Alkmaar in Noord-Holland
Alkmaar is a Dutch city in the province of Noord-Holland with about 108,000 residents. The city rights were granted in 1254 and the city can look back on over 750 years of history.
The visitor arriving in Alkmaar immediately notices that the centre of Alkmaar is full of historic houses, it is even possible to state that there are quite a number of medieval houses which are still in very good order and condition. Also, Alkmaar is crossed by many canals. The city centre is dominated by the big "Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk" which is an impressing building especially because of its tall church tower. It seems that the church still is a substantial element in people's life in Alkmaar. The Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is very often used for wedding ceremonies by the local population.
Alkmaar is one of the well-known cheese-producing cities in The Netherlands. On a square called Waagplein the city still holds the traditional cheese market, although nowadays the cheese market is more sort of a tourist attraction. Still the cheese market enjoys huge popularity and between April and September the market is held every first Friday of the month in the morning from 1000h to 1230h.
The cheese market is very traditional and people wear the traditional historic dress and the cheese is transported on wooden skids. Also the cheese is being weight old style. The cheese market sells the locally produced cheese. The cheese market is about showing what cheese trading was all about in times gone by. Nowadays the cheese trade no longer needs the traditional market on an open square. The Alkmaar cheese market is one of only a few traditional cheese markets still in existence.
The Waag or cheese scales is the huge building at the southern end of Waagplein, where also the tourist office and the Dutch Cheese Museum (Hollands Kaasmuseum) are situated.
When you go to Hoorn you already know you will later go and see Alkmaar. That place is well known for their once-a-week cheese market in mid-town. We went there for a first impression on a Sunday, as usual. We arrived early, before the real started there to get into swing. There are so many lovely sites, it is simply amazing. We did have the luxury of a travel guide, as usual something was left home. The benefit is that you really depend on yourself. You will have to look more closely and it takes some more time to go through the streets and look around. Trust me, there is more to see than you could probably imagine.
What are the top sights in Alkmaar?
- Grote Sint-Laurenskerk
- Stadhuis Alkmaar
- Alkmaar Cheese Market at Waagplein
- Windmill "De Molen van Piet"
- Sint Josef Kerk
- The Canals inside the old town Voordam, Mient, Zijdam and Luttik Oudorp
- Stedlijk Museum Alkmaar
- TAQA Theater De Vest
The Alkmaar Old ´Town is encircled by a canal which, obviously, marks the position of the what used to be the ramparts. The old town of Alkmaar was, and still is, connected to a huge system of canals. The entire site of Alkmaar is crossed by canals in every direction.
Map and Route Planner to Alkmaar
When planning to visit Alkmaar just clik on the map. Google Maps will suggest the best route for you. Have fun.
Town Hall on the left and the Groote Kerk in the background
Kaasmarkt Alkmaar / Waagplein