Posted on 18. Oktober 2018



Haarlem is situated in the west of the Netherlands and is part of the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam. This historical city was established in 1245, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Later it developed a strong textile industry as well as bringing forth some great painters. Today, the city is mostly known for its historic buildings, idyllic shopping streets and museums. Its location, 15 minutes away from Amsterdam by train and nearby the seacoast attracts visitors from within the Netherlands and outside.




Haarlem is most famous for its cultural heritage. Haarlem is proud of its high-quality museums that attract many (inter)national visitors. The Frans Hals Museum, Teylers Museum and Museum het Dolhuys are three important institutions for Haarlem. Furthermore, various institutions conserve and display Haarlem and the region’s rich cultural heritage.

The city’s two major theatres are the Stadsschouwburg and Toneelschuur, which are known for their appealing and innovative programming. Haarlem also has a rich history in music. The city employs a ‘stadsbeiaardier’ (carillon player) and hosts the International Organ Festival. Finally, Haarlem is a city of the fine arts. 160 professional visual arts artists are registered in the city and it is estimated that at least as many semi-professional fine arts artists live and are active in Haarlem’s cultural scene.
In 2018 the city organised a festival called ‘Haarlem celebrates culture’ during which the city was decorated with golden ornaments. The two largest museums and biggest theatres had special programming in honour of their anniversaries and several other cultural events were taking place.


  • 159.717 inhabitants
  • 12th city in the Netherlands
  • Historical town (town rights 1245)
  • Part of Amsterdam Metropolitan Area


Sustainability and Inclusion


The current coalition agreement for the city of Haarlem emphasizes the importance of a sustainable and socially inclusive city. The city is growing with inhabitants moving from Amsterdam and other areas of the Netherlands to Haarlem. In this process of expanding, sustainability is considered very important. The city is working hard to become gas free by looking at alternative resources for heath and electricity. Climate adaptation is an important topic for Haarlem and its partners in the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam. Furthermore, Haarlem is the coordinating city of the Urban Agenda partnership on Innovative and Responsible Public Procurement and as a city aims to procuring green, fair and circular. Citizens are involved in the future of Haarlem and are actively joining in the journey towards becoming a sustainable and inclusive city.




The last decade, Haarlem takes pride in start-ups and new technology, such as 3D printing. Haarlem implemented a 3D Makers Zone where SMEs and knowledge institutes implementing smart technologies in pursuance of immediate growth. All local and regional governments as well as the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs have spoken out for the 3D Makers Zone: “The 3D Makers Zone is a textbook example of how the Dutch economy should innovate. All companies can improve themselves and make giant leaps by partnering with this innovation playground.”

The City of Haarlem accelerates the transition to a circular economy by stimulating cooperation between business, government and knowledge institutes in our region and internationally. For this, we focus on 3 themes:


1) Materials,
2) Energy transition in the build environment,
3) CO2 as resource for the circular economy.



Twin Cities

Osnabruck (Germany)
Anger (Germany)


Public services

EU - Activities
  • Coordinating partner Urban Agenda Partnership Innovative Public Procurement
  • Member Eurotowns
  • Associate member Eurocities
Network objectives
  • Building strong medium-sized cities
  • Innovation of procurement
  • Sharing best practices
  • Promoting civic participation at local and European level
Anneke Boele
Coordinator European Affairs
+31 (0)23-5113060