A visit to a cheese market is a great idea for day outing from Amsterdam. There are many cheese markets in places near Amsterdam. The market of Woerden is the only ‘real’ market. The cheese markets of Alkmaar, Gouda and Edam are more tourist re-enactments. A visit to a cheese market in Holland is only possible in the summer. All cheese markets are free to visit and are held in lovely old towns, all worth visiting. A visit to Holland cheese market is also a nice thing to do with kids.
Visiting a cheese markets in Holland
Traditionally, Dutch cheese farmers brought their cheeses to the market square in town to sell. Special teams (vemen) carry the cheese on barrows because they more than 160 kilo. Each team wears a different coloured straw hats, depending on the official guild of cheese-carriers. The buyers then tasted the cheeses.
If they like the cheese, they start bargaining the price using a ritual way handshake or ‘clap the hands’ (handjeklap). The clap the hand of the other and shout out the price. If they agreed on a price, the porters then carry the cheese to the weighing house (de Waag).
Cheese market Alkmaar
The most famous and classic cheese market is in Alkmaar, North-Holland. The cheese market is every Friday morning. It’s not just a market, but rather a spectacle particular spectacle wither carries hauling cheese, specially for tourists. 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!
Alkmaar 2-Hour Tour and Cheese Market Visit
Getyourguide offers guided tours in Alkmaar. A guide takes you through the charming medieval centre of Almaar and of course you will visit the traditional cheese market. You meet the guide at the train station.
Dates for Tuesday evening cheese market Alkmaar
In 2017 the cheese market in Alkmaar is also on Tuesday evening from 7 pm till 9 pm on the following dates: May 2 and 23; June 6; July 4, 18; August 1, 15 and 29.
Other things to do in Alkmaar
Alkmaar is an old town with over 1000 monumental buildings. It’s also great for shopping. You can also visit the local museum ‘Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar’, and learn about the history of Alkmaar. The Cheese Museum is located at the old Weighing House. There is the Beer Museum ‘De Boom’, located in a former brewery dating back to the 17th century where you can try different locally brewed beers. And there is the Beatles Museum.
How to get to Alkmaar cheese market
The cheese market in Alkmaar is easy to reach by taking a direct train from Amsterdam Central Station to Alkmaar (4 times a days). The train takes 34 minutes and costs 7,50 (one way).
Cheese market at Woerden
At the small town of Woerden, near Utrecht, the 100-year old cheese market is real. Farmers from surrounding farms bring their cheese to market where it is sold. The price determine the national prices of Dutch Farmers Cheese (Boerenkaas). Great cheese!
When to go
In summer, you see the Woerden Cheese market live in action every Saturday morning (22 April – 19 August). There is a special program that includes tasting and a ‘tableau vivant’ between 11 am – 12. There is also a local market with cheese and local produce all day.
Grass Cheese day and Historical Cheese Market Woerden
Recommend is the the Grass Cheese day on June 3 when the young ‘grass cheese’ is presented. It is a big feast and festival. On 19 august 2017 there is the Historical Cheese Market. On this day, the cheeses are brought to the market by people in costume with horses and carts. The Woerden cheese song is sung as the market opens under the guidance of the local harmony. After the trading the farmers and traders have a “tug of war” match.
How to get to Woerden
From Amsterdam Central Station, Woerden is easy to reach by train. The trip takes 40 minutes and costs 40 minutes. From Utrecht it is only 15 minutes by train to Woerden and a ticket costs 3,60.
Cheese market Edam
Edam lies near Amsterdam and Volendam. Thought Volendam is much more famous for tourism than Edam, Edam is much more authentic and nicer! Edam holds historica reenactments of its cheese market every Wednesday morning (till 12.30) in July and August. The cheeses are brought to the market by horse-drawn carts and boats.
How to get to Edam
From Amsterdam Central Station, Edam is only a 30-minute bus ride. Rent a bike and explore this lovely village or just wander by foot exploring the narrow cobbled streets!
Cheese market Gouda
The name from Gouda Cheese comes from the Dutch city of Gouda, near The Hague. Annually about 300,000 people visit the Gouda cheese market. The cheeses are delivered to and from the market on wagonettes and weighed after the sale in the monumental Gouda Weighing House. This is also a museum where you learn everything about Dutch cheese.
When to go
From April 6 till August 31, you can visit the Gouda Cheese Market every Thursday morning.
Other things to do in Gouda
Gouda is a larger Dutch city, famous for its cheese, syrup waffels and earthenware. The city is full of picturesque street. The huge Sint-Janskerk and the Town Hall are monumental building worth seeing.
How to get to Gouda
Gouda is to be reached by train from Amsterdam Central Station in 53 minutes. A one way ticket is 11,30.