Fun things to do in Alkmaar

  • Cheese market
    by dutchasiancouple
  • Kanisstraat 1
    Kanisstraat 1
    by Pijlmans
  • View at the Visbank from the bridge over the canal
    View at the Visbank from the bridge over...
    by Jerelis

Most Viewed Things to Do in Alkmaar

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    The very attractive Town Hall

    by angiebabe Updated Sep 12, 2007

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    One of my guidebooks writes thats this town has at least 400 monuments and that the street layout with old merchant houses and small courtyards can still be seen - well i certainly didnt see Alkmaar to this extent but i was impressed by the number of attractive buildings I did see, especially as I walked up and around the main streets and as I was guided along the canal tour.

    This included being impressed by the very attractive Town Hall up the main street near the Grote Kerk.

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    • Architecture

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    photograph cheese

    by angiebabe Written Sep 13, 2006

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    rather photogenic all these cheeses around the shops - gimmicky but it is the local produce and picture postcard material!?
    buy cheese too while you are at - some not bad deals and prices - cheese with a souvenir cheese slicer or cheese board etc!

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    take notice of historical sights

    by angiebabe Written Apr 21, 2007

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    as i usually do and enjoy, take notice of the buildings and whats around you as you walk - i particularly enjoy seeing old and historical buildings and i am usually impressed by the buildings around europe marked with the year on it - the older the better!

    Alkmaar had its share of old and impressive buildings and sites and sights too!

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    up the mainstreet

    by angiebabe Written Apr 21, 2007

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    Heading for the cheesemarket and back from it i noted the main street was a rather lively street - and a particularly busy shopping street with lots of shops of variety - with some interesting buildings ie particularly the Stadhuis and the Grote Kerk

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    Interesting statue approaching Alkmaar

    by angiebabe Updated Sep 12, 2007

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    Interesting sights around Alkmaar, lovely old buildings still remaining from through the centuries, the canal surrounding the town, old churches and architecture through the time periods, monuments and this statue here beside the lovely canal with its lush green surrounds depicting a or The Good Shepherd!

    Note the clogs hes wearing!

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    Kiss my ass

    by Pijlmans Updated Jun 1, 2009

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    If you stand on the stone bridge at the Mient street and have a look at the houses, you will see the Leeuwen-burg (roughly translated "Lion-castle").

    The Leeuwenburg was re-built in 1707 by Mr Leeuwenburg, the two lions in the gable refer to his name.

    Mr Leeuwenburg had some problems with the city of Alkmaar, he thought he had to wait too long for his building license, and the city-architect even changed several things in the blue prints.

    Mr Leeuwenburg showed his irritation by positioning the two lions with their behinds facing the coat of arms of Alkmaar!

    Very subtle!

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    Canal Tour

    by Pijlmans Written May 23, 2009

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    There are several companies that offer canal boat tours.

    We took the one opposite to the Weighing House (De Waag).

    The boats fit just under the low bridges of Alkmaar...We had to duck a million times in order not to hit our heads...Kind of exciting!

    A trip of 45 minutes was 5.30 euros. See the website for up-to-date information.

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    • Sailing and Boating
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    National Biermuseum “De Boom”

    by penumbra Written Dec 9, 2006

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    Clean drinking water was not always available in medieval towns. Here in Alkmaar, they brought in barrels of water from safe supplies and used it to make beer. Hence beer was drunk in huge quantities and still is today even though fresh water is easily attainable. Commemorating those golden days of beer making is the National Beer Museum. An onsite pub allows you to sample the local wares (for a price, this is Holland after all).

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    • Museum Visits
    • Beer Tasting

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    Cloak Shoes...

    by Xinta Written Jan 14, 2003

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    At one corner of the market square, you'll be able to see how the cloak shoes are made. It doesn't take too long to make it, and doesn't look easy at all, but he did a very fine job...very skillful indeed!

    You can get really nice ready-made cloak shoes according to your size or some other souvenirs, too.

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    Windmill

    by Sprucebeer Written Jan 3, 2005

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    Our first up close look at a windmill. This one was in walking distance from the centre of town. Actually it was the first thing we saw from where we parked. It didn’t seem to be open for visits so we enjoyed the view from the outside. There were a few teenagers hanging out there too.

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    Canal Tour

    by penumbra Written Dec 9, 2006

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    The first time I visited Alkmaar, I went with some friends and we decided to take the canal tour. The boat is a bit smaller than the boats in Amsterdam and doesn’t have a canopy, but that just lets you get that much closer to the town during the tour. We didn’t realize how much closer until we started passing under bridges. Some of the bridges are high enough that you can actually remain seated. A couple of the bridges are low enough that you have to lean over in your seat to pass under. One bridge in particular we had to get down between the seats because the height of the boat alone barely made it beneath the bridge. No one was hurt (they hardly ever loose a passenger) but there was some nervous laughter after that last bridge.

    There are some canal boats in Alkmaar with canopies but these are from Rederij de Schans which puts on a cruise from Zaanse Schans to Alkmaar (and return) for the Friday cheese market.

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    Weighing House, Cheese Museum, Tourist Information

    by Pijlmans Updated May 23, 2009

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    The Weighing House (Waag-gebouw) at the Waagplein/square dates back to 1390 and also houses the Cheese Museum AND the Tourist Information Office (called VVV).

    At the VVV you can get booklets with information about Alkmaar.

    We got a booklet (2.50 euros) with a nice walking tour that took us along most of the places of interest, in about two hours.

    The famous Cheese Market is every Friday from 10:00 till 12:30 at the Waagplein, starting the first Friday of April until the first Friday of September.

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    Wildemanshofje / Wildemans Courtyard

    by Pijlmans Updated May 23, 2009

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    A "hofje" is a courtyard with almshouses around it.

    This one was built in 1713 thanks to the last will of Mr Wildeman (1627-1702). Obviously, the statue refers to his last name, translated "Wild Man".

    The statues next to it (not on the picture) depict Old Age and Poverty.

    It was built for old, single women of Alkmaar.

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    Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar / Municipal Museum

    by Pijlmans Updated May 23, 2009

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    Most of the museum is about the Golden Age of Alkmaar (16th and 17th century), but the museum has some modern art and temporary exhibitions as well.

    You can start with an informative introductory movie of 10 minutes about the history of Alkmaar.

    There's also a small cafe and museum shop.

    See the website for detailed information.

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    • Museum Visits

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    Mill De Groot / Piet's Windmill

    by Pijlmans Written May 23, 2009

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    This windmill was originally a wooden mill built in 1605.

    It was replaced in 1769 by the current stone mill, used for the grinding of grain.

    Officialy the mill is called Mill De Groot (The Great), but it is better known as "De Molen van Piet", or Piet's Mill.

    This name refers to the family Piet, who have been taking care of the mill for several generations.

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