"Up to 30,000 kilos, or 2200 whole cheeses, are lined up and waiting for customers."
Without a doubt, the Alkmaar Cheese Market is the main attraction in the town. From April to September inclusive, you can find out how cheese is traded according to a tradition that is centuries old, every Friday from 10am. If you're visiting Alkmaar, you should never pass up an opportunity to see this colourful, folkloric spectacle taking place at the picturesque Waagplein.
- A cheese market has been taking place in Alkmaar since 1365.
- Every Friday, from April to September.
- Combine an Amsterdam weekend with a visit to Alkmaar
Centuries of Tradition
Back in 1365, as there was only one set of scales for weighing, cheese was traded on the Waagplein. The cheese was delivered early in the morning, and the cheese market masters and traders would check to see whether the cheeses had been well stacked. Up to 30,000 kilos, or 2200 whole cheeses, are lined up and waiting for customers.
But what would a cheese market be without the 'kaasdragers', or cheese porters? The 'zetters' (loaders), 'ingooiers' (cheese tossers) and 'waagmeesters' (weighers) also play defining roles at the market. They belong to a guild with many traditions. All in all, the Alkmaar Cheese Market is a fascinating spectacle, with many more interesting facts and information to be discovered. Learn about all the opportunities at the market (for groups, or special children's tours) and the relevant start times.
The evening cheese markets make for a very special visit. Every Tuesday night in July and August, you can visit the traditional cheese market and a bustling fair around the Waagtoren.