Best things to do in Haarlem Netherlands in autumn-winter 2018-2019.


In this November 2018 the Tripatricks team has made a trip to Netherlands. We`d like to share our impressions and some valuable info with our readers. 

Let`s start with a gemstone of a Dutch province- the city of Haarlem



Haarlem lies 25km west from Amsterdam and it will take you 15-20 min to get there by train and 30-40 min by bus. Some adventurous ones can take a bike, though it will be an approx 2,5 hours trip, but great stuff to remember. 

Prices for holiday house rental are cheaper than in Amsterdam, and the city is unbelievably beautiful.

A glimpse of Haarlem history for curious travelers:)

Haarlem was found in 10th century. The name "Haarlem" literally means "the high sandy place with trees", which is true due to its location close to the sea(10km) and there are vast sandy coastal dunes close by. It`s hard to believe but in 15 century it was the second major city of Holland- bigger then Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Thanks to its wealth, city was quickly rebuilt and recovered after multiple tragedies: the Plague epidemic in 14th century, the Spanish siege and the Great Fire in 16th. During the Golden Age (17th century) many immigrants (Huguenots and protestants) flooded the country and Haarlem in particular, stipulating it`s fast cultural and economic arise. This was a result of a smart political moves on religious issues, which gave equal rights to Catholics and protestants. Wealthy and talented people were coming to Netherlands to feel safe from religious persecutions. We believe this wise moderate liberal politics- is what creates a healthy social climate in Netherlands and leads to great economical results until now. 

The first impression.


It is very easy to get to Haarlem either from Amsterdam or the Schiphol Airport. From Amsterdam you can take a bus or a train. We recommend train as you will arrive fast avoiding traffic jams. You can catch a train from Amsterdam Centraal or Amsterdam Sloterdijk. From the Airport you can get there by bus №300 or take a train to Amsterdam Sloterdijk and hop on to another train from platform 7 directing to Haarlem.


If you are planning your trip to Netherlands in winter or late autumn, be prepared for really unstable, rainy and windy weather. Although still many tourists prefer this time of the year to see the country more authentic and less crowded. 

The best practice is to have a raincoat with you, as the umbrella sometimes is not sustainable for a strong wind. Take your rubber boots as well or apply water protective spray to your regular shoes. This will safe your health and good mood for sure. 

Walking around.

First thing that admired us were cozy streets with tidy houses and first Christmas decorations. Many buildings look like gingerbread houses, 


Grote Markt ar the Central Market Square is the central touristic point of Haarlem. The Saint Bavo Church is the heart of the square and the city, with it`s unique flaming Gothic style.Apart from this you will find De Hallen Museum(ex-Meat Hall), Frans Hals Museum and medieval building of Town Hall.




The river Spaarne is very quiet and picturesque. We enjoyed our bike riding along the river so much. Non-windy days are great for taking pics: city reflection in the water looks absolutely stunning.







Crazy bike traffic is something you can not deny even if you are a pedestrian. If you are not an experienced bike rider, be careful, as locals drive in a very fast and aggressive manner, at the same time they perform instant reaction and act very polite and respectful. You will appreciate perfectly planned bicycle lanes and the way the traffic lights are organized(there are separate street lights for bikes, pedestrians and cars).

If you wish to rent a bike we recommend to use the service of Fiets-in. Good prices and decent bikes. Prepare 100EUR in advance as you will need to leave it as a deposit in case if something happens to a bike(which is unlikely to happen).Deposit is returned to a customer once he returns the bike,

A trip to the North Sea.

You`ll be surprised by how close is the North sea from Haarlem and how beautiful it is. Simply take a bike and go all the way to the west. If you are strong enough you can end up in Zandvoort an Zee beach resort (min 30 min far from Haarlem), or simply stop at Bloementaal beach which is quite close. In summer natives enjoy swimming in cold refreshing water (+16C degrees approx) while the weather is hot. Fancy beach bars with sea views serve a variety of food and beverages. 

If you prefer to avoid riding, take a train from Haarlem central railway station. It will take you just 10 min to get to Zandvoort.





Dutch food.

