Sometimes the best way to experience a country is to take advice from someone who lives there. Preferably someone who grew up there and has all the insider knowledge of a tour agent, but steers you away from run-of-the-mill tourist traps.
Sometimes you have to listen to that person and trust that the bus they tell you take from the airport is the right one, even if it’s going away from where everyone else is headed. Sometimes the risk is worth it.
This is precisely how I ended up spending a delightful three-day diversion in Haarlem, Holland. I veered off the road more traveled on my way to Amsterdam and didn’t regret the detour for a minute. And it’s not a big detour.
About a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam, Haarlem is the town many of Amsterdam’s workers, employee and professional people call home, making it an interesting, easy to navigate suburb of its larger, busier cousin.
Read more here: Haarlem Getaways West of the City
(This article was originally published in West of the City Magazine, September 2015)