Alkmaar is a city that is located in the province of North Holland just a 45 minute drive to the north of Amsterdam. This city has been mentioned in historical records since the 10th century and was given city rights in 1254. During the 1500’s, the city came under siege from Spanish troops, but the siege was stopped and this marked a turning point in the eighty years’ war.
In later years the city was again attacked, but this time by Anglo Russian forces but still managed to retain its independence. Fast forwarding to the present day, Alkmaar has a wider municipal population of 95,000 and is continuing to see development. With a beautiful network of canals, the famous cheese market, and its close proximity to the coast, Alkmaar remains a popular tourist destination.
Lets explore the best things to do in Alkmaar:
1. Alkmaar Cheese market
The Alkmaar Cheese market is renowned throughout the country and indeed Europe.
People flock to the city to see this fantastic event and the traditional activities that take place here.
Cheese trade in the city started as far back as 1365 and this has remained a highly traded and produced food in the region ever since.
During the cheese market, you can see a vast amount of the yellow stuff and watch the Kaaszetters loading the circular cheese into the main market square.
There is a whole host of tradition associated with the market and strict rules and procedures are followed.
For those who love history, or those who love dazzling displays of bright colour, the market really is a sight to witness.