top 5 sustainable cities in the netherlands

PART 3 - ALKMAAR

Welcome to the 3rd post on the most sustainable cities in The Netherlands! In case you missed the ones before you can click here to see the number one and here for the number 2!
The third city I bring you is not very known as a travel destination, but there’s a lot we can learn from this city while exploring its wonderful places! And I’m talking about Alkmaar, a city located on the North of the country which might be perfect to visit during this pandemic as it is less touristic!

So why is Alkmaar on this list?

Just like other cities across this country, Alkmaar has good plans for the future, like, for example, the aim to be natural gas-free by 2050!
But the main reason why this place is considered so sustainable is that Alkmaar has the most sustainable heating system in all Netherlands by using a bio-energy plant. This way the city hopes to achieve climate goals and provide energy only from clean sources to the entire city.
The city also plans to cover public buildings, like sports complexes with solar panels, and use options like hemp concrete to building structures. Although the city isn’t so friendly when talking about cars, they are now more charging stations to electric cars and just like Amsterdam they have many km of cycle paths.

So what there's to visit in Alkmaar?

Now let’s go to see what you can visit while in Alkmaar. I must say I’m surprised to never heard about this place before because it has amazing places to discover! Did you know that from here you can easily visit dunes and the beachside? Let’s see some of the best places:

  • Cheese market: this is one of the biggest attractions of the city, but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it will only restart in March 2021. As an alternative, you can visit the Dutch Cheese Museum, a great place for all cheese lovers!
  • Beatles museum – Alkmaar has the biggest Beatles’ museum in the world! So if you’re a fan, this is the place to go!
  • Biermuseum – here you can know the history of beer and even taste some local flavours!
  • To go by car: if you’re a nature person you should visit the beaches of Egmond aan Zee and Bergen aan Zee. They’re only 10 km from the city centre and, along the way, you can also visit Schermerhorn areas where you’ll see many windmills. The best month to visit this area is in April, when the fields are covered in tulips.
  • Do a boat tour on the canals so you can see places like the windmill Molen van Groot, the Accijnstoren or the Sint Joseph church from another perspective
  • Go for a walk in the city centre to see all the marvellous architecture

If you have a car from Alkmaar you can easily do a day tour to Amsterdam. The journey will only take you 40 minutes.

If you want to more about other places to visit you can check the city’s official website. All images above were taken from it.

Sustainable accomodations in Alkmaar

Unfortunately regarding accommodations, the city relies a lot on bed & breakfasts and on private apartments. As the city isn’t much developed, there isn’t yet any sustainable accommodation in its surroundings.

If you would prefer to stay in sustainable accommodation I would recommend you to stay in Amsterdam and do a 1-2 days tour to Alkmaar by car as it is very close.

If you want to stay in Alkmaar these were the accommodations that I would recommend:

  • Luttik – great location and owned by a couple who only uses national products! From the clothes to the food everything is made in Holland
  • Strandvilla Noord – great location near the beachside

If you want to make any reservation you can find both properties on Booking.com

Had you ever heard about Alkmaar? Let me know if you have already visited it!

Have a great day

Yours,

Patrícia Mano Ahmad, Travelling to the Green


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