notable buildings and cafes in this area.
The St. Bavo Church: Art-rich towering Gothic church, home to the ornate Muller organ which was played by both Handel and Mozart!
Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities to visit for so many reasons! One is because it is a pretty easy to get there as it's a hub for many airlines. Second is the rich history, awe inspiring architecture, fabulous restaurants and incredible galleries and museums.
Things to do:
Definitely take a canal tour, it's a fun way to see the city from a different perspective and you're guaranteed to learn something. A lot of tours offer drinks and a meal.
Ann Frank House: Museum house where Ann Frank & her family hid during WW2.
Rijksmuseum: 19th century building housing Dutch masterpieces and European art collections. The I am Amsterdam sculpture is in this general area and offers great photo ops.
Van Gogh Museum: Near the Rijksmuseum and definitely a must see, I recommend getting reservations.
Moco Museum: Contemporary art museum, near the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
Museum Van Loon: Fine canal-house museum with a unique collection of art, furniture, silver and porcelain as well as stunning gardens.
Albert Cuypt Market: Experience an authentic Amsterdam experience at this market. Shops, cafes, cozy bars and restaurants.
Rembrandt Museum: As a printmaker I absolutely loved this museum. It's in a beautiful location and it was such a cool experience to tour Rembrandt's home and studio. After visiting the museum, walk a short block over to De Sluyswacht for some delicious food and drink.
Montelbaanstoren: a 16th century defensive tower, once part of the city walls, with bells and a clock added in 1606.