Covering 60 hectares, Haarlemmerhout is the Netherlands' oldest public park. It was first mapped in 1539, by which time it was already well established, and was extensively redesigned in 1760. Planted with beech, horse chestnut, oak, linden, silver maple and plane trees, it's a serene spot for a stroll or picnic. A small petting zoo, playgrounds and a pancake house make it great for kids. Art exhibitions, concerts and festivals take place in the warmer months.

Keep an eye out for wildlife including hares, hedgehogs, stoats and water voles.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Haarlem attractions

1. Frans Hals Museum – Hof

0.58 MILES

A must for anyone interested in the Dutch Masters, this superb museum is located in the poorhouse where Hals spent his final years. The collection focuses…

2. Nieuwe Kerk

0.62 MILES

Walk down charming Korte Houtstraat to find the 17th-century Nieuwe Kerk; the ornate tower by Lieven de Key is supported by a rather boxy design by Jacob…

3. Proveniershuis

0.63 MILES

Off Grote Houtstraat southwest of the Grote Markt is one of Haarlem's prettiest buildings, the Proveniershuis. It started life as a hofje (almshouse) and…

4. Grote Kerk van St Bavo


Topped by a towering 50m-high steeple, the Gothic Grote Kerk van St Bavo contains some fine Renaissance artworks, but the star attraction is its stunning…

5. Frans Hals Museum – Hal

0.91 MILES

The Frans Hals Museum's modern and contemporary-art branch occupies two historic ‘halls’: the 17th-century Dutch Renaissance Vleeshal, a former meat…

6. Teylers Museum

0.91 MILES

Dating from 1778, Teylers is the country's oldest continuously operating museum. Its array of whizz-bang inventions includes an 18th-century electrostatic…

7. Stadhuis

0.92 MILES

At the western end of the Grote Markt is the florid 14th-century town hall, which sprouted many extensions, including a balcony where judgements from the…

8. Laurens Coster Statue

0.93 MILES

On the main square north of the Grote Kerk is the bronze Laurens Coster statue, installed in 1856. Haarlemmers believe that Coster has a claim, along with…