Cheese in Holland
The Dutch passion for good "kaas" is contagious. At any time while visiting Holland, you’re never far from the beloved Gouda and Edam, with eateries on every street serving up delicious cheese-based dishes and snacks, no matter what the time of day.
Board one of our overnight car ferries from Newcastle to Ijmuiden, or any of the up to 60 daily sailings between the UK and France, and you’ll be sampling Dutch dairy delights before you know it.
Header image credit: Roman Boed
If you want a snapshot of the history of the cheese products the Netherlands is so well known for, then the free entry Amsterdam Cheese Museum offers the perfect starting place.
With an insight into the cheese-making process and free samples to your heart's delight, it's a must-see for cheese lovers.
If you still haven’t had your fill, pay a visit to the Reypenaer Tasting Room, also in Amsterdam, for a professionally-guided tasting aimed at making a cheese connoisseur of the enthusiastic amateur.
You can even take a canal tour as part of your visit!
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For a true taste of local culture and an impressive selection of Dutch cheeses, take a stroll around Amsterdam's lively open-air food markets. Find the best stalls and eateries at the monthly Neighbourfood Market centrally located at the Westergasfabriek, or the Nieuwmarkt organic market on a Saturday.
Outside of Amsterdam there are still some cheese markets taking place in the historic centres of cheese production. You’ll find bustling markets in Edam, Gouda, Hoorn and Woerden, amongst others. These markets, held between spring and autumn range from proper modern trading centres to little more than well-presented tourist traps.
Find Holland's most famous cheese in the eponymous Edam, a small town just a short drive to the east coast of Holland from our port in IJmuiden. Here you will find the weekly Edam Cheese Market throughout the summer, where their heritage is strongly upheld with traders bringing their cheese by boat and aided by cheese carriers in traditional attire.
Gouda’s cheese market, in particular, is legendary in Holland. Held between April and August, the market is one of the few traditional cheese markets left in the country. These days it fulfils a touristic purpose as well as its traditional purpose of allowing local farmers to get their produce out to sell.
Image credit: Jason Raia
Henri Willig discount
No cheese-lover’s trip to Holland would be complete without a visit to one of Henri Willig’s Cheese and More shops, especially as DFDS customers can make the most of a 10% discount at Henri Willig shops.
Whether you're looking for a luxury hand-made souvenir or treating yourself to a wheel of delectable cheese, just show your booking confirmation at the check-out.
Alternatively taste four cheeses and enjoy two glasses of wine or beer at Henri Willig in the centre of Amsterdam with our cheese-tasting offer.
To book a cheese tasting, simply add it to your booking online.
Types of cheese
Holland is probably best known for Edam and Gouda cheeses – both cow’s milk cheeses and both popular exports across the world. As well as the near-countless varieties of Gouda, the Dutch produce many other lesser known, but well-loved cheeses.
Limburger originated in the historical Duchy of Limburg. It is not a cheese for the faint hearted, as it is especially known for its pungent odour akin to smelly feet.
Maasdammer is peppered with holes and has a relatively sweet and nutty taste making it a close cousin of many Swiss cheeses, particularly Emmental. Throughout Holland you'll also find cheeses mixed with herbs and spices including cloves, mustard seeds, nettle leaves and cumin.
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