We often get asked the question; is Alkmaar worth visiting? Most tourists only think about visiting Amsterdam when they’re going to the Netherlands, but there are so many more interesting places to visit here and in our opinion Alkmaar is one of those interesting places. So to answer the main question of this article: YES Alkmaar is worth visiting! We will elaborate on our answer a little bit in this article.
Alkmaar is a lot smaller than Amsterdam, but to Dutch people this is a city. Yeah it’s to small for the global definition but let’s roll with it alright? The people here are friendly and sometimes it kind of feels like a big village. There is a relaxed vibe and it’s not too crowded, except when the weather is really good and there’s a cheese market, that combination makes everyone go outside. When you go during the weekdays Alkmaar won’t be crowded at all. The city has much to offer to the people that live there, but also to tourists. We think that going to smaller places will give you more of an idea on how residents really live. Don’t only visit the biggest tourist attractions, because then that’ll be all you know and you’ll miss what this (and every other place for that matter) country is really like.
Alkmaar has lots of stores, some churches, a number of parks and Alkmaar has a small center where you can spend many hours. You can also visit mills in Alkmaar, there is one in the center, namely ‘De Molen van Piet’ (literally translated as the mill of Piet). On sunny days, there will be many people sailing their boats on the water. You can rent your own boat, canoe, or sup board, but you can also go to the park around the center, chill on the grass and look over the water.
Alkmaar has many nice local restaurants (like the ones we mention in this article for example!) and some bigger restaurant chains like Backwerk, Bagels & Beans, and Anne & Max. At Waagplein there are also many restaurants and on Friday mornings in the summer there is a cheese market. We recommend you to walk around and go to the more narrow alleys since you will find the most surprising stores and restaurants there. Go explore and find out for yourself if Alkmaar is truly worth visiting.
Do you want more tips on Alkmaar? We have already written a travel guide with more hints on where to go and what to see!