You want to spend a day in Alkmaar? Here you will find an itinerary to the best off the beaten path things to do in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
Alkmaar is one of the cities that is well-known for the cheese market, however, not many people go off the beaten path in Alkmaar. Which is something I’m going to change. Alkmaar is a city that has a lot to offer and plenty of things to do. You can easily spend one day in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. Keep on reading to find an itinerary on how to spend a day in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
If you don’t know what to see, what to do, where to stay or where to eat in Alkmaar, then this is the perfect article for you.
One day itinerary for Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Where to eat the best breakfast in Alkmaar
When you arrive in Alkmaar, the first thing you need to do is go for breakfast. You need to eat at one of the best breakfast spots in Alkmaar, called Echt. Echt is a breakfast and lunch restaurant in Alkmaar where you can eat your heart out.
Echt means real in English and that stands for the fact that the food they serve is homemade and fresh. At the same time, they like to use organic products and local products. So, while you’re eating your heart out in one of the best cafes of Alkmaar, you’re also taking care of the environment.
When you’re at one of the best restaurants in Alkmaar anyway, eat their apple pie. You won’t regret it. Click here for their website.
Opening times Echt Alkmaar
7 days a week from 08:30 – 17:30.
1811 LG Alkmaar
Canal tour in Alkmaar
After the best breakfast in Alkmaar, it’s time to explore one of the most beautiful cities of The Netherlands in the best way possible. With a boat trip. Alkmaar is a city that has plenty of things to do and one of those things is seeing the canals. There is a canal tour departing from the street De Mient which is opposite from the Waag (cheese weighing) building. The canal tour is provided by Rondvaart Alkmaar.
During the months May until September the boats depart every day, every whole hour. What time the latest canal tour will depart in Alkmaar depends on the weather and the number of passengers. So, it’s useful to go there before so you can ask their predictions. In the months of April and October, the boats go 6 days a week, from Monday until Saturday.
The price for adults is 6,50 euros.
Or rent a boat in Alkmaar and sail through the canals
If you’re not a fan of canal tours, then the other option is sailing through the canals of Alkmaar yourself. And you’ll definitely enjoy that. Keep in mind that if you’ve never sailed a boat before, this might not be the best option. The bridges can be small and are not high. Besides that, there is other traffic coming your way, so you need to think quick and not panic, in order to be a safe sailor. One of the best things to do in Alkmaar is when you’ve rented a boat, to go for a picnic in the city park ‘stadspark’ of Alkmaar.
You can rent a boat at the following rentals.
Keep in mind that most rentals are open from the middle of March until October.
Visit the Stedelijk Museum in Alkmaar
Although Alkmaar is a small city, there are plenty of things to do, including visiting museums. Visiting museums must be on your itinerary for Alkmaar. One of the best museums of Alkmaar is the Stedelijk Museum. If you like to visit museums, or are visiting Alkmaar outside the canal tour season, then the Stedelijk Museum is a great pick.
At the Stedelijk Museum, you can learn everything about the history and art of Alkmaar and surroundings. You will also see the art of a lot of different time periods of Alkmaar and see the city evolving.
Opening times Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
1st Christmas day, 1st of January and Kings Day: Closed.
Adults: 12 euros
1811 KE Alkmaar
Eat a great lunch at the best lunch café in Alkmaar:
Soepp is one of the best lunch cafes of Alkmaar and very suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as everything is vegetarian. So, if you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian lunch spot in Alkmaar, Soepp is your place to be. At Soepp everything is 100% organic and they use seasonal products only. Besides the fact that you can eat the best lunch in Alkmaar here, they also have a wonderful terrace and even a garden. But, if you don’t have the time to sit down you can also take their delicious food on the go and visit a park or sit on the edge of the canals, for instance.
Opening times of Soepp
Sunday & Monday 12:00 – 18:00
Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00 – 19:00
Thursday 10:00- 20:00
Friday & Saturday 10:00 – 19:00
Visit the markets of Alkmaar
Alkmaar has a lot of markets that you should visit. On Saturday there is an organic market from 08:00- 17:00 at the Kerkplein. This market is very small, so you can easily combine it with the big market. You can find the big market at the Gedempte Nieuwesloot and Hofplein which takes place from 09:00-17:00 on Saturday.
