Haarlem Shuffle

Night Life

When the sun sets over Haarlem...

...revellers come out to play

The city centre streets of Haarlem and their numerous pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas and coffeeshops provide excellent opportunities for a night out. During the summer especially, people spill out onto the streets and watch the world go by from large, Parisian-style street-cafes.

There is no shortage of pubs in the city centre. Usually of the traditional, cosy 'brown cafe' type, some are larger and have live music at the weekends. Areas worth a pub-crawl are the Grote Markt, Riviervismarkt, Kleine Houtstraat, and Botermarkt. The average city centre pub closes between 12 midnight and 2am during the week, 4am at the weekend, so the main square can be a busy place at three in the morning. See our Pub Guide for a list of local pubs where English speakers gather.

There are also night clubs where the dancing can go on till six in the morning, the 'Stalker' and the 'Sound' being two popular examples. Live music venues such as the 'Patronaat' and the 'Fietzenfabriek' regularly hold pop and rock concerts which also feature international artists. Jazz is so popular that Haarlem organises a festival for it every year. During this long weekend, the city centre throngs with visitors strolling between the different pubs and performers.

Haarlem is well served by the catering industry and boasts many restaurants offering cuisine from all around the globe. Many of these are situated in the old city centre but chinese restaurants, kebab houses and snack bars are dotted thoughout the city.

Film lovers will find a cinema centre in the Brinkmann Mall on the main square, and another on the southern part of the main shopping street, the Grote Houtstraat. Not far from the main square, the Concertgebouw often features plays, musicals and concerts, classical and popular. The Schouwburg, a theatre on the Wilsonplein, is being renovated at present but normally also hosts a wide range of plays and performances.

Another typical feature of this modern Dutch town are the 'coffeeshops', where cannabis and marijuana can be purchased over the counter and smoked on the premises. Coffee may also be consumed, as well as sweets and snacks. The coffeeshops vary in their opening hours but the latest tend to be closed by 1am at weekends.