Some of the most popular cities in Europe are struggling with heavy influx of tourists such that the locals are now an annoyed lot. Cities are now geared towards catering to tourists – real estate prices are higher, unruly tourists spoil the city, the locals no longer remember their city as theirs. These cities are slowly turning into Disneyland of sorts and in search of authenticity, a traveler has to look beyond the main attractions.
I was recently presented with the wonderful opportunity to explore parts of Netherlands for the first time. There is much to see, much to experience and a lot to cycle in this country but my time was short. Many visitors to this country start and finish their itineraries in Amsterdam. To experience a slightly quieter and a more local experience, I decided to stay during my travels in the medieval city of Haarlem instead and visit Amsterdam as day trips.