This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Alkmaar. To help you make friends with Alkmaar before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Alkmaar was founded in the thirteenth century and it was a symbol of the Dutch fight for freedom in the sixteenth century and got the name "The Victorious" (Alcmaria victrix). During the Eighty Years' War, the Spaniards had after laborious struggle taken Haarlem and they advanced to Alkmaar and besieged the city. But the courage of the city defenders and the besiegers’ battle fatigue made the latter surrender in the late sixteenth century -- the date is still celebrated in October every year!
Alkmaar is famous for its cheese market -- Dutch Alkmaarse Kaasmarkt -- held since the seventeenth century. The market is held every Friday between Easter and autumn. The cheese market is the only one in the entire Netherlands that still maintains the old traditions of sale. A market day in Alkmaar is a major event every time. The Dutch Cheese Museum is located right on the main square. Even the museum building itself is worth a visit. It was built in the fourteenth century and is very well preserved inside and outside. The National Beer Museum De Boom is located in an old brewery building from the seventeenth century. It shows the whole process of brewing and offers beer degustation. The most important sport club in Alkmaar is the football club, AZ Alkmaar, which has been a Dutch champion twice and has produced many world-famous footballers.
Alkmaar is not a very popular tourist destination and that explains why there are not so many hostels in Alkmaar. However, hostels in Alkmaar are something of which any city could be proud. Alkmaar hostels offer great facilities; very competitive prices, which are way below the average for the Netherlands; and a top location in the center of the city. Even because of that, the city is worth visiting, especially because Alkmaar hostels operate all year long.
Written by local enthusiast for Alkmaar hostelsGeorge Traveller