Amsterdam Cheese Museum - Must Visit Attraction
When you visit a new place, it’s only natural to want to try everything that is typical of the region. Likewise, if you visit the Netherlands, you may want to try cycling in Amsterdam, going on a canal cruise, or visiting a tulip field in Keukenhof.
But is there any other quintessentially Dutch thing apart from tulips, canals, bicycles, windmills, and wooden shoes?
In the Netherlands, cheese production has been around since prehistoric times. This was proven by the discovery of clay pots dating from 800 B.C.
Now, the Netherlands is the fourth biggest cheese producer in Europe. The different types of Dutch cheese are often named after different cities in the country, such as Gouda, Edam, Leyden, Maasdam, Leerdammer, Maaslander, and of course, the Old Amsterdam.
Some of these names have earned the Protected Geographical Status under the European Community laws, which means that only the cheese produced in the region is permitted to use the name.
Popular Types of Dutch Cheese
Gouda – A mild-flavored yellow cheese made from cow’s milk. When aged, it develops a caramel sweetness with a slight crunchiness from cheese crystals.
Leyden – A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese flavored with cumin and caraway seeds.
Leerdammer – A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese with a creamy white texture, distinct holes, and a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor.
Old Amsterdam – A premium aged Gouda with a firm texture, deep color, and a rich and robust flavor.
Edam – A semi-hard cheese with a pale yellow interior and a rind of red paraffin wax. Does not spoil but only hardens with time. Has a milky and buttery taste, and almost no smell.
Maasdam – A cow’s milk cheese with a smooth yellow rind and internal voids (holes) from the ripening process. Has a nutty and sweet flavor.
Hollandse Geitenkaas – A semi-hard white cheese made using pasteurized cream or goat’s milk. Has a soft, mild, and clean taste.
Beemster Classic – Another aged version of Gouda, this semi-hard cheese features a smooth and creamy texture, a strong aroma, and a salty, sharp flavor with a sweet finish.
You can learn about these cheeses and more at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. And best of all, you also get to taste them, for free!
Amsterdam Cheese Museum
I’m a big fan of food-tasting experiences when traveling abroad, especially if they’re free.
Read: Free Food Tour in Sofia, Bulgaria
So, when I first heard about this cheese museum in Amsterdam, I knew I had to include it in my itinerary. Cheese is one of my favorite delicacies. I love trying all the different kinds — yes, even the stinky ones. As they say, cheese can make any food taste better.
Unfortunately, it is an expensive commodity in my country and there isn’t much variety available. We usually have to make do with overpriced cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan (if we’re lucky). Therefore, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum was a godsend to me.
Founded by a team of young entrepreneurs, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is dedicated exclusively to Dutch cheese.
On the ground floor is a cheese shop, where you’ll be presented with more cheese than you’ve ever seen in one room. You’d be surprised to know that even Gouda cheese alone comes in many different varieties and infusions — from pineapple bits to garlic to pesto. Whether you like sweet or savory, you’ll definitely find something that tickles your fancy.
Next to each one of them are small bowls containing toothpicks and tiny cubes of cheese for you to sample. This is where you can go a little crazy trying every different type and deciding which one you like best (it’s impossible to pick only one).
After you have stuffed yourself silly, you can make your way downstairs to the basement, where the actual museum is.
There, you’ll get to learn about the history of cheese-making in the Netherlands through videos, pictures, replicas, and written texts. Check out the most expensive cheese slicer in the world, and have fun at the photo corner where you can dress up like a traditional Dutch cheese farmer.
Apparently, the employees also give guided tours of the museum upon request, but the store was quite busy during my visit, so I didn’t want to bother them.
Final Thoughts on Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum worth visiting?
According to other blog articles that I read, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is not the only cheese museum in the Netherlands. There’s a bigger, more impressive one in Alkmaar, which also provides guided tours as well as family-friendly scavenger hunts. A tour of the Alkmaar Cheese Museum can usually be combined with a visit to the cheese market and the cheese farm.
However, Alkmaar is 43 kilometres away from the capital, so for those of you who are short on time or simply don’t feel like making the 40-minute journey, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is a great alternative.
You still get to learn about cheese-making and sample the different types of cheese for free. If you’re a foodie, I’d say this is a must-visit place in Amsterdam. And even if you’re not, could you really say no to free cheese?
The great news is that all the cheese on offer at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum are vacuum-packed and ready for traveling all around the world. They also ship their products worldwide, so if you don’t want to carry your purchase with you on the plane, or if you’re not in Amsterdam right now, you can easily order them online!
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 21:00 daily
Entrance Fee: FREE!
How to Get to the Amsterdam Cheese Museum:
- Walking: Across the canal from the Anne Frank House (5 minutes’ walk).
- By public transports: From the Central Station, take tram 13, 17, or bus no. 21, 170, 171 to Westermarkt stop.
- By car: From the Amsterdam ring A10, exit on S105 and continue driving until you reach Bloemgracht.
