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Exploring the City of Alkmaar: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

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Exploring the City of Alkmaar: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

Alkmaar is a beautiful city located in the Dutch province of North Holland, between the coastal cities of Amsterdam, IJmuiden, and Utrecht. Founded in 1383, it is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and boasts an abundance of cultural and historical attractions. For visitors seeking to make the most of their time in the area, this guide offers an overview of Alkmaar, with information on its attractions, activities, transportation, and more.

Alkmaar According to Statistics

Alkmaar is a city and municipality in the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland. It is situated close to the Noordhollands Canal and around 30 kilometers west of Amsterdam. As of January 2021, the city had a population of 81,231 people across an area of 71.21 km2 (27.50 mi2).

The Attractions of Alkmaar

When considering a visit to Alkmaar, be sure to include these must-see attractions on your itinerary:

    Grote Sint LaurenskerkThe Grote Sint Laurenskerk (St. Lawrence Church) is one of the oldest extant churches in the Netherlands, having been originally built in the 14th century. The structure was rebuilt several times and now stands as a testament to its history, with Gothic and Renaissance architecture comprising its vast interior. The church also houses the grave of Canon Jan Schotanus, the author of one of the first Dutch history books.
    Waaggebouw AlkmaarThe Waaggebouw Alkmaar (Weigh House) is a historic building dating back to 1647 that served as town hall and customs house, where goods were weighed and taxed before entering the city. Nowadays, you can explore its preserved interior, see its various halls, view its artwork, and take in breathtaking views of Alkmaar’s canals.
    AlkmaarderhoutAlkmaarderhout is a historic forest that sits just northwest of the city’s centre. This former wetlands area is now home to a variety of tree species and animals, such as bats, badgers and deer. Its peaceful setting is a great place to take a relaxing walk or bike ride.
    Stedelijk Museum AlkmaarThe Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar (Alkmaar City Museum) brings together a diverse collection of art from international and local artists, with pieces ranging from 16th-century Dutch paintings to contemporary works by modern masters. This museum is also an important centre for research into the region’s history, industry and culture.

Activities in Alkmaar

There are plenty of exciting things to see and do in Alkmaar, so consider taking advantage of these unique activities while you’re in town:

    Bars and Nightlife Alkmaar is well-known for its bar and nightlife scene. With numerous options throughout the city, you can spend an evening exploring any style of pub or club – from lively dance clubs to cozy pubs for a craft beer. For an unforgettable night out, be sure to check out Club Soho or Club Escobar.
    Cheese Market One of Alkmaar’s biggest attractions is its famously picturesque cheese market. Each Friday between April and September, you can witness traders dressed in traditional costumes carrying wheels of cheese through the town square. The cheese is then sampled and auctioned off in Dutch, providing an interesting glimpse into traditional cheese trading practices.
    Canal Cruises Alkmaar boasts several navigable canals offering visitors a unique way to explore the city. During a canal cruise you can take some time to appreciate Alkmaar’s stunning beauty from a different perspective. The Jordaan Canal Cruise is particularly recommended.
    Sports Sports lovers flock to Alkmaar each year for exciting coverage of soccer matches, tennis tournaments, and international cycling events at some of the city’s most popular stadiums. Be sure to check out AZ stadium for interesting events.

Getting Around Alkmaar

Visitors to Alkmaar have several transportation options to get around the city:

    Train: Alkmaar is served by several train lines connecting it to other cities in the Netherlands. You can purchase train tickets at ticket vending machines in all major train stations.
    Bus: To get around town, visitors can take advantage of various bus lines servicing different parts of Alkmaar. Bus fares are determined by how far you are travelling and can be purchased with coins or contactless bank cards.
    Taxi: For more convenience getting around Alkmaar, visitors can take taxis from any designated taxi stand or hire one through an app such as Uber.
    Bike: Cycling is a popular way to explore Alkmaar’s streets, especially for those looking for a more active transportation option. Bikes can be rented from several locations near major squares within the city.

Tips for Visiting Alkmaar

Here are a few pointers that will help you make the most of your visit when you’re travelling through Alkmaar:

    Be Aware of Local Customs: For those unfamiliar with Dutch culture, it’s worth doing some research before your visit on Dutch etiquette and customs so as not to cause offense or become confused at any point during your stay.
    Travel off-Season: If possible, try to visit Alkmaar outside of peak season (mid-June to mid-August) as prices tend to be lower and crowds smaller.
    Bring Comfortable Shoes: If you’re intending on walking around a lot during your time in Alkmaar, it’s important to wear comfortable shoes as cobbled streets can be quite slippery when wet.
    Be Aware of Pickpockets: As with most major cities around the world, there are pickpockets operating in some parts of Alkmaar. To avoid becoming a victim, it’s best to take general caution when handling your belongings.


Alkmaar is one of the many wonderful destinations worth seeing when visiting the Netherlands. With stunning historic attractions such as Grote Sint Laurenskerk and Waaggebouw Alkmaar combined with plenty of activities like bars and nightlife or renting bikes to cycle around town alternatively withTaxi services or public transport this city has something for everyone any day or night. Whether seeking wonderful cheese markets or historic churches, Alkmaar has something special waiting for anyone willing to explore this wonderful city as part of their holiday experience in Holland. Further information on Alkmaar can be found on

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Exploring the City of Alkmaar: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!