Alkmaar Travel Guide - Famous for its Cheese Market 

With a population of around 100,000, Alkmaar is far from the largest city in Holland, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quaintness and it's sense of history.

Often described as a 'mini Amsterdam' because of its criss crossed canals and narrow streets, it is home to the region's main Cheese market, with all it's regalia and ceremony on show every friday morning (summer time only).

Located between Amsterdam and Haarlem, it is a medium sized Dutch city, home to around 200,000 people.

Bicycles can be hired from beside the main railway station, which give you an excellent way of seeing the city more quickly than walking, with it's variety of very interesting architectural styles very evident, from the Almshouses in Zevenhuizen to the Mediaeval houses on Kanisstraat.

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Alkmaar Cheese Market

From the first Friday of April to the first Friday in September, Alkmaar's cheese market is held on Friday mornings between 10 - 12:30. During this time the cheese porters carry their cheeses into the square on barrows and weigh them on the Waag (the official scales).

These scales are housed in the Waaggebouw, Alkmaar's famous cheese museum that tells your everything about dairy farming and how it was established.

The Cheese market in Alkmaar hosts a traditional dutch ritual every friday morning, where, rain or shine, the cheesemen in traditional dress bring out their wares for sale on strange shoulder mounted barrows.

After the 'bringing out' ceremony is over, you can preuse the stalls and enjoy samples of dutch cheese made the traditional way.

While in Alkmaar, there are some great museums to visit, including the National Beer Museum and the Dutch cheese museum, which is based in an old weighhouse.

Things to Do & See in Alkmaar

Alkmaar Cheese Market
  • Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar
  • Canals and narrow streets
  • Beaches and Sand dune reserves
  • "Molen van Piet" Windmill
  • Cheese Market & Museum
  • St Joseph's Church
  • Canal tours/canoe hire
  • Historic Agricultural Landscapes


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