There are also other markets in Alkmaar that you have to visit. There is an art market on Fridays around the street Mient. Besides that, there is a fairy at Kerkplein on Friday as well. Between April and September, there is another market in Alkmaar on Friday. The good, old cheese market. Read more about the Alkmaar cheese market, and all the information you need to know, here.
The reason that I’m recommending you visit these markets in Alkmaar is that this way you can not only support the locals but also get some kick-ass souvenirs and get to try typical Dutch food.
Visit the Grote Kerk, or big church, of Alkmaar. This church dates back to the 15th century and is one of the attractions in Alkmaar you have to visit. During the spring and summer period, the church will be opened for visitors between 11:00 – 17:00. Outside the season, the church is used as a location for events, so it’s only opened during those events. You are able to visit the church by making an appointment for a tour through the Grote Kerk with a guide via info[@]grotekerk-alkmaar.nl.
1811 GP Alkmaar
Go local shopping in Alkmaar
Alkmaar is a city that is known for having the only Zara in this part of Noord-Holland, but that’s not where you should go shopping in Alkmaar. Forget the main shopping centre and street of Alkmaar. Go to local boutiques and vintage shops in this area of Alkmaar. The streets Fnidsen, Hekelstraat, Appelsteeg, and De Mient. Besides the local shops that you can find here, you can also find the cutest coffee places in Alkmaar here. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, or have a small budget, this area is a great place to walk around and to get new ideas or inspiration.
Walk through Alkmaar
You should definitely walk through Alkmaar as it has endless canals, beautiful streets, and monuments to visit and admire. The most beautiful streets of Alkmaar should be included on your walking tour through Alkmaar are:
Het Stadhuis of Alkmaar (city hall), Zijdam, Waagplein, Waag (cheese weighing building), Voordam, Verdronkenoord, Veerstraat, Schoutenstraat, Ritsevoort, Paardenmarkt, Oudegracht, Mient, Luftik Oudorp, Laat, Koorstraat, Kooltuin, Koningsweg, Houttil, Hekelstraat, Fnidsen, Bierkade, Appelsteeg, and Sint Annastraat.
Discover the courtyards of Alkmaar
Courtyards, or hofjes in Dutch, are a must-visit when you’re in Alkmaar. There are quite a few courtyards in Alkmaar that you should visit and unknown to many foreigners. These courtyards were built for old and lonely women. The woman was either a widow or had no children. As of today, you will still see that most courtyards only offer to a house to women. The courtyards are one of my favourite place to visit as it offers a calm place in a, sometimes, busy city.
One of the courtyards you are allowed to visit in Alkmaar is the Wildemanshofje. You will find only women living here. Keep in mind that staring through the windows of the houses is rude. People live there. It is not a theme park. You can find the Wildemanshofje at Oudegracht 87 in Alkmaar
Another hofje that you can visit is the Hofje van Splinter. The hallway is located behind a black door, next to an office. It might seem weird at first, just opening up a random door. But behind that door, you will find a hallway that will lead you to this small courtyard. You can find the Hofje van Splinter at Ritsevoort 2 in Alkmaar.
When you’re in Alkmaar, visiting a windmill is always a good idea. Although Alkmaar is not well-known for having windmills, there is one that you cannot miss when following this itinerary for Alkmaar.
The windmill in Alkmaar that you need to visit is ‘t Roode Hert. People have been first talking about this windmill since at least 1610. But, the current windmill isn’t that old, as it has been destroyed by several fires in the past. Windmill ‘t Roode Hert is open to the public for tours and, the best part is, you can even get a nice cup of tea or coffee here combined with a piece of cake. Don’t forget to buy freshly milled organic flours and other delicious products as a souvenir.
Opening times ‘t Roode Hert
Monday- Friday 09:30 – 15:30.
Saturday 09:30 – 16:00.
‘t Roode Hert
Eat dinner in one of the best restaurants of Alkmaar
After spending a long, but exciting day in Alkmaar you must be starving. So, it’s time for dinner. This restaurant that I’m recommending is one of the best restaurants in Alkmaar and has interesting choices on the menu.
