Previously called Historic Museum Haarlem, the new Museum Haarlem is a small cozy institution devoted to presenting and preserving the cultural history of Haarlem and the surrounding region.
The foundation itself is housed in the former St. Elisabeth Gasthuis hospital dated back to the late 16th century. It was a hospital for the poor. Do observe the façade for such proof.
I recommend kick start your visit with a 10 minutes film in Dutch or in English (upon request) about the history of Haarlem. It touches on the siege of Haarlem in 1568-1572, the great fire, the first railway locomotive (Arend) and the first flight of the Fokker Spin. Look out for the ‘special effects’.
The museum hosts a collection of photographs, historical paintings and artifacts. There are permanent exhibitions and a couple of temporary showcases.
There are certainly activities for the young ones. Kids could take part in ‘treasure-hunt’ questionnaire, play dress-up like the olden days and/or play games and do experiments at Mini Water Labs.
The museum staffs (usually volunteers) are enthusiastic, friendly and very helpful. However, knowledge of Dutch language is necessary to learn about the history behind today’s city. Signboards are in Dutch! With just two floors, you can easily spend a couple of hours embracing Haarlem’s past.
A must for all Haarlem fans.
How to get there:
20 minute walk from the train station
Groot Heiligland 47, the other side of the street from the famous Frans Hals Museum
Opening hours: Sun – Mon 12-5pm, Tues – Sat 11-5pm
Entrance fees: €7.00 (adults) and kids under 18 yrs old are free.
Free entry for Museum Card holder.
Check site for more details and current exhibitions.