In the summer I, with my family, took a road trip through the Netherlands. Our trip also took us to the little cheese town of Alkmaar… and because I liked it so much, I went there again a few days ago. Good for you, because from this is now this, very extensive travel report, with many tips& Information (from how to get there to where to stay), about and around Alkmaar in Holland, emerged.
Alkmaar Netherlands: Good to know!
Alkmaar is a city in North Holland, between the North Sea and the Ijsselmeer, with about 110 inhabitants.000 inhabitants. Already in 11. In the nineteenth century a settlement was built around the church. In 1254 Alkmaar was granted city rights and in 1573 it became a symbol of the Dutch struggle for freedom against the Spanish.
Today, the city is known above all as a cheese hotspot, even beyond the borders of the Netherlands. Already since 1622 the Alkmaar cheese market takes place every Friday morning in the summer (from Easter). The white dressed cheese carriers are not only a real eye-catcher. They also attract many tourists (around 300 per year).000 visitors) to the city.
Tips for Alkmaar: All cheese..
In Alkmaar much revolves around cheese. So far so good… Therefore, in Alkmaar, you will find not only the cheese market, but also many cheese stores and not to forget, the Dutch Cheese Museum. Of course you should visit it and please also give a kiss to the cheese lady in front of the entrance door..
The Cheese Museum is located right on the market square. So you could almost say, around the market place is the cheese epicenter.
Good to know: Other interesting museums in the city include the Municipal Museum, the National Beer Museum and the Beatles Museum.
Alkmaar Old Town Stroll: So idyllic..
The old town of Alkmaar, with about 400 historic old buildings, is really cute and soooo instagramable! Canals, colorful houses, white bridges, flowery backyards, small alleys, church towers, warped houses and small museums.
Did you know: Rudi Carell had one of his first appearances (as a child) in Alkmaar?. Even today, a bust stands on the edge of the city center and the square has been renamed "Rudi Carrellplaats".
A special picture of the city offers of course from the water, with a leisurely canal trip. By the way, you can also rent a boat in Alkmaar and, after a short briefing, steer it yourself.
Pure pleasure: Alkmaar restaurants& Cafes
Alkmaar has a lot of small cute cafes, bistros and restaurants to offer. So many that the decision is really hard. Especially nice, I personally think, is the colorful mix. Because honestly, only "a cafe", would be almost boring. In Alkmaar you can also find a flower store with a vegan bistro or a soap store with a cafe or… a restaurant behind historic walls. Therefore, my tip is to really just let yourself drift and turn into the small, narrow side streets. It's worth it!
Alkmaar shops& Shopping tips
In the old town of Alkmaar you will not only find many beautiful old houses, but also some very nice stores. Here is where browsing and shopping is really fun. Let's face it, great souvenirs are e.g., typical Dutch specialties – like cheese.
My secret tip: Take a detour to the candy store. The shop resembles an old pharmacy with lots of jars, wooden drawers and a cute and colorful display. You will find "Inde Soete Suyckerbol" on the edge of the old town (Voordam 4, 1811 MA Alkmaar).
How to get to Alkmaar?
You can easily reach Alkmaar by car, e.g. on a road trip through Holland as we experienced it. If you want to park in Alkmaar, it is best to use one of the parking garages on the outskirts of the old town. The daily fee here is around 15.- Euro. On my second visit to the city, however, I arrived by train. This is also quite uncomplicated with the connection 'Alkmaar Amsterdam'. Travel time about half an hour. The Alkmaar train station is located a bit outside the old city center. If you have chosen an Alkmaar accommodation / overnight stay outside the city – like we did e.g. in the Duynvoet Park of Dutchen in Schoorl (ca. 10 kilometers from Alkmaar) – then you will find the bus station next to the train station of Alkmaar.
Around Alkmaar there are of course also a few very worthwhile excursion destinations, which you can also reach quickly "by bike.
Walk through Bergen& Schoorl
Towns like Bergen with its ruined church and small game reserve or Schoorl with its impressive dune landscape are definitely worth a trip.
By bike through the dunes& to the beach
Since the town is located on the Dutch North Sea, you will find Alkmaar beach feeling e.g. in Bergen aan Zee, Egmond aan Zee or also in Hargen, Camperduin and Castricum aan Zee. All beaches are located between eight and twelve kilometers from the city. So also quite erradelbar.
Not far away: Amsterdam, Haarlem& The Hague
A few more kilometers to the cities of Amsterdam, Haarlem or even The Hague. By car or train you can also reach these destinations relatively quickly. Journey time between 30 minutes and one hour.