Remember to eat before you go - Dutch cheeses are delicious. The "grand old lady" makes the cheese and at the same time explains (in good English) all the phases. She also usually gives some pieces to people to taste.
She shows the place where the cheeses are stored waiting for aging enough.
Usually in these places you can also buy some souvenirs (Dutch cheese products of course!)
Every friday in summer there is the cheese auction at Almaar, from ?10 am until 1pm or just a little after.
Still in traditional costumes it makes an interesting spectacle whether for the tourist that come in droves - and also support the stalls and markets (cheese, clogs, dutch crepes and raw anchovies if you wish!) that set up around the auction site.
Rather pretty area with river and canals and interesting town hall and surrounding old buildings. Canal tours are available and advertised right there at the site for only 4.75 and 5 euro for one and a half hours.
There are half to 45 minutely trains from centraal station that take 45 minutes to Almaar for 11 euro day return ticket. then its a 10 minute walk to the cheese auctions. When i got off at the train station at alkmaar there was a woman with a temporary info stand with maps of the alkmaar centre - handy but didnt show the location of the cheese auction - take the main street into the centre, aim for the town hall or main canal right down the end of the main street and then turn left and you will, as i did, hopefully find it!
There are many nice and interesting cities and villages around Amsterdam.
If you are interested in the traditional cheese industry, you shouldn't miss Alkmaar, Gouda and Edam.
Another option for a scenic day-trip is to visit the charming villages in the "Golden Circle": Marken, Monnickendam and Volendam by the Markermeer (part of the IJsselmeer, formerly called Zuiderzee) or go to the Zuiderzee (open air) Museum in Enkhuizen to see all in one.
Heard of Edam and Edam Cheese before? Well, my buddies (yes, all of us) also paid a visit to a Edam Cheese factory in - where else? - Edam, just 5-minutes away from Volendam village by car.
We had a GREAT time tasting all the different types of cheese that Edam produces. My favorite cheese (oh, and I do ADORE eating cheese!) must surely be the Smoked Cheese. Whilst the rest of my friends haggled over the cheese prices with the sales staff, I stationed myself (quietly) by the counter filled with all these delicious cheese samples.... and before I knew it, I'd finished up all the cheese samples on the counter. :-))
See the Rembrandt Hoeve Clog Factory & Cheesefarm.
The Rembrandt Hoeve is a tradional farm where wooden shoes and cheese are made. Skilful hands cut the old-Dutch wooden shoes from a block of wood. You can try on a pair of shoes. You can buy a miniature pair as souvenir or buy a pair that fits you. Its cheaper here than elsewhere.
If you want to know how cheese is made, then you must visit the cheese factory. There are many cheese factory in Amsterdam.