Records and hidden gems

JULY 06, 2017

Amsterdam is expecting over 180 cruise vessels in 2018. This year, 141 ships are calling Amsterdam. The previous record was set back in 2012, when the city received 144 ships with a total of 290.000 passengers. In 2018, Amsterdam expects to go over the 400.000 mark for the first time.

The city is famous for it’s canals and cultural heritage. But did you know that close to Amsterdam hidden gems can be found? With an abundance of historical sights, cultural attractions and hidden gems crammed into a relatively small city, Haarlem truly is a sightseers’ paradise. There’s plenty to keep the visitor entertained, but thanks to its compact size, it’s easy to get a good introduction to the city even if you only have one day to explore it.

At the historic heart of Haarlem, this vast square is located underneath the imposing Grote Kerk, and is the image of the city that many people will recognise. Hosting regular festivals, concerts and markets, the Grote Markt is the hub of daily life in Haarlem and just happens to be one of the prettiest city squares in the country. Go there on a Saturday when the Netherlands’ finest street market rolls out its wares.Don’t leave the Grote Markt without taking a look inside Haarlem’s magnificent cathedral, which dates back to the 14th century. The building’s turbulent history has seen it passed between different denominations of Christianity, damaged by fire and struck by lightning, yet still the beautiful giant towers high above Haarlem’s rooftops, dominating its skyline as it has done for centuries. Inside, the gothic interior is nothing short of breathtaking and is the final resting place of several famous Haarlemmers including Frans Hals and Willem Bilderdijk.