Experience a traditional cheese market, hire a motorboat and potter around the canals, explore the surroundings by bike, and relax at one of the numerous sidewalk cafés.
Alkmaar is rich in cultural heritage, is close to the seaside and has cute shopping streets. Whether you're staying for the weekend or a whole week, there’s more than enough to do.
Alkmaar was granted town privileges in 1254 by William II. For centuries, the city played an important role in the conflict with the West-Frisians. Centuries later, in 1573, Alkmaar was the first city to hold off a Spanish siege since the 80-year war, making it an important milestone in Dutch history.
Spend a leisurely afternoon strolling along Laat and Langestraat, Alkmaar's two biggest shopping streets. If you're in town in summer, catch your breath with a cold drink at Waagplein, which fills up very quickly when the weather’s good. It’s also where the famous cheese market takes place on Saturdays between April and September. You’ll have to get there early if you want to see the traditional cheese bearers at work and enjoy the fun.
The Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar near the Grote Kerk is open all year. The museum is dedicated to the region's cultural history and is highly recommended. End your day of cultural activities at Theater De Vest, which is right next to the museum.
Alkmaar is a very compact city and easy to explore on foot. If you're in Alkmaar on a warm day, hire a boat for an hour at Geestersingel and see the city centre from a different angle. Admire the beautiful facings and stop for an ice cream or a picnic.
Alkmaar has two train stations and a number of city and regional bus services, making it easy to reach the city by public transport. Alkmaar is 35 minutes from Amsterdam by public transport.
If you're travelling by car, you can park in one of the parking garages in the centre of town. Bear in mind that parking garage Karperton is renowned for its narrow parking spaces and very tight turns.
Enjoy a fun time in this cute, green city full of things to see and do.