Grote Kerk, Haarlem © Fryslan0109
Just a short, 15-minute train trip from Amsterdam lies Haarlem, a quaint city that has the distinction of boasting more museums per capita than any other city in the Netherlands. With its cosy, small-town feel and cheaper accommodation rates, many tourists are choosing to make Haarlem their base during their Netherlands vacation. It's not hard to understand why Haarlem is such an attractive choice: with its great mix of youthful energy and historic sights, its wide array of cafes, restaurants and bars, several fantastic live music venues and a bustling market, Haarlem truly caters for travellers from all walks of life. Must-see sights in Haarlem include the Grote Markt (Market Square), where 10 streets converge around the town's 700-year-old centre and - on Mondays and Saturdays - fantastic shopping opportunities abound; and the Saint Bavo Church, which contains an organ dating back to 1738 that was once played by GF Handel, composer of The Messiah. Haarlem is said to boast one of the highest qualities of life of any city in Europe, and more and more international visitors to the Netherlands are descending on the genteel city to discover exactly why.