Coming from the airport? Alkmaar is about a 50-minute train trip from Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. The train station is an integral part of the airport. Stop at the train ticket counter and buy a one-way ticket to Alkmaar. The price is about 10 euros per ticket. (While waiting for your baggage, use the bank office in the baggage hall to buy euros. It’s open day and night.)
Trains leave for Amsterdam roughly every 20 minutes starting at about 5 AM, less often in the small hours of the night.
If you happen to catch a train that stops at Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, a station on the west edge of Amsterdam, change there, go to platform 4 on the lower level of the station, and catch the train to Alkmaar. (For some trains, Alkmaar is the final destination, but most trains go further north, terminating in Den Helder.)
If your train doesn’t stop at Amsterdam-Sloterdijk, then change at Amsterdam Central Station. Trains for Alkmaar normally leave four times per hour from Amsterdam Central Station, usually from platform 7A/8a. If you catch an Intercity train, it’s a 35-minute ride from Central Station; a Sprinter train makes more stops and takes ten minutes longer. (The station before Alkmaar in Heiloo. If you miss Alkmaar, the next station is Alkmaar Noord; in that case you’ll need to double back one stop on the next south-bound train.)
Most Dutch people speak English. If you get confused, ask for help from anyone at hand. Many people will also be willing to let you make a quick call on their mobile phone.
Once in Alkmaar: As you leave the station, cross the street and walk to the right along Stationsweg. In two minutes you’ll be at a light on a T intersection. Go to the left along Scharlo. Straight ahead you’ll get a glimpse of the Grote Kerk (the Great Church; in pre-Reformation times Alkmaar’s cathedral). Walk on 200 meters or so to the bridge, the Bergerbrug. This will take you over the Singel, the canal that surrounds the old town. Once across, walk onto the first street to your right, Geest (the Dutch word for ghost or spirit). Kanisstraat is the first street to the right — a short no-traffic lane with the Geest at one end and a park at the other. We live in house number 5.
Carrying too much? Or it’s raining? There’s a taxi stand in front of the train station. The price of the ride to our address will be roughly 10 euros.
Map of Alkmaar: the station is point A, our house is point B
Jim & Nancy Forest
1811 GJ Alkmaar
page updated 17 Sept 2015