Come to Alkmaar and enjoy its cathedral, history and museums.

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.

Known for

Cathedrals, Churches and Historical Buildings

Top hotels in Alkmaar

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Amrâth Hotel Alkmaar
Amrâth Hotel Alkmaar
4 out of 5
Geestersingel 15, Alkmaar
£76
per night
13 Oct-14 Oct
4.2/5Excellent! (650 reviews)

"A hotel recommend if you visit the nice city of Alkmar. Good located and everything I find was very good."…"

Reviewed on 10 Sep 2019

Amrâth Hotel Alkmaar
Image for Grand Hotel Alkmaar
Grand Hotel Alkmaar
4 out of 5
Gedempte Nieuwesloot 36, Alkmaar
£79
per night
6 Oct-7 Oct
4/5Very Good! (126 reviews)

"Good location in the centre of Alkmaar. Hotel has a nice bar and everything around is in walking distance. Room is very simple, but well done. Shower and amenities are very poor and the towels are very small. The pillows of the bed are of the worst quality and size. (Square)and I did not sleep well. ..."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2019

Grand Hotel Alkmaar
Image for Golden Tulip Alkmaar
Golden Tulip Alkmaar
4 out of 5
Arcadialaan 6, Alkmaar
£83
per night
20 Oct-21 Oct
4.1/5Very Good! (146 reviews)

"The bed was comfortable - slept very well. The breakfast buffet was also very good."…"

Reviewed on 30 Jun 2019

Golden Tulip Alkmaar

Popular things to do in Alkmaar

Stedelijk Museum
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Stedelijk Museum

Experience the Siege of Alkmaar, see the finery of the rich living in the Dutch Golden Age and discover the fascinating culture and history of the town.

Waag
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Waag

Visit the cheese museum and learn about cheese making throughout history inside Alkmaar’s beautiful 14th-century cheese weighing house. 

Anne Frank House
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Photo provided by Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme and Congressen

Anne Frank House

4.5/5 (599 Ratings)

See where this brave and famous Jewish teenager hid from the Nazis during World War II and recorded her world-famous diary.

Van Gogh Museum
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Photo provided by Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

4.5/5 (565 Ratings)

This modern museum houses the world’s largest collection of the legendary Dutch master painter who led a troubled life and never saw his work become famous.

Rijksmuseum
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Rijksmuseum

4.5/5 (712 Ratings)

This palatial building full of Dutch paintings and international artifacts is the country’s largest public-funded museum.

Dam Square
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Dam Square

4/5 (1,560 Ratings)

Amsterdam’s iconic square, with its cobbled stones and grand historical buildings, is a lively gathering place and venue for protests and celebrations.

Top activities in Alkmaar

Small Group Alkmaar City Walking Tour
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Small Group Alkmaar City Walking Tour

£16

Visit the charming Dutch town of Alkmaar in this fun 2 hour small group tour! Alkmaar may best be known for its traditional Cheese Market, but the city is bursting with history, cobbed streets, interesting buildings and pretty canals.

Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks
Image for Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks

Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks

£18

The “coolest” hangout in town, XtraCold Icebar, keeps it warm by kitting you out in parkas, so you can comfortably relax and sip drinks in this all-ice venue. Bundle up and head inside to chill out in a bar completely made up of ice, pairing your frosty beverages with thrilling stories of ice-bound explorers.

Heineken Experience Admission Ticket
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Heineken Experience Admission Ticket

£16

A warm welcome, a cool beer. 1867 was a ‘dam good year for beer. It was the year Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a new brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Today, the Heineken Experience opens up a real ‘dam experience.

Hard Rock Cafe Dining with Priority Seating
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Hard Rock Cafe Dining with Priority Seating

£22

Unleash your inner rock star at the Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam, where you can skip the long lines and head straight inside to grab a table at this upbeat and modern restaurant, just a stone's through away from the city's famous canals.

I amsterdam City Card
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I amsterdam City Card

£54

Swing through Amsterdam's can't-miss sights and must-see attractions with one convenient card. With the I amsterdam City Card, you can pop into museums, galleries, and gardens, whisk around town on the city's buses and trams, and enjoy a scenic cruise to check out Amsterdam's iconic canal houses up close.

Pizza Cruise with Drinks & Optional Heineken Experience
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Pizza Cruise with Drinks & Optional Heineken Experience

£38

Spend an evening on the water, savoring fresh-from-the-oven pizza and refreshing drinks as you cruise through Amsterdam's picturesque canals. Enjoy delicious Italian pizzas, ice cream for dessert, and cold Heineken beer as the city sights pass you by.