The Fiery Explorer’s guide to Haarlem!

Haarlem is known as a beautiful, cute city in the Netherlands, known for good shopping and good food! Despite having lived in the Netherlands for over 16 years, I had never visited it before! Together with a good friend, I explored Haarlem, and we found it’s a fiery and fun city. Read on for the Fiery Explorer’s Guide to Haarlem!

Guide to Shopping in Haarlem: 

I had heard that Haarlem was a good city to go shopping, and this is absolutely true! Even though we were only there only a few hours, we both did quite a bit of shopping! Our first stop was the beautiful store OU. Boutique by Val + Rose. They have a wide arrange of brands which I haven’t seen in other stores, including some cool Dutch brands. I fell in love with the red suit in the photo, but unfortunately, it was sold out in my size.

Fiery Explorer's guide to HaarlemFiery Explorer's guide to HaarlemFiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem

On the Koningstraat (~#33) we wandered into a cute store which was filled with a little bit of everything. Lots of cute decoration pieces, every single Moleskin notebook there is, cute buttons and many funny postcards! I don’t know the name, but if you pass by you will know it! My first purchase was actually coffee! After lunch, we passed a cute little store called Kale Jonker Koffie, filled with fantastic smelling coffee (which they can grind for you) and tea. The staff were very friendly and took time to listen to what kind of coffee I like and advise me.

After some searching, we found our next store: Wundrbar, which is a vintage store. It wasn’t as we were expecting based on their website, it looks so cool online but doesn’t really translate to the store. We did find some cute plants to take home and some gifts for friends though! To warm ourselves up we picked up the pace (it was nearing 18.00) and headed over to Best Kept Secret. This store was a delight and filled with very original styles and brands you don’t see much in the Netherlands! The stores are owned by a British family, that imports most of the clothes from the UK. This means that you won’t easily find someone else in the same dress! I left with a dress, very cute blouse and a ‘body’ perfect for the festival season.


Our last store of the day was Jutka & Riska, which I know from their extremely cool store in Antwerp (also really worth a visit!). My friend and I were the only two clients in the store and were a little hyped up from our successes so far. Luckily, we were on a streak, as I found some great treasures here as well, including a €10 black velvet dress – a steal! All in all, shopping was a definitive success and I will go back to explore more! <3

Fiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem Fiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem


Eating & Drinking guide to Haarlem: 

Unfortunately, the weekend that we went to Haarlem I was doing a detox…which meant only juice that weekend (I know, I’m crazy…). Next time I will definitely explore more all the great food and bars Haarlem has to offer. We had lunch at By Lima, a cute cafe with healthy/sustainable breakfast, lunch and cakes. Everything looked so delicious!! My friend had the colourful veggie bowl shown below *yum!*.

Fiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem
Fiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem

We also had a drink in the beautiful Jopenkerk, a brewery located in a former church. You can taste the Jopen beer brewed there, or many other types of beers available! I definitely recommend a visit to Haarlem! I can imagine that when the weather is sunny and warmer, it must be one of the nicest terraces in the city.

Fiery Explorer's guide to Haarlem
Image from Jopenkerk

Getting there:

Haarlem is easily reached by (intercity) train from Amsterdam or Rotterdam. We walked through the entire city, the center is not so big and allows you to discover more cool and cute cafes and stores!

Conclusion: Am I going back? 

Yes! As soon as the weather warms up a little and the terraces are full, I want to go back with girlfriends for shopping, foodie adventures, and some flirting;)!

Fiery guide to Haarlem – information:

  • U. Boutique by Val + Rose: Kruisstraat 40, Saturday open until 18.00
  • Kale Jonker Koffie: Zijlstraat 43, Saturday open until 17.00
  • Wundrbar: Zuiderstraat 35, Saturday open until 18.00 (if visiting, follow the address, not the location on google maps, it’s incorrect!),
  • Best Kept Secret: Gierstraat 63, Saturday open until 18.00
  • Jutka & Riska: Grote Houtstraat 160, Saturday open until 19.00
  • By Lima: Zijlstraat 65, Saturday open until 18.00
  • Jopenkerk: Gedempte Voldersgracht 2, Saturday open until 01.00

Have you visited Haarlem and have some good tips? Please share in the comments below!

If you’re interested in more Fiery Explorer Guides, see the Travel category for more fun travel guides!

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