Historically, because of the climate, Netherlands are not as rich with food varieties as Mediterranean for instance, but we admit that the food here has an excellent quality and taste. Being honest with our readers, we prefer to cook our own food wherever we go traveling, so Albert Heijn supermarket was our personal favourite on our trip. Rich assortment of fresh and tasty vegetables, fruits, famous Dutch cheeses, variety of options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free products at reasonable prices. By the way if you are seeking to try an authentic cheese made in Holland, you don`t have to visit a specific cheese store (unless you are a cheese maniac:). You can find the same quality in the supermarket- we have checked that. 

Street food and restaraunts are nothing to worry about- you most likely won`t find a bad quality here. A huge variety of chinese, indonesian, argentinian, french and etc food will satisfy any taste. Various cuisines flooded Netherlands in the times when the country was a sea power and had multiple colonies.

Out of fast food we will highlight the Dutch french fries. This is an absolute must-try while you are here. You will see many locals eating fries in the streets- and that is the sign that it`s really good;) In local kiosks they serve it for take away in a solid carton bag with a sauce at your choice. 

In many cafes and coffeeshops locals are drinking an unusual peppermint tea(munt thee)- the whole plants with stems up- that`s what you will see in your glass. Don`t get confused, that`s really delicious and healthy non-coffein drink, that keeps you warm in winter time.



Not a secret, that almost every second tourist coming to Netherlands for holidays is going not only for windmills, tulips and cheese. Smoking marijuana is decriminalised here and you can enjoy the first class quality weed in any of multiple cafes, called coffeeshops. Big choice of soft drinks and some simple snacks is a nice benefit as well. In standard coffeeshop you are not allowed to drink any alcohol and smoking tobacco is prohibited as well(tobacco substitute is offered for free though:).

Our personal №1 in Haarlem is Empire coffeeshop, located in a very center of the city, close to Grote Markt. With nice music, friendly staff, relaxing atmosphere and opportunity to bring your own stuff in case you order a drink. Free tobacco substitute is available here. 


Among others are Willy Wortel`s, Regine, Maximillian and one Take Away shop(ex-Moonlight coffeeshop). 

Hidden hofjes (courtyards).

According to Dutch tradition courtyards were used as shelters for people in need. Social work was well known here even in Medieval times. People could access fresh water, food, bed and medical help here. Hofjes were usually were built and financed by wealthy citizens.

On the picture is Hofje van Noblet.



 We`ll come back soon with Malta overview. See you!:)







Ten Places That Deserve More Travelers

Ten Places That Deserve More Travelers

Head off the typical tourist trail to explore these surprising destinations.

By Ten Places That Deserve More Travelers

The desert "swallows" Dubai and Abu Dhabi - Impressive photos from the recapture of nature

The desert "swallows" Dubai and Abu Dhabi - Impressive photos from the recapture of nature

Despite millions of dollars invested in impressive constructions in the United Arab Emirates, slow dunes and sporadic sandstorms are enough to bring the desert "sharper" to cover human projects. 

With the help of drone and high-definition cameras, the Australian photographer Irenaus Herok immortalized this sometimes slow and sometimes steep, wading movement of the desert spreading over artificial gardens and regional road arteries of cities defying the adverse conditions.

Herok specializes in landscape and portrait photography and draws inspiration from the Grand Masters of painting art and cinema.

Tripatricks Dessert Dubai

Tripatricks Dessert Dubai

Tripatricks Dessert Dubai

In this series of photographs, the inspired artist portrays the endless battle between nature and people's projects in the deserted lands of the Middle East.

Within a few decades, Dubai has been transformed from a humble fishing village into a key metropolis in the world, but the photographs of Herok are here to remind us that Nature almost always returns to where it was evicted.

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

Tripatricks Dubai

You can view more of his amazing work here.

Must cities to travel in November and December

Must cities to travel in November and December

Check out this wrap-up of Europe’s best destinations for November and December, and book your tickets for this autumn-winter break!


Must cities to travel in November and December - Tripatricks

Tenerife: Tenerife is one of Europe’s most reliable destinations for winter sun, with the island enjoying average November temperatures of 20C. As the largest island of the archipelago, you’ll find an excellent choice of accommodation in the resorts of the Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas. And the sun-drenched fun doesn’t end there. There’s plenty of action and adventure to be found in the challenging hiking trails of the beautiful Mount Teide Natural Park. 


