Sailing in Haarlem

Sailing in Haarlem

What do you need to know if you want to go sailing in Haarlem, what are the options for sailing through Haarlem and what are the most beautiful routes on the canals? We have done our best to explain it fully for you!

We will start with the route of the Spaarne from North to South. We take you along and share information that you hear, for example, when you rent a sloop with skipper at Luxe Sloepen Haarlem. This concerns both historical information and knowledge about the best restaurants along the water!

In this blog you can read:


Sailing the Spaarne from North to South

The beautiful river that connects all the waterways in Haarlem is of course the river Spaarne. The Spaarne is even older than the city itself and has therefore been of unprecedented value in the development of the city of Haarlem. In the past, the Spaarne was still used for trade, brewing beer and as a sewage system. Nowadays it is mainly pleasure craft that account for the majority of movements on the Spaarne. Running from the Grote Sluis in Spaarndam to Cruquius, the river covers about 10 kilometers. We will describe the entire route from North to South for you!

The Spaarne is a very nice sailing route because of its versatility. In the North, officially the Noorder outside Spaarne, there is a lot of beautiful nature and typical Dutch polder pictures. In addition, the center of Haarlem has fantastic architecture from the golden age. In addition, there are an unprecedented number of nice terraces and restaurants where you can moor.

We start all the way in the north of the Spaarne near Spaarndam, a charming town that is growing rapidly. This picture is definitely worth mooring. With an ancient history, the buildings here are authentic and you feel that the history of this village is intertwined with that of the water. For example, there is the possibility to eat a nice fish at the eel smokehouse on the large lock. In addition, Spaarndam also has the oldest working lock in Europe!

  •  TIP->  De Kolksluis was built in 1280 and surrounded by nice restaurants and bars. An attractive combination that makes it worthwhile to moor and explore the local catering industry.


If you now sail more to the south, you will eventually pass the Figee Hallen, which used to be the center of industry in Haarlem. Large industrial cranes were then made here. Today, the transformed warehouses are populated by many small entrepreneurs together.

Next door you will find the old Droste chocolate factory. The imposing building from 1911 came under the care of Braaskma & Roos Architects in 2009. They were instructed to change the destination in a way that honored the past.

And how that worked out! The Drostefabriek is now host to 38 luxury apartments and a catering facility with a terrace on the water.

Opposite you will find a blue building on stilts. This concerns the Haarlem Harbor Office, where all matters related to sailing in Haarlem are arranged.


Good to know:

If your ship cannot pass under the closed bridges, you pay € 1.20 per linear meter of your boat. Otherwise it’s free. For an overnight stay in Haarlem at a passers-by place you pay €1.40. And then the bridge money does not have to be paid.

This and more information about sailing and the rules can be found on the website of the harbor office.

We sail quickly because…

To enjoy a beer with your feet in the beach, you have not had to leave the city for over 10 years, because if you sail towards the center of Haarlem, you will come across a real city beach on the port side (left;) ‘De Oerkap’.

  • TIP-> De Oerkap’s pizzas are 100% homemade and really fantastic!! (€10 Per pizza)

You can moor at the Oerkap via the floating piers.


Windmill de Adriaan and Restaurant Zuidam

If we continue to sail the southern course, we will reach the center of Haarlem within a few minutes. The most beautiful spot for a nice group photo with the BavoKerk of the Grote Markt in the background, the Bakkenessekerk and the windmill de Adriaan together. Mill de Adriaan, built in 1778, has a very rich history and has fulfilled many different functions.
Today the mill is open to the public and is also an official wedding venue. Sailing along here is therefore always worthwhile.

Also worth seeing by the way: Restaurant Zuidam! This restaurant with moorings in front of the door has without doubt one of the most comfortable terraces in Haarlem. On the water, usually out of the wind and with a friendly audience. It is also possible to pick up a tasty snack with the sloop or to pick up a good lunch and then sail on again.

  • TIP-> Apple pie with whipped cream on the terrace bench by the water. Even if the sun is shining but the mercury does not want to go that high, you can sit here wonderfully.


If we sail on, before the bend a beautiful gate can be seen with huge columns in Doric style. This is the imposing entrance of the Teylershofje. You may now be wondering ‘what is a hofje’? That is a logical question that we are happy to help answer:

A hofje is a Dutch tradition in which wealthy people created housing for poorer (generally female) single elderly people. This is usually in a classic square building with a communal garden in the middle.

In the case of the Teylershofje, the financier was Pieter Teyler van der Hulst. This was a very wealthy Haarlemmer who left a fantastic legacy to the city.

The motives of the financiers of such almshouses were on the one hand family honour, just like the above, the almshouses were usually named after the family that had drawn the wallet. And on the other hand, it naturally arose from the Christian ideas of caring for one’s neighbor.

Haarlem currently still has 20 of the initially 40 almshouses. The oldest of which dates from 1395! See for more information about the hofjes.

  • TIP-> It is possible to do a Hofjes tour via the VVV of Haarlem, including a specialized city guide!

