Top things to do in Alkmaar

Top Choice Museum in Alkmaar

Museum BroekerVeiling

The waterlogged area north of Alkmaar was once home to 15,000 tiny, yet productive, farms, each one an island, whose farmers tended their crops by rowboat. You can tour the auction house where farmers arrived with b…
Museum in Alkmaar

Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk Museum's collection of oil paintings by Dutch Masters, including impressive life-sized portraits of Alkmaar nobles, is alone worth the entry fee. Other works show the city in post–Golden Age decline; s…
Market in Alkmaar


On Friday mornings in season, waxed rounds of kaas (cheese) are ceremoniously stacked on the main square. Soon, porters appear in colourful cheese-guild hats, and dealers in white smocks insert a hollow rod to extra…
Church in Alkmaar

Grote Kerk

Alkmaar's Grote Kerk is renowned for its organs. The most famous is the little 'Swallow Organ' (1511) in the north ambulatory. The 17th-century organ built by Jaco van Campen dominates the nave. Organ recitals – whi…
Historic Building in Alkmaar


Built as a chapel in the 14th century, the Waaggebouw was pressed into service as a weigh house two centuries later. This handsome building houses the tourist office and the Hollands Kaasmuseum (Dutch Cheese Museum)…
European in Alkmaar


In the shadow of an old windmill, Abby's has cool jazz inside and cool breezes outside on the terrace. Soups, salads and sandwiches are the mainstays at lunch, but dinner has more adventurous offerings: tournedos (s…
Bistro in Alkmaar

Bistro de 13 Balcken

Dutch cheeses take centre stage at this corner bistro, both at lunch (on gourmet sandwiches such as goat's cheese with Alkmaar-smoked ham and pickled beetroot) and at dinner (Friesland blue-cheese panna cotta with h…
International in Alkmaar

Cafe Restaurant De Buren

Outside tables at this vintage cafe/restaurant stretch along the canal and wrap around to the old fish market, while inside, enjoy works by Dutch sculptor Ron Moret. The global menu spans dishes such as coq au vin b…
Museum in Alkmaar

Nationaal Biermuseum

Housed in the atmospheric old De Boom brewery, the Nationaal Biermuseum has a decent collection of beer-making equipment and wax dummies showing how the suds were made. The video of Dutch beer commercials since the …
Brown Cafe in Alkmaar

De Boom

Unchanged since the 1930s, the timber-panelled pub on the ground floor of the Nationaal Biermuseum lives up to its location. In summer, you can enjoy the fine selection of brews at seats on a moored old canal boat.