Have you visited any ‘edible museum’ before? Or have you heard of any? If yes, please share in the comment section below. I’d love to have more food experiences abroad!
very informative. i suka cheese tapi tak pernah tau type of cheese. makan je pandai haha
Oh haha, saya pun tak tau banyak sangat. Tapi tau la beza cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, Brie, n blue cheese. Sbb tu je yg biasa ada kat Malaysia ni.
mesti wangi masuk dalam muzium cheese tu! I dah boleh imagine bau dia haha nampak cantik lah packaging dia. Siap ada tester lagi untuk pengunjung
Hmm, tak perasan pulak ada bau ke tak masa masuk kedai tu aritu. Macam tak kot. Rasanya Dutch cheese ni tak bau kuat sangat macam blue cheese. Tapi packaging memang cantik. Semua vacuum-packed, senang kalau nak bawak travel atau pos ke mana-mana.
dia jenjalan cari cheese plak.. hahahaha~ akak kat rumah ni balik balik mozarella, cheddar je.. rupanya banyak lagi ya jenis cheese yang ada.. kagum jap..
Banyak kak, kalau pergi supermarket yang ‘atas’ sikit kat Malaysia ni, dapat la tengok jenis-jenis cheese yang lain, tapi harganya pun ‘atas’ la. Bila pergi Eropah, memang saya gunakan segala peluang yang ada untuk makan cheese, sebab murah. 😀
Menariknya ada muzium macam ni. Bila la dapat pergi travel macam ni kan
Tu la, saya pun tertanyta-tanya bila la boleh travel lagi.
Teruja bila tahu banyak je is cheese yang ada. I memang penggemar cheese dan memang akan ambil tahu jenis jenis cheese yang ada.
Then, you wajib singgah ke Cheese Museum ni kalau pergi ke Amsterdam nanti. Sementara tu, bookmark la dulu ya, untuk rujukan akan datang. 🙂
oh this brings back such great memories. my brother brought back all kinds of dutch cheeses and they were amazing. thanks to your article, i now understand each type better! there are just so many more to try.
I agree, Grace. So many cheeses, so little time, right? Haha. I wish to learn more about cheese in my future travels, and I hope you will too! 🙂
wow! i think i just found my favorite blog. I love cheese! am feeling so excited when i see all your pictures shared about cheese. loving all the details you share. i shall print out this post for my future reference.
Thank you so much, Viola! Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s crazy to think that this is only a small portion of the many other types of cheese out there!
As for now, I wish we can travel around the country freely. But yes, we have to do our parts in flattening the covid lines.
Not sure how this comment relates to the article, but yes, we do have to do our part in flattening the curve. You be safe too.
Am actually replying to your question at the bottom of the article.
As for the edible museum – I haven’t been to any.
Ah ok, Rawlins! I agree — it’s such a bummer not to be able to travel around the country or abroad.
kalau i suka cheese cheddar parmesan mozarella tapi sebenarnya banyak lagikan jenis cheese ouch hungry pula now rasa nak makan mac n cheese bila tengok ni 🙁
Haah, cheese ni ada banyak jenis lagi, Syafiera. Yang ni baru Dutch cheese, belum lagi kira yang dari negara-negara lain di Eropah, atau dari benua-benua lain di dunia. Agaknya kalau dikira semua, mau sampai beratus-ratus jenis.
peminat cheese mmg kena pergi sini.. barulah puas hati.. semua cheese ada..
Ya, Mus. Peminat cheese memang kena pergi sini. Tapi tak semua jenis cheese ada, yang kat sini cuma keju keluaran Belanda saja. Walaubagaimanapun, tetap boleh dapat bermacam-macam jenis.
i wish i can visit this museum someday. Looks fun exploring different type of cheese. The best part is you can taste the sample. I have not visited any edible museum before, how sad
You’re right, Zharif — although it’s cool to learn about the cheese making process and all, the best part will always be the tasting part! Hope you’ll get to visit it too someday.
Ummi! MasyaAllah best betul dapat pergi muzium keju! Banyak informasi kan. Bila dah tau banyak cheese, mesti ada favourite kan? Yang mana satu pilihan kalbu?
Hmmmm…sangat susah soalan tu, kak Ruby. Hahaha. Tak dapat nak pilih yang mana satu paling suka, sebab semua sedap. Lepas tu, saya ikut mood juga, kadang-kadang rasa nak makan yang lembut dan berkrim. Kadang-kadang nak yang separa keras dan rasa yang lebih kuat. Senang cerita, borong je la semua.
Seriously I didn’t know there are so many type of different cheese until i read this entry.. Worth to check them out on my next trip, don’t know when we can travel freely again..
These are only Dutch cheeses, Kitkat. So that’s only a small percentage of the many other types of cheese in this world! Ya, I hope we’ll get to travel freely again soonest.
Bestnya I dah la peminat cheese. Pergi museum macam ni one of my dreams la. Suka tengok sejarah and how diaorang buat sesuatu benda yang I suka
Setuju sangat-sangat, Airah. Bila kita dah suka sesuatu benda tu, dah tentu la kita nak tau lebih lanjut sejarah dan cara pembuatannya, kan? Dan yang paling best, dapat rasa secara percuma. Jadi, kalau Airah pergi ke Amsterdam nanti, jangan lupa singgah cheese museum ni tau!
People usually know French cheese but I much more like Dutch cheese. Every time I’m travelling thought Amsterdam I’m buying some local cheese 🙂
Oh, that’s cool, Ann. I have yet to try authentic French cheese. Will make a point to do so on my next visit, and compare the two 😉
Wow! This is really awesome ! Learn up all cheese at Amsterdam Cheese Museum ! That’s mouse mommy favourite foodies too CHEESE!!!
Awesome! It’s one of my favorites too. You must try to go to the Amsterdam Cheese Museum, then, Mouse Mommy. 🙂