Are you a big fan of Dutch masters? Do you love historical Dutch architecture? Then you’ll simply love a visit to the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands. The museum is actually spread out over two very special venues. And since Haarlem is only a stone’s throw from Amsterdam, you have no excuse not to visit.
How to get to Haarlem, The Netherlands
- From Amsterdam hop on a train to Haarlem. The train will get you to Haarlem in half an hour.
- You can either buy a train ticket at the station, but you can also purchase an OV Chip Card to be able to travel on all forms of public transport in The Netherlands. Simply charge the card as you go.
- Getting around Haarlem? Go on, be Dutch and rent a bike.
- Feel like staying overnight in Haarlem (and you really should), consider staying at NIU Dairy with spacious and colourful rooms within walking distance from all the Haarlem sights.
- Read my complete guide to Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Visit Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem
When I visited the Frans Hals Museum for the first time, it was still one museum. Completely dedicated to Golden Age Dutch master Frans Hals and his famous group portraits of the Civic Guard, which will definitely remind you of Rembrandt’s Night Watch. But now, the Frans Hals Museum is actually split up between two locations, just a ten-minute walk apart. Not only has the museum broadened its horizon, but the stroll between the two museums is also the perfect excuse to get to know Haarlem a little better. Before your visit buy your tickets online, so you don’t have to wait in line.
Frans Hals Museum: Hof
Truth be told, I still have such a soft spot for the Hof location of Frans Hals Museum. And if you’re into Dutch masters, this is where you should head first when visiting Haarlem. The historical building looks splendid with its gabled front, but did you know that it used to be a poorhouse and that this is the place where Frans Hals actually spent his final years. Like Rembrandt Frans Hals constantly had money problems, even though he was one of the most popular portrait painters of 17th century Holland. The site has a beautiful courtyard and the rooms are filled with lovely old Dutch details, like historical Delfts blue tiles. The Hof location of the museum holds the largest collection of Frans Hals’s works, including the famous group portraits. Hals was a true genius at paying attention to moods. But you can also see works by masters Pieter Bruegel the Younger and Jacob van Ruisdael.
Frans Hals Museum: Hal
The second venue of the Frans Hals Museum is located on Grote Markt, the beautiful central square of Haarlem. It actually consists of a fusion of three grand historical halls, hence the name. The museum is housed in three buildings, built in different centuries and called Vleeshal, Vishuisje en Verweyhal. Inside the joining of the three buildings looks very harmonious.
The Hal venue of the Frans Hals Museum hosts, often, contemporary art exhibits, highlighting a theme from Frans Hals’s work. This not only demonstrates how timeless the work by Dutch masters in general and Frans Hals in particular is. It also builds a bridge between the two museums.
Read more about Haarlem, The Netherlands
- A weekend guide to Haarlem, The Netherlands
- Plan your trip using my complete guide to Haarlem, The Netherlands
Frans Hals Museum Haarlem
Save on Pinterest
More Dutch masters on Your Dutch Guide
- Highlight in Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum
- Nuenen: Van Gogh village in The Netherlands
- Follow the footsteps of Rembrandt in Amsterdam
- Caravaggio inspired street art in Utrecht
- Den Bosch: follow the footsteps of Hieronymus Bosch
- Utrecht: inside Rietveld-Schröder house
- De Stijl: celebrating 100 years of Dutch design