Haarlem Bridge route

The Haarlem Bridge route is a beautiful boat route of about 12 km through the centre of Haarlem. This route will take you past several places of interest. You will also pass the Spaarne, which is one of Haarlem's most beautiful spots from the water, there and back. The duration of the route is about 100 minutes

Route description

The starting point is in Haarlem at the dock in the Spaarne at the height of the former tugboat Zeehond (ClubSpaarne.com) and you turn right. You follow the bend. In front of you is the Gravestenen Bridge from 1863 (rebuilt in 1949), the bridge is named after "the Gravensteen" a defense tower of the Counts of Holland. Continue sailing on the Spaarne and now follow the bend. You arrive at the Milk Bridge (1887). The Milk Bridge is a swing bridge designed by city architect Jacques Leijh. BEWARE: There are ships here that are larger and faster than you and less maneuverable. When you arrive at the Lange bridge, you turn right under the Eendjes Bridge (1964). This was the location of the Eendjes Gate. Here you enter the Raamsingel, the city moat on the south side of Haarlem. The name of this water was changed after the Grote Houtbrug in Gasthuissingel and after the Kleine Houtbrug in Kampersingel.

You pass under three bridges in sequence:

  • Kleine Hout Bridge (1883)
  • Grote Hout Bridge (1930)
    This was the location of the Grote Houtpoort until 1825, one of the main access gates to the city. The Grote Houtstraat is the main shopping street in Haarlem.
  • Raam Bridge (1881/1937)

From here you have a beautiful view of the Nieuwe Bavo from 1895. You turn right under the Leiden Bridge (1881). On the right you see the City Theater (1915 and 2008). Pay particular attention to the lamp posts and railings of wrought and cast iron in Neo Renaissance style. You are now sailing on the Leiden Canal, the former towpath between Leiden and Haarlem. You continue your route through the Leiden Canal and sail under the Prince Henry Bridge (1884). Then you pass under three bridges:

  • Raaks Bridge South (1966)
  • Raaks Bridge North (1967)
  • Zijl Bridge (1881)

Between the first two bridges on your left you will see the Brewer's Bridge which provides access to the Brewer's Canal. The Haarlem brewers used to fetch pure dune water from the Brewer's Well through this waterway. Clear beer was brewed from it. You go straight on the Kinderhuissingel and after the Zijl Bridge take the first right turn. You sail under the Manege Bridge. You are now on the Nieuwe Gracht, with several national monuments on both sides. Then you go under the Nassau Bridge (1884), the Cross Bridge (1889) and the Jans Bridge. After passing the Jans Bridge, you go straight. At the Zanders Bridge (1923) you turn left and sail again on the Spaarne. BEWARE: there are ships here that are larger and faster than you and less maneuverable. You see the Mill "de Adriaan", built in 1779 as a defensive mill. This mill was rebuilt in 1999 after it was destroyed by fire in 1931.

You will pass under the Spoor Bridge (1907, replaced in 1992), followed immediately by the Prince's Bridge (1957). Turn left for the Haven Office under the Women's Gate Bridge (1955). On the right side of the Spaarne River, you will see the Droste factories. You are now sailing into the Kloppersingel, part of the former city fortifications. These fortifications date back to the second half of the 17th century and were refurbished by landscape architect J.D. Zocher in 1821. You will pass three small islands, one of which is home to the Gans family with 40 to 50 members, be careful not to bother them or they may bite! You will also pass under two more bridges:

  • Kennemer Bridge (1928)
  • Noorder Bridge (1902)

The Schotersingel is part of a city moat from the time of the city's expansion at the end of the 17th century and is named after the former neighboring town of Schoten. You will pass under three bridges:

  • Verspronck Bridge (1940)
  • The Spoor Bridge, which stands on beautiful characteristic cast iron pillars
  • Kenaubrug (1940)

You will end up in the Kinderhuis Canal and sail along the Kenau Park. Then turn left onto the Nieuwe Gracht. Now turn right after the Jans Bridge. You will enter the Bakenessergracht. This canal was the northeast border of the city in 1245, the year Haarlem received city rights. You will pass under three bridges:

  • Korte Jans Bridge (1968)
  • Begijne Bridge (1962)
  • The Wildeman Bridge (1962)

On the right, you will see the tower of the Bakenesser Church. You will return to the Spaarne River. NOTE: turn left and then straight onto the Burgwal. The Burgwal was created during the city's expansion in the mid-14th century. You will pass under the Korte Bridge (1905) and then the Hage Bridge (1965). Then you will pass under the Antonie Bridge (1905) and exit back onto the Spaarne River. NOTE: there are ships here that are larger and faster than yours and less maneuverable. On your left, you will see the Verfroller, which is actually called the Lange Bridge (1995). The bottom of this bridge is painted by artists from Mutare, Haarlem's sister city in Zimbabwe. Turn right here. You will sail on the Spaarne River, the river described by Lennaert Nijgh in the song "The Spaarne River Flows," performed by Boudewijn de Groot. Then you will sail under the Milk Bridge and Graven Stones Bridge. You will continue your journey along the Spaarne River and follow the bend. You will now approach the Catharijne Bridge. To the left of the Catharijne Bridge is the starting point.