We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Small but superb quality” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Frans Hals Museum

Frans Hals Museum
Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem, The Netherlands (Centrum)
023-5115775
Website
Improve this listing
Book Now

Ranked #2 of 14 attractions in Haarlem
Type: Art Museums
Activities: City walk sightseeing
More attraction details
Attraction Details
Owner description: This small museum focuses on the works of Frans Hals, 17th-century portrait painter.
Voorschoten, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Small but superb quality”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

The museum consists of ~20 rooms, each with a small number of high quality paintings. There is also a lovely knot garden in the centre of the buildings, and a lovely grand dining hall, with furniture contemporaneous to the Golden Age. There is also a fabulous dolls house and bed hangings in a separate room (no disabled access for this).
Main problem is lack of parking. I dropped off my wheelchair user, and left her alone whilst I parked the car 500m away and walked back. Then repeated the exercise at the end.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

209 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    146
    53
    8
    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Trondheim, Norway
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A very nice museum”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

We didn't know much about this museum in advance, and it was a really great positive surprise. Great artwork and interesting collections.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Great & Engaging Experience of an Important Artist”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014


I spent 3+ hours there (and this is not the Louvre!). Visitor can focus, go through slow or fast -- and during my visit, things were pretty quiet there (this is January).

Visitor enters historic building on a quiet cross-street (purpose-built orphanage then pensioner home in early years) . The building alone is fascinating and you can see elements of both histories during your trip through 20-some spaces where the art is displayed: floors, dining room, windows, fireplaces, detailing, artifacts.

Museum visit is well-arranged and quite informative. You learn a lot about Frans Hals, as well as his era and the (largely Haarlem-based) artists who built on his work. You'll see a smattering of paintings by Hals and scattered paintings by others in all sorts of museums -- but not the focused display you see here. And the paintings are in a very helpful context that lets you really understand Hals a lot more deeply.

I will never look at a Frans Hals painting the same way I did before (cheerful, captures emotions, splashy for the era). Based on today's visit, in a smallish museum dedicated to this artist, I have reframed (!). Here you have a genius of a painter (a long-lived one and productive at that!) woven deeply into his community, taking on the task of documenting the various companies responsible for civic safety in Haarlem (through his paintings) -- and also doing portraits of his various sponsors, family members (he had 14 children), and others. He had a tremendous following of very prominent artists, some of whose work is also shown there.

The exhibits are accessibly organized and informative: the Dutch descriptions of the art have English translations right next to the paintings -- and there is a lot attention to allegory, historical information, contemporary response, etc.

Admittedly, I occasionally get drowsy in an art museum; not the case here.

There is a pleasant little cafe there tho not the gourmet level that you'd try build into your day if you didn't stop by there for convenience. The ancient building is on a quite charming side street and has a beautiful courtyard such as you'd find in a monastery.

To avoid being upended: Make sure you keep an eye out for the bicycle traffic on the narrow street!

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
124 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
246 helpful votes 246 helpful votes
“A very nice museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

This museum will show you a lot of paintings from Frans Hals and other painters from the "Golden Age", further more it shows you furniture and other stuff that give you a very good idea what it must have been like at the time of Frans Hals.

It's not huge, but it is big enough to entertain yourself for one or two hours and it's relatively quiet not as packed as when you go to the Van Gogh or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“One of the Big Three of Dutch 17th century painting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Rembrandt van Rijn is without doubt the most famous Dutch painter of the 17th century. Maybe Vermeer is second. But that should at least be a shared second place with Haarlem painter Frans Hals (born in Flanders).
Frans Hals had an exceptionally vivid, "rough" style - the speed with which he could paint was amazing, viewing the results. Many of his works you'll find in the Frans Hals museum in an old building in Haarlem, formerly a home for old men.

Most spectacular are his festive portraits of local militia officers and NCO's.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Frans Hals Museum also viewed

Haarlem, North Holland Province
Haarlem, North Holland Province
 
Haarlem, North Holland Province
Haarlem, North Holland Province
 

Been to Frans Hals Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Frans Hals Museum, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.