For the best dinner in Alkmaar, you have to eat at De Binnenkomer. There is a reason that this is one of the top restaurants of Alkmaar, The Netherlands. The atmosphere feels like you’ve entered a living room, the food is incredibly tasty, and the staff is very nice. What I like the most is that I ate food combinations that I didn’t think could be this tasty, but it was. Everything was truly wonderful. You could also go to the restaurant De Binnenkomer in Alkmaar for lunch or drinks.
Opening times restaurant De Binnenkomer
Tuesday- Thursday 11:00 – 00:00
Friday & Saturday 11:00 – 01:00
Sunday 11:00- 00:00
The kitchen closes for dinner at 21:30. After that, you can only get snacks.
1811 KL Alkmaar
Eat the best dessert of Alkmaar
If you ask any Alkmaarder (someone from Alkmaar) where to get the best ice-cream in Alkmaar, everyone will tell you the same. Laan. Wim Laan has the best ice-cream of Alkmaar. But, Laan is not a typical ice-cream shop. They only serve vanilla ice-cream at Laan, but the flavour and texture are so good that there are long lines in front of the shop during spring and summer.
I promise you, this ice cream feels ‘alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest’. This means, it tastes like an angel peeing over your tongue and is a typical Dutch saying that means it tastes incredibly good. You can forget about that, just remember to go to ijssalon Laan for the best ice cream in Alkmaar.
Opening times Wim Laan
7 days a week.
Sunday – Friday until 21:00
Saturday evening, they are closed
Sunday from 13:00
During autumn and winter:
Sunday & Monday 13:00 – 18:00
Tuesday – Friday 12:00 – 18:00
Saturday 11:00 – 17:00
But check their Facebook page for the current opening times as it can still change.
Go for an evening walk in Alkmaar
One of my most favourite things to do, after a great dinner and dessert, is to go for a walk. I find that every city or town changes rapidly during the day and evening. They are miles apart. Not that I know what a mile is, as we use kilometres in The Netherlands, but I suppose far. Which is what I was going for. Alkmaar is gorgeous during the evening. The way the city lights enter the reflections of the canals. How the city suddenly comes alive. I love all of it, and I hope you do too.
Get a drink at one of the best cafes in Alkmaar
After an evening walk, it’s best to end a great day in Alkmaar with a drink. If you’re looking for the best bars or nightlife, then you’d either have to go to the area around the Platte Stenen Brug or to Waagplein. Around these two places, there are many bars, cafes, and restaurants that turn into a small club in the weekends.
The café you have to visit in Alkmaar is De Koning. It is located around the Platte Stenen Brug and has the best atmosphere. You will see all different ages at this café, and the reason for that is the welcoming vibe and the fact that they have some of the best burgers of Alkmaar. You will see that there are always people in café De Koning, simply because people are very fond of the place. Once you sit down, you will understand why people love to get drinks at De Koning in Alkmaar.
Opening times De Koning
Monday- Wednesday 11:00 – 01:00
Thursday & Sunday 11:00 – 02:00
Friday & Saturday 11:00 – 03:00
Best accommodation in Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Kings Inn City Hostel & Hotel Alkmaar
This hostel in the centre of Alkmaar is with around 18-20 euros a night for a mixed dorm with eight people not an expensive hostel for The Netherlands. There is free Wi-Fi, and it is located in the middle of the centre. If you’re looking for a great hostel in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, then this is your spot. They also offer a rental service for bicycles which is great if you want to explore your surroundings in Alkmaar and beyond.
Just as a warning, you will want to eat everything in the lunchroom that they have called Soepp. Priced at 85 euros a night, this wonderful b&b is located in the middle of the centre of Alkmaar. Breakfast is, of course, included, free Wi-Fi and it is located 100 meters away from the Dutch Cheese Museum.
College Hotel Alkmaar
This great hotel in Alkmaar is around 109,50 a night for two people. It often has deals for around 80 euros a night. The rooms a big and breakfast are included. You can also rent bicycles on site.
I hope this itinerary on how to spend one day in Alkmaar, The Netherlands has been useful to you. Hopefully, you will visit some of the hidden gems and off the beaten path attractions and restaurants of Alkmaar this way. As you now know, Alkmaar has a lot of things to do, so visiting this city is definitely more than just a day trip from Amsterdam. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me! Share this post!!