If we continue sailing through the Catherijnebrug and the authentic Gravestenenbrug towards the center of Haarlem, you will soon see the Waag and the Teylers museum on the right. Both buildings on the Spaarne are fantastic to visit, but also beautiful to just sail past and admire from the boat!


Het Teylers Museum

Het Teylersmuseum is the oldest museum in Europe. And if that alone is not special enough, then the beautiful facade is. A real gem built in the time of the Enlightenment. The lighting is therefore the theme of this special museum. Just like the Teylers hofje, this museum was created by Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, the wealthy Haarlemmer who also had an enormous collection of scientific objects. Six years after the death of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, his will was executed and the Teyler Museum opened its doors to the public in 1784.

If you are interested in history, this is definitely a museum worth visiting.


De Waag

Built more than 400 years ago under the direction of the Haarlem city architect Lieven de Key (1597), it is undisputedly one of the most characteristic buildings on the banks of the Spaarne. The Waag used to serve as a municipal trade and excise office. In practice, this meant that boats arrived at the doorstep and that the goods from these boats were weighed to determine the load. This took place until 1915. After this it became a storage for the municipality’s fire engines.

Sitting today ‘’Taverne de Waag’ located herein. A nice eat/drink tent with several nice concepts! For example, from Wednesday to Friday there is currently the possibility to have a nice bite for € 12.95 for a main course. Also recommended for wine. But even more important is of course that you can moor in front of the door with the boat!

Sail past the catering industry in the center of Haarlem:

Between the Waag and ‘De Melkbrug’ you will find several nice terraces and restaurants.

Restaurant Morris the good reviews speak for themselves at this popular and hip venue.

Restaurant Boca (who doesn’t know it), shelves with tasty little snacks.

Nagoya A real Sushi and Teppanyaki restaurant. So you sit at the griddle of the Chefs who show their skills and serve directly on your board. Just like being in Bankok!

Spaarne66 Nice large terrace on a corner, nice people watching 😉

In short, there is plenty of choice here in the center of Haarlem!

If we continue to the Melkbrug (1887) you will come across a beautiful passerby’s jetty on the right after 100 meters. This is a jetty managed by the municipality of Haarlem and for a fee of €1.40 per meter you can spend the night here on the boat. There is hardly a better location because you are in the center of Haarlem with very nice terraces and beautiful restaurants right on the quay.

Because every restaurant has its own specialties and qualities, we just go through them all.

In order from the Melkbrug to the Verfrollerbrug.


Café de Koning: A real place to go out for the younger residents of Haarlem. Spin the wheel here to win free drinks.

Ome Pietje: From high tea to dinner you can visit this cozy tent on the Spaarne. Shared dining and casual conviviality is the common thread at Ome Pietje.

Teds: You may already know the All day brunch concept from Teds from other cities such as Utrecht, Amsterdam and Leiden, but you can now also find it in Haarlem. A real enrichment of the city! Think at Teds of poached eggs, avocado and hollandaise sauce. To lick your fingers!

  • TIP-> Put on your naughty shoes and enjoy one of the many delicious cocktails during your lunch!


This chic restaurant guarantees a unique evening! A modern look, good wines (for a reasonable price) and a central open kitchen.

But what is most impressive are the beautiful dishes of Chef Joshua Jaring. Every time it is a unique experience. And Ratatouille has therefore had a Michelin star for years and it deserves it 100%.

Fishbar Monk:

Very nice fish restaurant! For the tastiest fish, just go to Monk. Finished.

Stubborn too, you could say. They don’t do this for – and main courses, no shared dining is ‘the way to go’ Fishbar Monk. We are big fans!

  • Tip-> You can pick up oysters while sailing on the water. Just call and before you know it you will be enjoying delicious Zeeland oysters on the water.


Roast bistro bar:

What is particularly striking is the warm atmosphere of this Roast bistro. The audience is Haarlem and in terms of age generally around 30. You can also go here with (friends) groups.

Good quality products and a charcoal grill for the real Roast taste!

  • Tip-> It is possible to have your own beer table with your own tap

When we continue our journey in a southerly direction, we are the first to pass under the Verfrollerbrug. Officially this bridge is called the ‘Langebrug’ but there is no Haarlemmer who knows this. The architect Thijs Asselbergs has given the counterweight of the bridge a round shape, making the bridge resemble a paint roller.

Once you have sailed under the bridge you will arrive at the Zuiderbuiten Spaarne. To the right of the water is the working-class neighborhood ‘Het Rozenprieel’, in short De Roos. Here people often sit along the water to read a newspaper or enjoy their morning coffee.

Further on, the Spaarne is accompanied on both sides by houseboats.

There are a total of approximately 220 houseboats/houseboats in Haarlem, each with its own unique character.

  • Tip-> While sailing through Haarlem, pay attention to your speed and the residents will greet you kindly.

The next bridge(s) we encounter are the double Buitenrust bridges.

After this we arrive at a part of the Spaarne with very nice (detached) houses on the right side.

While sailing you clearly notice that the city has been exchanged for more freedom from nature.

Near the spot on the Spaarne where we are now sailing, Het Spaarne is the dividing line between Haarlem and Heemstede.

