Alkmaar is a historic city located in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. The city center of Alkmaar is characterized by its charming canals, narrow streets, and historical buildings.
Alkmaar is a picturesque and lively city with a rich cultural heritage, offering a blend of history, art, and natural beauty.
It is an attractive destination for visitors seeking to explore the Netherlands beyond its more well-known cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Alkmaar Cheese Market
Alkmaar Cheese Market (Alkmaar kaasmarkt) is the largest cheese market in the Netherlands.
Alkmaar is said to have had a cheese market in 1365, although there is no clear evidence. But the Cheese Transport Association was established in 1593, so it is a cheese market with a history of at least 400 years.
Alkmaar Cheese Market is held every Friday from April to September. The Night Cheese Market is held every Tuesday night in July and August.
Event period: March 31st to September 29th
Night Market: Every Tuesday on July and August
Night Market Hours: 19:00-21:00
Address: Houttil 26, 1811 JM Alkmaar
URL: Alkmaar kaasmarkt
Once a beer brewery, the Beer Museum（Biermuseum） now displays valuable beer-making tools and equipment.
You can also taste 3 different beers.
You can always have a good beer at the bar, De Boom. De Boom is open every day from noon to midnight and is busier than the Beer Museum.
Let’s go to a Dutch candy store! The candy shop (Inde Soete Suyckerbol) across from the Beer Museum sells a wide variety of candies.
The city center of Alkmaar is characterized by its charming canals, narrow streets, and historical buildings. The Waag Square（Waagplein）, located in the heart of the city, is a vibrant area with numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The large building in front of Waagplein is the Cheese Museum (Hollands Kaasmuseum) and the tourist information office. You can learn more about Alkmaar cheese at this museum.
House with the Bullet
The “Huis met de Kogel” (Dutch for “House with the Bullet”) is a historic building. The name of the house comes from the bullet that is lodged in its façade.
The history behind the bullet dates back to the 17th century during the Siege of Alkmaar in 1573. This siege was part of the Eighty Years’ War, a conflict between the Netherlands and Spain. Legend has it that during the siege, a Spanish soldier shot a bullet that hit the house but did not cause any significant damage. The bullet got stuck in the wooden beam of the house’s façade and remained there as a symbol of resilience.
Over the centuries, the house changed owners and went through various renovations, but the bullet remained embedded in the façade, becoming a notable and curious feature of the building. Today, it serves as a historical landmark and a reminder of Alkmaar’s past.
Visitors to Alkmaar can easily spot the House with the Bullet while strolling along Verdronkenoord street. It is a charming example of the city’s architectural heritage and adds to the overall historical ambiance of Alkmaar’s city center.
Ice Cream Shop
The ice cream shop IJssalon De Mient near the cheese museum is very delicious. There are so many flavors it’s hard to choose.
I tried lemon sorbet (Citroen sorbet) and cinnamon (kaneel). The cinnamon was rich and delicious!
Restaurant and Cafe
There are many cafes and restaurants along the canal. The seats on the bridge (Platte Stenenbrug) over the canal are especially popular.
Shopping street, Langestraat
Langestraat is a prominent street located in the city center of Alkmaar, Netherlands. As the name suggests, it translates to “Long Street” in English. It is one of the main shopping streets in Alkmaar and is known for its lively atmosphere, historical buildings, and a wide variety of shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
In addition to the shopping and dining options, Langestraat offers a glimpse into the city’s history. Several historic buildings can be found along the street, including beautifully preserved facades with ornate details. These architectural gems provide a sense of Alkmaar’s rich heritage.
St. Lawrence Church
The Grote Kerk, also known as the St. Laurenskerk (St. Lawrence Church), is one of the most prominent churches in the city and holds historical and cultural significance.
Inside the Grote Kerk, visitors can admire the impressive organ, which is one of the main highlights of the church. The organ was built by the renowned organ builder Jacobus C. Schnitger in the 17th century and is considered one of the finest Baroque organs in the country. The church’s acoustics make it an ideal venue for organ concerts and other musical events.
The windmill (De Molen van Piet) was built in 1769 as a windmill for milling flour. Although it is no longer milled, it remains a symbol of Alkmaar.
The Beatles Museum (Het Beatles Museum) displays the collection of the legendary British rock band The Beatles.
With 1,200 square meters of exhibition space, it is the largest Beatles museum in the world.
The brewery（Craft Brewery） across from the Beatles Museum is a family-run brewery that operates as a bar only on weekends.
It is a wonderful building with a design that remodeled a warehouse. On sunny weekends the bar is popular with young people.