Living in Haarlem

Yesterday a friend of mine forwarded an article to me about my current hometown Haarlem (NL) that got revealed in the German magazine “Living & More”.
Five sites were pointing out the author’s opinion with main features about the city.

According to the article: Haarlem is located only a few minutes by car from Amsterdam and has a nice alignment of medieval buildings, small shops and cafes. That’s it.

Let’s see for my opinion on these points:

  • Haarlem is a few minutes by car from Schiphol (and even without huge traffic you need at least 15 minutes. Additionally 15-45 minutes depending of where you start from Amsterdam).
  • I don’t know which shops they mean with small – the pictures show they were “only” in the touristic shops, not the usual shops located in the main mall – well that’s fine, but I think they should get the point that space in the Netherlands is rare (small, high buildings) and even then the shops aren’t THAT small as described. At least I don’t think a shop or cafe with 75 m² is small.
  • The medieval buildings… here’s the point where I think they parked the car in the underground garage, went to the top to the market, looked around the marketplace and went back to the car.You don’t see that many medieval buildings in the city, except the church of which they posted a BIG picture on the first site and that church is the ONLY medieval building in the center. There’s only one remaining part of medieval time in the east part of Haarlem called Amsterdamse Poort – a gate where the original medieval wall stood.
    If they would’ve cared to check out the main shopping street they would’ve discovered far more interesting buildings (which aren’t medieval, but far cooler and to be honest: not everything that is made out of brick is left from the medieval time), e.g. the Cathedral of St. Bavo which is a huge monument I pass twice every day on my way to/from work. Even if this cathedral undergoes renovation since I live in Haarlem (Feb, 2012), it is still a huge nice eye catch.

I understand that the authors of such articles have an interest of selling their articles and don’t actually want to waste much time in a city they don’t want but need to due to the job, but a bit love for details and correctness would be really nice to read. As well as spending more than 30 minutes in a city without even checking everything outside of the marketplace, e.g. the parks with deers or the main streets leading to the marketplace. But maybe I am totally wrong and people want to read only about stuff they can chew down while having tea. 🙂


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