On the right we see the activity of the rowing club KR&ZV Het Spaarne located in picturesque Heemstede.

On the left we see the beautiful houseboats located on the Jaagpad in Haarlem.


Mill de Eenhoorn

Located on the Haarlem side of the Zuiderbuiten Spaarne mill de Eenhoorn. The first mill has been on this site since 1640. This piece of Dutch technology served as a sawmill. The wood could be supplied via the water of the Spaarne, which explains the location on the water.

The current mill was probably built in 1776. Of course restored several times.

Today there is still an enthusiastic team of volunteer millers who operate the mill.

  • TIP-> Especially on Saturdays, the mill can often be seen running and demonstrations are also given on this day.


After the Mill, the bridge of the Schouwbroekerplas can be seen on the same side of the water.

For the smaller boats (max. 90 cm high approx.) It is definitely recommended to visit the Schouwbroekerplas. Beautiful nature around and a quiet place to anchor.

The lake was created in the 1960s by sand excavations for the adjacent Schalkwijk district of Haarlem, which was built at the time. Unfortunately, it was subsequently also used as a waste dumping site for the same construction. There were also many contaminated materials in between, with all the consequences that entails.

That is why the name of this lake is also popularly known as ‘the poison lake’.

Nowadays, however, there are good plans on the table to make this a beautiful place as well. And recently measurements have been taken and it is perfectly possible to swim in this water.

If we continue in the direction of Cruquius, we see beautiful houseboats on the left and typical Dutch countryside on the right. Then we sail past the Haarlemsche Jachtwerf. Boats used to be built here. As with so many other shipyards in the Netherlands, this was eventually exchanged for maintenance work and (winter) storage. Today, there are about 300 boats in winter storage, just over half of which are outside.

Every day of the year, work is done here on the boats, by the owners themselves, but also by professional mechanics.

The Cruquius pumping station looms before us. This means that we have sailed the entire Spaarne! The old pumping station now houses a museum that shows the entire history of the Haarlemmermeer and the associated battle against the water.


There is also the tea house where it is possible to relax.

There is a jetty for the pumping station, so feel free to moor the boat here for a visit to the museum or the tea house.

Then let’s start with the different ways to enjoy all that beautiful waterway of Haarlem.

SUP sailing in Haarlem

Many people know how beautiful the water in and around Haarlem is and then (summer) also choose to go out on the water. Neat sloops from Heemstede, speedboats from the entire province and sailing boats on the beautiful Nel have been on the water for a long time. However, what is new is the rise of the SUP(ers) in Haarlem, which stands for Stand Up Padle. This is even the fastest growing water sport in the world, probably no one who has sailed through Haarlem in recent years is surprised. The beauty of SUPing is that it can be practiced in any weather condition. And in addition, you train just about every muscle in your body! If you have become enthusiastic, you can choose to buy an (inflatable) SUP or rent one at SUP Flow Haarlem .

Sail through Haarlem yourself

In addition to the UPcomming SUPs, there are of course many more ways to sail in Haarlem and enjoy the summer. For example,  you have the choice to rent a small boat in Haarlem with friends that you can drive yourself. Great fun of course and a cheap option to go out on the water with a small group of friends. On most of these sloops you can comfortably sit up to about 6 people per boat. Bring some cool drinks and enjoy the canals of Haarlem! You do not need a boat license, but it is nice if you have sailed before.

Rent a sloop with skipper through Haarlem

Our personal favorite of course, sailing through Haarlem with a skipper! Totally relaxed and fully equipped you can sail with Luxe Sloepen Haarlem on the water in Haarlem. This is a choice that is very suitable for company outings, birthday parties and bachelor parties because of the spacious sloops. This way you can sail up to 40 people on the larger sloops. Nice music, snacks, drinks and even a toilet on board!

Rent a sailboat on the beautiful Nel

Many water sports agree that sailing is the ultimate way to experience the water. No sound except the flapping of the sails. The boat that cuts diagonally through the water, once experienced, love is often born immediately. However, not everyone knows that this is also possible in the Haarlem area. If you want to sail with a sailboat near Haarlem, this is possible on the Mooi Nel.


Sailing with your own boat in Haarlem.

Of course a very tempting option! Sailing through Haarlem with your own boat, of course, has something special. But make no mistake, owning a boat takes a lot of effort and maintenance. Well-known proverbs such as ‘Buy a boat and work until you die’ and ‘there are 2 happy moments of owning a boat, the purchase and the sale’, of course, have not fallen out of thin air. Another tricky point is that there are currently 1,000 people on the waiting list for a mooring permit in Haarlem, according to the port authority:

But of course there is a solution for every problem. So if you are really a water enthusiast, don’t let that stop you and just go for it! Look in your network for possibilities for berths and if you do maintenance on time, this saves a lot of time and money.

  • Tip-> For example, try asking at nearby marinas for a berth.

We hope that you have enjoyed all the information and that we will see you soon on the waterways of Haarlem!

Greetings, Team Luxe Sloepen Haarlem.

Boek Nu Plastic-fishing-Haarlem