Haarlem – a “kindervriendelijk” city

Once you become a parent in the Netherlands, you’ll probably find that kindervriendelijk becomes one of your most frequent google searches. Your dinners out will turn into deliveroos and you’ll see yourself changing your favourite wine bar for a Pippas-kind of place. And you won’t really mind.



But this wasn’t always the case. I wasn’t a mother when I was living in Amsterdam. No one in my close circle of friends was. So where to go with kids in town was not one of my worries. Point is that, now that I have a 19 month old, whenever I go back to Amsterdam I cannot find my way into the crowds, walking with a pram is unbearable and going into any of those brown cafes I used to love is, literally, impossible (were the doors always so narrow? And what’s with every place having stairs?!).


But I don’t get that in Haarlem.


To start, I moved to Haarlem because I thought that maybe one day I would want to start a family with my soon-to-be husband and I wouldn’t mind a garden without having to pay a million Euros. Or half a million. Life went on and we did have a kid, and suddenly, that beautiful and fun city we’ve found in Haarlem, became a family-friendly city – without losing its charm or fun.


“Kindervriendelijk” restaurants started to pop up in my radar. Were they always there? I have no idea. Some with great coffee, some with amazing food. And I am talking about a Meneer Paprika or a Pippa’s, which they are obviously meant for families with kids. I am also talking about a Barista Cafe with its small kids corner, or a Bistro Bis with a full basement for kids. There are so many options!


I am happy to walk you through my favourites – always from the perspective of a mother of a toddler (turning 20 months in a week) because if you haven’t find your way into this “kindervriendelijk” city, you only need to walk a bit!