Must cities to travel in November and December

Marrakech: Set on the edge of the Sahara, with its mix of colourful souks, palatial riads and exotic flavours, Marrakech is about as far away from a chilly November at home as you can imagine.  For a city break and beach holiday rolled into one, spend a few days in Marrakech before soaking up the sunshine and laid-back surf vibes of nearby towns such as Taghazoute, Tamraght or Essaouira.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Athens:  Leave winter woolies at home and look forward to a warm weekend getaway in beautiful Athens.  Lively cafés and quirky rooftop bars await in the trendy neighbourhoods of Monastiraki and Psirri, while mild weather means you can comfortably explore the iconic sites of the Acropolis and the Parthenon.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Gran Canaria: The island has waved adiós to sizzling summer highs, but Gran Canaria is still looking infinitely more inviting than home, with temperatures hovering around the 21C mark and accommodation rates much cheaper than at peak season. And with fewer crowds, you’ll have the pick of the sun loungers on the beautiful beaches of Maspalomas. Happy days.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Amsterdam: It’s jingle all the way in Amsterdam, when Saint Nicholas drops into town on November 15th. Forget Rudolph and Co., this Santa Claus makes his grand entrance by ship before trotting through the streets of the city on a white horse. Every year around 400,000 people turn out to catch a glimpse of the big man and grab a share of the special cookies and sweets, thrown by his army of 600 ‘Black Peters’.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Oslo: Jet into the Norwegian capital, then plot an adventure to Svalbard, Hammerfest or the Lofoten Islands – these are generally considered the best spots to catch a glimpse of the beautiful, but elusive Northern Lights. With Norway’s trains, boats, good roads and small airports on your side, you’ve every chance of crossing the Aurora Borealis off your bucket list.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Prague: Wrap up warm, grab a cup of mulled wine and check out the spectacular Christmas tree on the Old Town Square and the festive log cabins selling Christmas tree decorations, wooden toys and local crafts. Don’t forget your camera. The Czech capital’s Christmas market is nothing short of picture-perfect.


Must cities to travel in November and December

Fuerteventura:  With a location just over 100km off the coast of North Africa, Fuerteventura is the closest of the Canary Islands to Africa. On average you can expect highs of 24C in November.  Catch some waves in Corralejo, take a hike up one of the volcanoes or just kick back in the sunshine and forget about December’s chilly weather at home. 


Must cities to travel in November and December

Cervinia, Italy: Shoop. Shoop. The mountains are calling. Fly to Turin or Milan Bergamo and hit the slopes of Cervinia on the southern side of the Matterhorn. Here you’ll find some of the best early snow in Europe, with 10 separate ski runs and plenty of alternative winter fun including ice karting, air-boarding and snow-scootering. 


Must cities to travel in November and December

Berlin: Start the new year as you mean to go on – Berlin is home to some of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Europe. Around a million locals and visitors pack into its Party Mile every year, a dedicated route filled with music, fireworks and open-air celebrations.



Giant White Shark Spotted for the first time in 30 years in the Sea of Spain

Giant White Shark Spotted for the first time in 30 years in the Sea of Spain

The appearance of a large white shark on the outskirts of Majorca has upset residents of the island who have seen sharks in the area for more than 30 years.

"Fish tremor" was detected Thursday by members of a group of marine surveys in the Balearic Sea.

According to Alnitak team leader Ricardo Sagarminaga, the shark swam 8 kilometers from the coast of Cambria, west of Majorca.

"It's the first confirmed presence of white shark in the Spanish waters for thirty years," he says.

The Alnitak team met the shark while heading off to collect data on marine fauna and microplasmic infection in the area.

All ten members on board were fortunate to observe the predator of the seas while biologist and filmmaker Fernando Mirones posted a shark photo promising to soon release the shark dive video. 

First Tima Big White Shark spotted in the Sea of Spain Tiripatricks

The crew watched and photographed the shark for an hour and 10 minutes ( Alnitak/Beat von Niederhausen )



Travel – tripatricks