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“Short but sweet, a wonderful exquisite small museum” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Frans Hals Museum

Frans Hals Museum
Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem, The Netherlands (Centrum)
023-5115775
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$31*
and up
2 Hour Private Walking Tour of Haarlem
Ranked #2 of 51 things to do in Haarlem
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This small museum focuses on the works of Frans Hals, 17th-century portrait painter.
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Short but sweet, a wonderful exquisite small museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

Besides the fact that the museum is located in a beautiful area of Holland and in a wonderful old building the museum itself is a treat to experience. Small enough to enjoy but not too big and expensive where you feel you need to spend hours to make it worth the money you paid. It is worth every penny to enjoy the Frans Hals Museum. Included in the admission price is an audio tour. When we were done with about half of the museum we took a break and had a nice cup of coffee and a delicious slice of Dutch apple pie in their little cafe.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Maherx5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Voorschoten, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
160 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 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
Helpful?
Thank Leiden_food_lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trondheim, Norway
Level Contributor
74 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 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
Helpful?
Thank Stian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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
Helpful?
Thank tennisone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
507 reviews
343 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 537 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Ronald_jelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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