The Verdronkenoord, the Luttik Oudorp, the Oudegracht, the Lindegracht ... the Alkmaar canals are like a painting. The best way to enjoy all this is by a boat; They leave every hour from the Mient (1).
In the Alkmaar Stedelijk Museum (4) on the Canadaplein you can learn more about the history of Alkmaar. Works by famous artists are also on display. Also worth the effort; Beer Museum de Boom (5), the Dutch Cheese Museum (6) and the Beatles Museum (7).
Alkmaar has been a top 10 shopping destination for many years. In the Langestraat (9) and the Laat (10) you can find branches of all the big retail chains. For the smaller, boutique shops you need to be in the Old Town (11) and other smaller shopping streets.
From early March 29th until the end of September, you can visit the Cheese Market in Alkmaar every Friday, from 10 am till 1 pm at Waagplein (12). Here you can make the best pictures of cheese, cheese girls and cheese carriers. There are also a number of evening cheese markets.
In the centre of Alkmaar you can find beautiful historical buildings that take you back to Alkmaar's glory days in the (cheese) trading era. A few examples:
Travelling to Alkmaar by train? The trainstation isn't far from the town centre. Coming by car? Then park your car in one of the parking garages located in the centre (P). Within 5 minutes from the canals, shops and museums.
A day on the bike? Rent one at Alkmaar station or at the Kraak at the Verdronkenoord, and explore. Tip: The cycling trip ‘Culturele schatten in het Land van Leeghwater’ (Cultural treasures in Leeghwater country) (41 km) passes by the Schermer windmills and goes through Graft and De Rijp.
De Rijp Is located at less than 10 kilometres from Alkmaar. Shop fronts, canals, shops and restaurants. Your camera will be working overtime. Take a walk or visit a museum, like 't Houten Huis (The Wooden House), where the history of whalers comes to life.
The ‘Schermer’, which was drained in the 17th century, is Holland at its best. Especially in the area of Schermerhorn, there are plenty of windmills. At the Museum Windmill, you can view one from the inside.
Just like De Rijp, Graft has a gorgeous and extremely photogenic town hall. Opposite, is the smallest shop in the Netherlands, where they still sell old-fashioned sweets and treats.
Rent a canoe or a small boat in De Rijp or Driehuizen and discover the pretty nature reserve Eilandspolder. This feels like world’s away from the bustling town.