|Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre||$1 186.44|
|Pack of cigarettes||$8.14|
|One-way ticket (local transport)||$2.03|
|Loaf of white bread||$2.44|
Though many may not have heard of Alkmaar as a tourist destination, this unassuming town offers quite a lot of attractions for an average traveller. A historic town in the North Holland province, it is located just 10km inland from the sea. In order to book cheap flights to Alkmaar, you have to take the Amsterdam route; however, that won’t be a problem because the town of Alkmaar is only 40km away from it. The town will immediately charm you with its pattern of narrow alleys and canals so typical of 17th century Holland, along with its historic buildings and culture of cheese.
The town is famous for its cheese market that is centuries old and was originally set up in 1593. The present cheese market is a re-enactment for tourists who arrive in droves to see the cheese wheels carted around every Friday (April–September) for a couple of hours. If somehow you miss out on this Friday show, you can still pack in a tour of the Cheese Museum that has been set up in what was originally a cheese weigh-house. You can see age-old dairy equipment and graphic demonstrations of traditional and contemporary cheese making processes.
Beer-lovers will find a visit to the National Beer Museum "De Boom" that is situated in a former brewery very interesting. Raise your spirits viewing the various exhibits and beer manufacture, history, advertisements and old bottle collection and then sip on a variety of beers in the Proeflokaal downstairs. Go on to visit the Grote Sint Laurenskerk, a medieval church that boasts of two famous organs, both of which can be heard in concerts held in the summer. The Dutch Stove Museum is a veritable treasure house of coal stoves that once ruled life in cold countries in Europe; there is an assortment of stoves made from a variety of materials. If you are a Beatles fan, you have a strong reason to book cheap flights to Alkmaar since it houses one of the world’s three museums dedicated to the pop group. Like any tourist-friendly destination in Holland, you will be spoilt for choice for hotels in Alkmaar.