cheese market amsterdam alkmaar

Cheese market Alkmaar | Opening hours, prices and travel directions

The Cheese Market in Alkmaar is one of the oldest and largest in Holland. Ever since 1365, cheese has been an important trade product of the city of Alkmaar. The tradition of the cheese market is still alive today. From the last Friday in March to the last Friday in September, you can admire the activities at the cheese market from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

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When is the cheese market in Alkmaar?

The cheese market Alkmaar 2024 will take place from March 29th untill september 27th, every friday from 10 am untill 13.00 pm on the Waagplein. In 2024 there will be the evening cheese markets on Tuesdays in July and August from 19.00-21.00.

Program Friday Cheese Market Alkmaar

TimeProgram Alkmaar Cheese Market 2024
7:00 amPlacing the Cheeses | Trucks loaded with cheeses drive onto Waagplein, where the Alkmaar Cheese Market has been held since its inception. Under the watchful eye of the market master, the ‘setters’ arrange as much as 30,000 kilos of Gouda and Edam cheeses in long rows on the still quiet Waagplein. That’s about 2,400 cheeses! This must be completed by 9:30 am.
9:30 amCheese Carriers | The cheese carriers arrive at the Waaggebouw. Anyone who is late has to pay a fine, which partly goes to a school in the town of ‘Alkmaar’ in Suriname.
9:45 amCheese Father’s Roll Call | The head of the cheese carriers, the ‘cheese father,’ holds his roll call with the cheese carriers in the Waaggebouw. Are all the cheese carriers present? Are there any special matters on the market today? Which cheese carriers will work in which part of the Cheese Market?
10:00 amThe Cheese Bell | At exactly 10:00 am, the cheese bell is rung. This opens the cheese market to visitors. The honor of ringing the bell usually goes to a well-known Dutch celebrity or a relation of the Municipality of Alkmaar.
From 10:00 amInspecting the Cheeses | After ringing the bell, the inspectors examine the cheeses by tapping, tasting, and feeling them. A piece is taken from the cheese with a special cheese bore. The smell and elasticity of the piece of cheese that comes out of it indicate something about the fat content. They also look at the number of holes in the cheese; these should be perfectly distributed over the cheese.
From 10:00 amThe Random Sample | Do you ever take a random sample? This term comes from the Cheese Market, where the inspectors use a cheese bore to take a piece from the cheese to taste it.
After a positive inspection, the intense negotiation of the cheese price can begin. This is still done through the traditional method of ‘handjeklap,’ which means ‘hand-clapping.’ The final handclap signifies the completion of the cheese sale.
From 10:00 amWeighing the Cheese | Once a batch of cheese is sold, the cheese carriers carry it on a berrie to the Weigh House. There, the cheese is weighed by the so-called ‘tasman’ (bagman). Where does the name tasman come from? It refers to the bag around his waist, where he keeps the collected money. The weighmaster ensures that the correct weight is billed to the buyer. After weighing, the tasman stamps the wooden berrie.
From 10:00 amCarrying the Cheese Away | When a batch of cheese has been weighed and sold, the cheese carriers transport the cheeses across the market to the buyers’ trucks. Two cheese carriers carry the cheese on a berrie, and more than 100 kilos of cheese are on it! It is quite an art to keep the cheese berrie steady while walking. The Cheese Carriers must walk in a certain rhythm, which is called the ‘kaasdragersdribbel’ or ‘cheese carriers’ trot.’ This way, the berrie hangs still between the cheese carriers.
12:30 pmThrowing the Cheese | The ‘ingooiers’ load the last cheeses onto carts and take them to the buyers’ trucks in Marktstraat. The cheese disappears from Waagplein, and in its place, cozy terraces are set up. Maybe you’ve worked up an appetite for a cheese sandwich… The restaurants and cafes in and around Waagplein will be happy to help you!

Tours / Excursions Cheese Market

Walking tour with local guide (start at Alkmaar Train Station)

Learn all about the famous Alkmaar Cheese Market and the historic city of Alkmaar on this 2.5 hour small group walking tour! This tour starts at Alkmaar Central railway station.

Alkmaar Cheese Market TourPrice
Adults (>16)€ 26.00Book now
Childeren (9-15)€ 13.00Book now
Childeren (0-8)Free

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From the centre of Amsterdam, a luxury day tour goes to the Alkmaar Cheese Market. Check prices and availability for this tour below.

Cheese Market Tour from AmsterdamPrice
AdultsNot yet availableNot yet available
Kids (4-12 years)Not yet availableNot yet available

Where is the cheese market in Alkmaar?

The cheese market takes place at the square named Waagplein in Alkmaar.

Directions by Car

The Cheese Market is in the town centre of Alkmaar. You can use the PRIS (Parking Route Information System) to find directions to the car parks.

Directions by Train

There is a direct connection to Alkmaar from Amsterdam Centraal Station, with trains departing four times an hou

The cheese market is surrounded by a fun art and craft market. This is where you can find real Dutch ‘poffertjes’, herring, farm cheese, a clog maker, craft stalls and much more!

Hotels nearby the cheese market in Alkmaar

The city of Alkmaar is also ideal as a holiday destination to discover the Netherlands from there. From the city you can easily travel to Amsterdam, Schiphol, Haarlem, De Zaanse Schans and Volendam.

Our favorite overnight locations in Alkmaar are:

Other cheese markets around Amsterdam

Popular links

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