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Travel Guide Honours

Haarlem – Instagram

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A walking tour along the most photogenic places in the city centre

The city

The city of Haarlem is the capital of the Dutch province of Noord-Holland and is the second city in this province. Haarlem is located close to the capital city of Amsterdam, but also close to the beach and nature reserves, making Haarlem an interesting city for everyone. Haarlem, which originated as a Roman settlement, has received city rights in 1245 (it is 775 years old!). The city became important in the Middle Ages and grew thanks to the booming textile industry. Later, the city also became known as the city of painters. A lot of beautiful buildings from this past can still be found in the city centre, like churches and the town hall. Apart from its rich history, Haarlem is also a great city to go shopping or have something to eat.


The theme we chose for the tour is Instagram because Haarlem is so photogenic. The walking tour takes you past beautiful sports with a story to take your Instagram photos and learn something about the city while doing so. The sports are diverse, from old buildings to nature, so something for everyone. This tour is not that far from home, but it is still nice to be able to show your friends what you have been up to. Instagram tourism is growing globally and it is getting more important to get good pictures on your travels. Instagram has location features that enable geographical search. When users click on a post’s location tag, they can see all the other public posts that appeared and were tagged at that location. Analysis of the hashtags used to label Instagram posts reveals the most popular tourist sites in each destination. A survey by Chase Card services reveals that while on a tip, 60% of travelers, and 97% of millennial travelers, share their travel photos. Millennial travelers (22 – 37 years old) are more likely (44%) than older travelers ages 35 – 49 (28%) and ages 50 – 67 (11%) to seek opinions via social media while researching for vacation. 3/4 of millennial travelers post to social networks at least once a day while traveling (73%). A survey by MissTravel provides similar results: almost half (48%) of Instagram users scroll the app to help them choose travel destinations for vacations. 35% discover new places through this social media platform. In a survey by a U.K.-based holiday rental home insurance company, 40% of millennials said that the ‘instagrammability’ of a destination was the most important motivating factor when choosing where to go on holiday; ranking higher than personal development or sightseeing. Captivating Instagram pictures have substantially increased tourism numbers in many destinations, which can help local economies, providing extra jobs and income. But, in some places, this swell in visitor numbers is having a detrimental effect, causing overcrowding and environmental degradation. It is not the case in Haarlem (yet). Despite or because of being near the capital city, the tourists visit Haarlem less frequently (in 2018 Amsterdam had 19 million visitors, compared to 5.6 million in Haarlem). The municipality establishes policies to prevent the negative effects of tourism.

Practical information

For you, we have designed a walking tour of 5 km (~1.5 hours) passing the most photogenic places with a story in the Haarlem city centre. With an option to visit the surroundings of Haarlem to get a better sight of nature in the area. It is best to walk the route between 10 am and 5 pm, as most of the parlours are open these hours and the daylight is suitable for taking pictures. Follow us on Instagram @instatour.haarlem, here we posted our own pictures as inspiration. The pictures are in the order of the spots you will see during the tour and include some information on the places, so make sure to follow the account to make the best of your tour!


The tour begins at the Haarlem Centraal trainstation. You will walk from Stationsplein to reach the first ‘instagrammable’ destination. Click here for Google Maps with the locations. Click here, Instagram tour Haarlem, to find the written directions. The photos of instagrammable buildings can be found here, Haarlem buildings, so you know what to look for.

After this tour, we hope you have seen the beauty of Haarlem and the city’s beautiful surroundings and taken lots of insta-worthy pics!