A quickie in Haarlem

Get your mind out of the gutter!! 😉

After the epic trip to Hoorn… the day after, Haarlem with the husband was on the menu. Unfortunately, timing wasn’t our strong suit that day and we didn’t end up arriving in Haarlem until nearly 4pm (!) by which time the sun was already beginning its descent, meaning that the light was running out for decent photos and it was also bitterly cold! Brrrr!

So it made the trip short and sweet. On the plus side, we now HAVE to go back again another time! (With much better planning de volgende keer!)

First we arrived at Grote Markt (literally: Big Market) and immediately spotted Viqh (a wine bar) – which Marit Smits had recommended on my Facebook page… so it would be rude not to go and have a cheeky glass of prosecco! It’s a very cute little bar with lots of little nooks and crannies. The tables are wedged in everywhere, so be prepared to get cosy with your neighbours!


After cheeky bubbles, we explored market square which was bustling with traders and shoppers… it was Saturday afternoon after all! Unfortunately this is the only photo I have where the sky doesn’t look bleak and empty. This is St. Bavo Church or Grote Kerk – I’ll let you work that one out for yourself 😉


Next on the agenda was Jamón Jamón (on Inge Mastwijk’s recommendation) for a quick bite to eat.

They’re renowned locally for their sandwiches, so The Dutchie went for a beef sarnie and I opted for a couple of tapas dishes. The spicy chicken was wonderful! A word of warning though… despite being a delicatessen and selling wine, they don’t have a license to sell alcohol with your meal… so this is a place for coffee and a snack rather than a borrel and snack!  Extremely cute place though… there will be fights for that one table in the summer! (Ha ha, just noticed – hello from the window reflection!)


On the same street (Schaghelstraat) is this little beauty. An art shop with one of the coolest shop fronts I’ve seen outside of Brighton!


Then it was onto Jopenkerk, recommended by both Inge and Marit (thanks, ladies!)


Previously, the building (an old church) was known as Jacobuskerk, but in 2010 it reopened its doors as a brewery, cafe and restaurant. According to their website, in 2013, Jopenkerk won the title Mooiste Bar van Nederland  (Best Looking Bar in the Netherlands) and I can totally understand that. It’s goddamn beautiful. It was also goddamn busy… note to self: come on a day other than Saturday!

In addition to the wide range of beer, they had BEER bitterballen!


Honestly? I couldn’t taste the beer… but that could have been because I was drinking beer, who knows! These get a 7/10 with minus points for the (random) shape, (lack of) mustard and slightly lazy presentation.

Beer and bitterballen – check! Next…

Museums were off the cards because it was already too late in the day, so we took a walk to check out Cathedral of Saint Bavo (thanks Christina Ames for the tip). She sure is a beaut (the cathedral I mean, but I’m sure Christina is too!) and next time I’d love to do the tour!


That’s it unfortunately, all we saw of Haarlem! But enough of a taster to want to return!

This weekend I’m off to explore Gouda with my friend and goddaughter, so as always… insider tips are welcomed / appreciated / encouraged! 😀

What are you doing this sunny weekend?

Veel plezier!

Hayley x


  1. Living in Haarlem myself I`d warn you to avoid the Jopenkerk on a Friday afternoon as well. Trust me it`s even busier, all the companies near it have their ‘VrijMiBo’ (vrijdag middag borrel) in it 🙂 Actually it`s always packed, only real downside to it.

    There`s a place called ‘a taste of home’ nearby where you can get English , Irish, Aussie food and drinks etc. and if you do visit the Jopenkerk again there`s nice restaurant on the square as well Woodstone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! I just remembered that I have a couple of fanfics (one day to be turned into a copyright-safe novel) where the primary character is Dutch! When you said that Jopenkirk was the “Mooiste Bar van Nederland”, I remembered that Ananke called one of her victims “Mooi”! (Long story…or else not so long. 😉 )

    I think of working on that storyseed from time to time, I just haven’t done it. (I don’t know how I could ever forget Ananke is Dutch. The short, clean-ish version of the prequel is called “Goedenacht Maan”, after all!)


  3. Funny timing! I took my friend Syd to Haarlem this week – we were lucky enough to get sun but also biting winds 😛 Definitely want to make it out on a market day next time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t forget to visit Het Teylermuseum, next time you visit Haarlem. And there are beautifull hidden ‘hofjes’, where the nons used to live. i think you can take a tour.
    This sunday I’m going to visit my parents in The Hague, for free. I will sit in the train and when there is a ticketcontrol I will gently wave with my boekenweekgeschenk: it is my free ticket 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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