Geocaching in Haarlem, the Netherlands

Living in the Netherlands gives me an opportunity to explore hidden Dutch villages, beautiful canals and historic sightseeing spots that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Each weekend I try to pack my travel bags and go to a new place to find out what it has to offer in terms of its history, food and traditions. Do you still remember my last visit to Gouda city?

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Visiting Haarlem.

My most recent weekend trip took me to Haarlem – a classic Dutch city of grand churches, historic buildings, cobbled streets, fine cafes, museums and obviously canals! Located in North Holland, just 20 minutes from Amsterdam and Schiphol airport, it’s a great weekend getaway spot if you are looking for a quite, picturesque and laid back place.

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View of Haarlem’s church from a rooftop.

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When in Haarlem, I did Geocaching. If you are not familiar with the concept, let me quickly introduce you to it. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game where participants are to use GPS-enabled devices in order to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at a certain location. That was my first experience doing geocaching and I didn’t realize that there were millions of geocaches hidden around the world, probably even in my hometown in Poland!

To get your adventure started, you should get the free Official Geocaching app and start finding!

Geocaching adventure starts here …

But first, let me grab some coffee!

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Double espresso with coconut milk on the rooftop! Mniam!
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Picturesque Haarlem.

Together with my friend we chose to go for two geocaches hidden in two different locations across the city. The app didn’t work well so we had to use Google maps for directions.

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Exploring Haarlem when geocaching.
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People chilling on boats and cars.

I must admit that we both didn’t succeed in finding the first geocache by ourselves. We’ve been working around one of the tunnels for a long time with no success. When we were just getting a bit impatient, a little boy with his mom on a bike arrived telling us that he was the one who hid a small metal tube and knowing that we couldn’t find it showed us where it was!

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That’s the place where the first geocache was hidden.
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Writing our names on the first geocache we found.

From location 1 we moved to location 2. That was even more difficult as geocache was supposed to be hidden in bushes. We did give it a try but never found it.

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That’s the spot where the second geocache was hidden. Unfortunately we didn’t succeed in finding it.

In overall, although my geocaching experience was not that successful, I still managed to have a lot of fun, see the city, relax, catch up with my friend, drink some coffee and laugh a lot!

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Canals of Haarlem.
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Hidden streets of Haarlem city.

Why go geocaching?

1 – Being active

One of the benefits of geocaching is being active throughout the day. You walk a lot in most cases, but sometimes it’s even required to climb or run. Sometimes you may want to  run the course trying to find the caches as quickly as possible so it could be a good cardio workout of the day!

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Enjoying drinks in the sun.

2 – Being social

Geocaching gives you a great opportunity to get social with your friends, work colleagues and locals. After all you have to work together or against each other to find the hidden geocaches. You talk, come up with different solutions and ideas and get creative.

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Highlights of Haarlem.

3 – Being more educated

When geocaching, you can learn a lot of things – where certain spots are located, how to get to different locations, what the city / town looks like and what it can offer to its locals and visitors. The geocachers must learn something about the area in which the cache is located, thus you can get more familiar with both – places you are visiting for the first time and places you may already know very well.

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One of Haarlem’s spots.

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Have you even done geocaching? Yes – what was your experience and where did you do that? No – would you like to try it?

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25 Comments

  • Czesc Agnes!
    Haarlem looks so beautiful and god the weather looks absolutely beautiful, too. I actually wanted to stay in Haarlem when I visited Netherlands in Easter, as we didn’t find any suitable accomodation in Amsterdam, but even in Haarlem, everything was booked! So finally we stayed in a cute village about 1 hour from Amsterdam center and I loved it. I think Dutch villages and towns are very cute. I am a big fan of canals.
    I did geocaching in Lodz last year and we had success in finding most of them! You’re right, it is a lot of fun. Maybe I should try it out on my next travel :)
    Glad that you had a fun day in Haarlem.

    • I agree Pooja that Dutch villages & cities are cute! I love exploring them one by one. Geocaching in Łódź seems like so much fun! I’ve been there only once – really inspiring city!

  • I first heard of geocaching when I was little but my parents were too lazy to do anything like that (and GPS was brand new technology, not exactly very exact in where things would be). I totally forgot about it until you brought it up. I thought it was something for kids but I guess not! Also, I would have thought Harrlem was more crowded and tourist filled if it really is that close to Amsterdam. Right? Good to know.

    • Convince your parents to do geocaching with you next time. It can be so much fun, really! Haarlem is very close to Amsterdam 15 minute train ride or 35 minute bus ride.

  • I’ve never been geocaching but would love to do it! It sounds like such a fun, unique activity. And by the way, love your photos of Haarlem. We’ve visited Amsterdam multiple times, but haven’t made it there yet. We finally will this August :)

    • Yes, indeed it’s a very unique activity that you can enjoy in different cities across the world. I’m glad you will finally do this this August. Good luck, have fun and let me know how you liked it! :)

  • They should do geocaching with small samples of different kinds of weed hidden all over Amsterdam for the smokers ;) Mind you if they’re already stoned they will most likely be in an ice-cream shop in Jordaan instead and lazy to move!

  • That looks really fun! :D I went to Haarlem for a weekend last year and really loved it there! It’s not too far from Amsterdam but had such a different look and feel!

    • That’s so true Michelle. It’s not far from Amsterdam city and it really looks different than other cities.

  • My cousin told me about Geocaching last year. I have no idea why I still haven’t tried it! Thanks for this post Agness, I will definitely try it this summer :)

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