While on our recent trip to visit Borre Akkersdijk’s studio in Amsterdam, we made a day trip to Haarlem which lies only 15 minutes by train to the west of Amsterdam.

We were greeted by a beautiful and pristine train station that is a national heritage site, with examples of elegant tile and stone work.

The city is located on the river Spaarne and has the feeling of a smaller and quieter Amsterdam.

Although small in size the city is rich in architecture; this building on the left was a former apothecary shop and is attributed to C.C van Beaumont, built in 1931.

The church sits in a square that hosts the local Saturday morning market, with lots of little cafes and boutiques surrounding all sides.

The bread and tulips looked fresh and in fact Haarlem has the nickname Bloemenstad (flower city) for being the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries.

Our favorite part of the town had to be the winding cobblestone streets with cute little houses sitting next to one another, each with a different look and feel.

Haarlem is also filled with grand houses like we are used to seeing in Amsterdam along the canals.

This full length curtain hand-made entirely out of filet crochet caught our eye; the strong contrast between the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign and the beautiful lace work made us smile.