It’s time for another hotspot! Over the past months in which I’ve decided to ditch the plane I’ve come to realize that holidays don’t have to be far away from home. Even better, I’ve come to realize that my own home country The Netherlands is beautiful! You just have to look. That’s why I am sharing a hotspot article about my new hometown today. Here’s a guide on the most sustainable and beautiful places I’ve come to find in Haarlem.
Holidays used to be far away for me. The equation in my mind was already there. Holiday = plane (or at least somewhere far). Aside from the fact that this is not sustainable, this is ridiculous. I haven’t even seen everything in my home country! So that’s what I’ve been doing more often now, seeing the beauty of things nearby. Like last summer at Terschelling for instance.
My New Hometown Haarlem
Once I moved to Haarlem I immediately started exploring it, there’s loads to see! I did a walking route which I found in a book. Also, a while back my boyfriend and I explored Haarlem together. Today I want to sum up the most sustainable and beautiful places I consider a must see in Haarlem so far. For if you are looking for a day or weekend away from home, but don’t want to go far (if you live in The Netherlands).
I want to say that this list is never finished for me. Every city evolves and changes. So, for now these places list below are all the places I’ve seen and like, but this list is fluid. I will add things whenever I discover new places. I’ll divide this post into two sections: food and sight-seeing. In the future I would love to add shopping too, but I haven’t visited any secondhand stores yet.
It took us a little while to find, because this is a restaurant on top of a parking lot. Speaking about efficiency! Since it is on top of a parking lot this restaurant/café has an unique location. The name Dakkas means greenhouse on a roof, which is exactly what it is. Once you’re up there you’ll see that the restaurants is inside of a greenhouse, which gives an amazing view over the entire city. In summer you can sit outside on the terrace as well, with again an amazing view.
The food here is good! They have kombucha, which always makes me gives extra points. Healthy drinks are something hard to find (except for plain water). They have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. My boyfriend had a vegetarian Kroket (which is a Dutch fried snack) made out of oyster mushrooms and I had a lovely colorful salad.
At the time we were at By Lima we already had lunch at the Dakkas, so we went there for a snack only. By Lima is vegetarian lunchroom with a lot of vegan options and so there’s a lot of choice for me personally. I checked out the entire menu and the breakfast and lunch options seemed delicious. Not just plain sandwiches with hummus, but scrambled tofu and colorful salads. As a snack we had some masala bitterballen (which is a Dutch fried snack) which were lovely! They also have vegan cakes, but since most of them looked raw they didn’t seem so appealing to me (I don’t like raw cakes that much). Overall a good place with some cozy places to sit.
When we decided where to eat, my aunt recommended this restaurant since it has a share concept. You order multiple dishes instead of just one main and so you get to share. I love sharing food, it makes eating more fun! This also means you’ll probably do different rounds, like we did. Ome Pietje is not a vegetarian or vegan restaurant so the vegan options are limited. There were three vegan options in total but the recommended number of shares per person were three so it was fine. I liked it so much because of the share concept, but it was a small cozy place with an open kitchen as well so that made it extra good. The staff was very friendly as well. This restaurant is ideal for when your company isn’t vegan.
This is not a restaurant or café. Ekoplaza is a store with 100% organic food. It’s like a regular supermarket but then organic. But since they’re organic and so have a sustainable concept, they do offer a lot of vegan options as well. In Haarlem Ekoplaza is quite small but still reasonable. Last time I went there I bought a small vegan ‘cheese’ to try, which was okay. If you’re looking for vegan, organic and local groceries, this is your place.
Okay, so I’m cheating a little bit here since this isn’t in Haarlem itself, but very closeby in Bloemendaal. But I visited it on a day out in Haarlem so that’s why I’ll put it here, it’s 10 minutes by car maximum. Zuid-Kenemerland is a nature park, the most beautiful one I’ve seen in the Netherlands so far. It’s massive and I’ve only seen a small part of it, but I was sold. It is so beautiful! We’ve only seen a herd of sheep (which was lovely), but there are all sorts of animals, Scottish Highlanders for example.
Along the park there is an information center which I would recommend too, they have some amazing pictures and more information about the park. They have a little restaurant with it as well and I think it had a lot of vegan options, but I am not 100% sure since we didn’t eat there.
This might be a weird recommendation, since I haven’t actually been inside of this museum. Yet, I found it so beautiful from the outside that I think the inside will be good too. It’s a museum of science and art. I usually never recommend museums but I think this was one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen while I was walking through the city. And as you walk by it there’s also a beautiful tiny bridge nearby which is lovely and this is a good part to see when it comes to Haarlem.
St. Bravo Church
When you’re in Haarlem you can barely miss this, since it’s in the middle of the city center. This church is massive and beautiful! It’s a must see when you’re in Haarlem.
The book I’ve used for the walk through Haarlem was lovely and so I recommend this as well! It’s called: Een wandeling door Haarlem by Isy & Evy Zwolle.
That’s it for now! If you have any more tips, let me know.