Living Like a Local in The Netherlands


Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – local windmill around the corner from our AirBnB

Alkmaar!  “The Dutch Cheese City” is in the province called ‘Noord Holland’.

It is also where we have decided to base ourselves for our last few days in the Schengen Zone of Europe.

And why? because not only is it close to Amsterdam, but it is also one of the most beautiful areas of Holland.

Known for ‘Beach, Cheese, and Windmills!’

With a stunning coastline and fabulous beaches, Amsterdam also has a direct ferry service to mainland UK and is perfect for us as we have to return to Newcastle with our vehicle.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – Cheese Market #1

With the world-famous Cheese Market every Friday morning, from early April to early September, we had a great time here on our first day out.

We saw the traditional Cheese Market in full swing, along with a fabulous time of tasting so many incredibly delicious cheeses from the local area.  

Our friend who came with us even bought a pair of modern-day clogs for herself, so it felt like a very authentic Dutch day.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – Cheese Market – tasting cheeses

The old historical center can be reached in a 5 min drive from where we were staying at our Airbnb.

As we wandered through the streets of Alkmaar with its impressive monuments, we were amazed at the beauty of the old town.

Although we never had time, visitors can see a totally different side to the city on a canal cruise.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – ‘Koolvlet’ with cheese on the canals of Alkmaar

Just around the corner from where we are staying at our AirBnB, you can find several typical Dutch windmills.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – lots of windmills in the local area

Within a few steps you walk into the Dutch Polder, and within 15 min drive, you will be at the beautiful beach and the dunes.

A beautiful place to hear the waves, relax and take a walk with your toes in the soft sand, or collect a few seashells.

It is a real drawcard for the area, and many of the locals will ride their bikes there, and enjoy the social life and restaurants.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – quite near the beach

Where we are staying at our AirBnB it is 0.3 meters below sea level, is a combination of Dutch culture & nature.

We found this place online quite by chance, and at the last minute, and it has been just perfect for us.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – our AirBnB was modern and comfortable

Because we have been traveling at such a rapid rate, I had no time to connect investigate booking a hotel in Amsterdam.  So we decided to make our own AirBnB booking, and just have a few of our last days free to catch up, and to explore the area.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – We had a visit from the owner’s parent’s dog!

And we are so glad we did!

Not only has this proved to be a more affordable option than a standard hotel, we have also loved the modern decor, and become friends with our lovely host.

And because she is so lovely, I offered to share our experience here with you all.

This is in no way a sponsored article, but it is just something we want to do, because we have really appreciated having this lovely experience, and enjoyed her Dutch hospitality.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – Clean and tidy AirBnB

The house is lovely and has offered us all of our basic needs.

The beautiful garden and the cozy kitchen make us feel so at home and gave us a chance to shop locally and make ourselves healthy home cooked meals.  I rarely get the chance to cook these days, and so this was a real bonus for us.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – love this Dutch kitchen at our AirBnB

Our AirBnB room was lovely, with a large window overlooking the garden where the birds were singing, and the morning light filled the room giving it an airy feeling.

It was lovely and clean and nice to have enough of own private space.


© Exploramum and Explorason – Alkmaar – AirBnB – large, light and airy

We even had a car park out the front. This was a real bonus for me because when I was looking online most of the central hotels did not include parking, but was an extra charge. So we were able to save on this too.

Another thing I really loved was that our host has been very helpful and gave us good tips.

She has helped us to plan our itinerary for the few days we are here sightseeing, and also gave us tips on how to find places we wanted to visit like Keukenhof, and visiting Amsterdam.

It really was a nice base that has all the Dutch aspects and is also near Volendam, Haarlem and the Zaanse Schans.

We are so glad we chose to stay here.

The Netherlands

©Exploramum and Explorason – a great base to go exploring

If you are planning a visit to Amsterdam, or the surrounding area, I can really recommend you check this out as a lovely and affordable option and a genuine Dutch experience.

Airbnb: Beach, cheese, and windmills!

5 thoughts on “Living Like a Local in The Netherlands

  1. Great article. Thanks a million for the tip. Alkmaar is on my list of places to visit next & I’ll definitely want to stay with this host

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.