Build for the future in historic Haarlem

Haarlem’s historic architecture rivals – some even say surpasses – Amsterdam’s. With several medieval landmarks and plenty of picturesque streets and squares, the city is a joy to spend time in. It's also very well-connected: trains depart to Amsterdam Central Station frequently and the journey takes just 15 minutes, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a 15-minute car ride away. Though it is rich with history, Haarlem is also lively, packed with culture, nightlife, dining hotspots and some of the best shopping streets in the Netherlands.

All this helps to inspire plenty of entrepreneurial vision. Young digital businesses and agencies gravitate to Haarlem. It’s all about rejuvenation here, and about providing space and opportunities to businesses in up-and-coming industries. Haarlem Business Park Waarderpolder, near the city centre, is a vibrant hotspot for both new and established companies, with a focus on sectors and fields such as the creative and maker industries, 3D printing, digital economy, circular economy and sustainability and life sciences and health. In another example of rejuvenation, historic prison De Koepel is being converted to house the University College Haarlem, which is due to open in 2020.

Business USPs

  • Historic city with high quality of life and vibrant cultural scene
  • 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • Innovative business outlook with an eye to rejuvenation and welcoming companies from up-and-coming sectors
  • Haarlem is a hub for highly-educated professionals and entrepreneurs
  • Appeals to young, creative businesses

How to get there

Trains to Amsterdam go several times an hour and take 15 minutes to Central Station. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a 15-minute car ride away.

Prevalent industries, including sub-sectors

Young digital businesses and creative agencies tend to gravitate to the city; Haarlem Business Park Waarderpolder is a vibrant hotspot for both new and established companies, with a focus on sectors and fields such as the creative and maker industries, 3D printing, digital economy, circular economy and sustainability. The life sciences and health sector is also flourishing in Haarlem thanks to the availability of talent and the outstanding logistics connections in the region. The city is also a hub for top-level professionals and entrepreneurs, providing talent for the greater Amsterdam Area. 

Who is here?

Large international companies and European headquarters include K-Swiss, MSD, Teva Pharmaceutical, Nomad Digital and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Other success stories include the Iron Mountain data centre, Dopper sustainable water bottles, craft brewery Jopen, Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards, Joh, Enschedé’s security print work, the Record Industry vinyl pressing plant, and there’s a healthy SME scene, too.


Good for business

Haarlem supports entrepreneurial vision. Rejuvenation is the name of the game, and there are plenty of opportunities awarded to businesses in newer sectors. Rates for business space are competitive compared to Amsterdam, and Haarlem certainly doesn’t have any less charm than its bigger neighbour. The city’s liveability, bustling cultural and culinary scene and proximity to Amsterdam are also interesting to businesses that want to attract young talent.

Attracting talent

Haarlem is highly liveable: it is beautiful, has a stimulating cultural and culinary life, and the North Sea beaches are also just a short hop away. Cobbled streets, winding waterways and gabled houses add to the city’s old-world charm. Residential areas in this compact city are well connected to the centre, so travelling distances are at a minimum – a short bike ride will get you to most places, including the Waarderpolder business park. As a popular base for families, Haarlem is expanding its provisions for international schools, while its Dutch schools are also of renowned quality. The proposed University College Haarlem will provide 600 new student places for bachelor studies in liberal arts and sciences in the centre of the city. Lastly, Amsterdam is a mere 15-minute train journey away, with good transport links to all other cities in the Randstad.