A day in Harlingen, Netherlands

Back in early December, we spent a long weekend in Vlieland and now we were returning, but this time for a week.   When my post about our time there is done, I’ll link it back here and this post will be all about Harlingen.  To make our trip up easier, we decided to take the 9 am boat on Saturday and to say overnight in Harlingen on Friday.   So Friday, the last day of school, we took the train from Den Bosch to Harlingen via Utrecht & Leeuwarden.


Harlingen is a city that is mainly seen as a boarding place to take the ferry boats to one of the Wadden islands – specifically Vlieland or Terschelling.   Someone told me there is a ferry to Texel too but I don’t think this is the case now.  I think that ferry is only from Den Helder now – might have been some years ago?    I could be wrong, but no point in arguing when you only seen two boats going in and out – Vlieland and Terschelling and never Texel…wink wink!

We booked two rooms at the Hotel Zeezight which is in an ideal location on harbor. With a perfect location – just opposite the ferry terminal, we knew it would be easy to get there from the train with our bags and in the morning, super easy to get to the terminal. Plus depending on what time we would arrive in the afternoon, I hoped we could walk around and explore the place a bit before dinner, etc.




View from my room was very nice – I took a few shots to see the light changes.




Both of the rooms were super clean, great showers, the staff were very friendly.  We did have dinner there – but I found it just okay. For the price, I don’t think it was truly worth it.  My 11 year old & I did enjoy the oysters, however.




When we sat down for dinner, it was immediately clear that there was a wedding going on in the main dining area.  Yes they were loud, kids going in and out.  Truthfully, we were not bothered by them, but I think the hotel should have told us before they took our reservation.  Some older folks, clearly they were not thrilled.   We didn’t opt for the breakfast at €15 per person  [€60 = wasn’t worth it] as we wanted something easy on the boat, but I did get two take away coffees from the lobby and brought them back to the room.

We walked around the town for a bit and I took photos with my iPhone 8+ .  The buildings, typically Dutch are very cute and each one varies from the other – which I love!  Here are some of my favorites along my walk.







We had only about 1 hour and 20 minutes before our dinner reservation at our hotel, so I didn’t do this.  But if you want to discover everything about this place and listen to the many stories and anecdotes, you should book a guided city tour that starts at the Grote Bredeplaats near the tourist information.


It was only as we walked away did I notice you could go the top – next time we head to Vlieland – we’re walking up.


Always fun for kids to have the bridge open immediately in front of you and watch a boat sail past.














As you can see from the photos above – Harlingen is echt een heerlijk stadje!

If you have an early morning boat to catch to one of the islands, I highly recommend you do what we did – take a hotel, visit this lovely town and then head out on the first boat the next day.

There are festivals in Harlingen  which are outline here and and historical things to see which I didn’t mention – both can be found here on the vvv site.