When visiting Haarlem for the first time, be sure not to miss some distinctive festivals, sites and events.

If you visit the town in April, don't miss the Flowerparade. Cars adorned with floral motifs do the parade. There are parallel activities and the ambiance is festive and very friendly. For details about the event, check out the parade's website at http://www.bloemencorso.info. If you miss the festival, pay a visit to Keukenhof Park, a site near Haarlam to see and buy the most incredible varity of tulips and attend workshops about bulbs. For details about the bulb markets and other activities, check the park's website at: http://www.keukenhof.com.

Visit the church of Grote de St. Bavokerk in the main square, a historical landmark as the floors are the gravesones of old knights. 

The  most interesting museum is the well known Frans Hals Museum, which contains a number of well known piecesd by Hals himself as well as the Haarlem still life school.  If you are in Haarlem for an longer stay the Archeological Museum and Teylers Museum are also worth a visit. 

Stop by Corrie Ten Boom House. Located at 19 Barteljorisstraat, Corrie's family offered the house as a hiding place for workers and Jews during the Nazi occupation of the town.