Things to Do in Haarlem
Set in the former poorhouse where Frans Hals spent his final years, the Frans Hals Museum is home to a collection of paintings by the Dutch Golden Age masters from the 17th century, when Haarlem was known as the “City of Painters.” Admire works by Haarlem School artists, including Hals’ famed Civic Guard portraits.
Teylers Museum is an art, natural history, and science museum in Haarlem — it is the oldest museum in The Netherlands. Founded in 1778, and open to the public since 1784, the museum was once used for public demonstrations of scientific experiments. Today, it is known as the best-preserved 18th-century public knowledge institution for the arts and sciences in the world, and is slated to become a UNESCO world heritage site.
Most of the museum’s exhibitions showcase natural history like rocks and minerals, fossils, and some of the very first equipment used by physicists and other scientists. There’s also something for the fine-art lover, including a selection of works by Dutch masters like Rembrandt van Rijn and some prints and drawings by Michelangelo and Raphael. Other exhibits include fossils that are millions of years old, machines that generate electricity, and historical books and coins. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions a few times each year.