Edam Travel Guide - Famous for its Cheese 

The first thing most people associate with the town of Edam is its cheese, and its weekly cheese markets are a popular tourist attraction.

However, Edam offers visitors much more than just cheese, with its striking architecture, peaceful canals and rich heritage.

From humble beginnings as a primitive 12th century settlement, Edam later grew into an important shipbuilding town, with 33 shipyards responsible for the construction of many famous ships. Today, this prosperous heritage is visible in the well-preserved gables, squares, bridges and monuments, whose distinctive 17th century Dutch style bear testament to the city's rich history.

Edam's beautiful architecture makes it a wonderful place to relax and explore the streets and canals. A short stroll will take you past the leaning Carillon tower, whose bells still play a short melody every 15 minutes, the Edam Museum with its unique floating cellar, and the Great Church with its stunning collection of stained glass windows.

Numerous cosy shopping streets with shops specialising in antiques, art and souvenirs are perfect for browsing, and pleasant bars and restaurants give ample opportunity for relaxing on a terrace with a drink or a snack. Edam is a wonderful example of a quintessential Dutch town, and a visit there is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Edam Cheese

The famous Edam CheeseEdam is most famous for the cheese of the same name. Edam cheese was the most popular cheese in the world between the 14th and 18th centuries, and was especially popular with sailors and in distant colonies - its ability to age well made it perfect for long journeys.

A little-known fact is that most Edam cheese is considered far too 'young' by Dutch standards, and a good 'ripe' Edam is much dryer and saltier than the soft, sweet variety most people are familiar with. Edam sold within the Netherlands also lacks the distinctive red or orange layer of paraffin wax, as this is only used to protect the cheese when it is exported.

Edam's Cheese Market is a popular tourist attraction during the summer months, and the Cheese Weigh House is open all year round with an exhibition and chance to sample some of the cheese produced on site.

Things to Do & See in Edam

Edam Cheese CarrierThe Cheese Market

Edam's famous cheese markets run weekly in the summer. The familiar round cheeses are still transported into the town by boat or horse-drawn cart, and visitors can watch the cheese being unloaded by special cheese-carriers and tested for quality before being sold.

The Great Church

The Great Church is one of the largest churches in the Netherlands, and has a large collection of beautiful stained glass windows donated from neighbouring towns or by trade guilds in centuries past.

Edam Museum

The Museum is Edam's oldest brick house, dating from around 1530. An interesting feature is the floating cellar - a brick box room floating freely on ground water underneath, and said to have been built by a sea captain who missed his time on the open sea...

The Cheese Weigh House

See an exhibition on the production of cheese in Edam, and sample cheese produced on site.


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