Cheese, glorious cheese. It’s everywhere in Amsterdam, but these are the five finest cheese experiences in the city.
Amsterdam is well known for many things: its canals, its dubiously named coffeehouses, and for its oft-irate cyclists. But there’s another common sight peppered around the Netherlands capital: cheese shops, filled with giant yellow blocks of the delicious stuff. While trying to work an entire wheel of cheese through customs in your hand luggage would be inadvisable, tastings in Amsterdam are highly recommended. If you’re searching for the perfect cheese tour, some of the following are paired with wine, others with sightseeing, and all of them involve plenty of tastings.
Cheese Tasting by Henri Willig with Wine
Henri Willig is one of the foremost Dutch cheese makers, well known for its gouda and various other varieties of the delicious dairy product. Guests at this cheese tasting workshop get to sample five different cheeses, along with three dips that include two types of mustard or, in some sort of mad genius way, a cheese dip, for your cheese. And if anything tickles your taste buds, then there’s also a discount at the Henri Willig shop for participants afterwards. From €15 per person.
One-Hour Cheese and Wine Tasting
If you ever wondered what it takes to get the much-vaunted job of cheese taster, this cheese and wine tour will put you on course to becoming a master. Over the hour-long session, you’ll taste a red, white and port wine, along with five different varieties of gouda cheese made by the family-run cheese makers Westland Kaasspecialiteiten (try pronouncing that after a few too many vinos!). By the end you’ll hopefully have a better grasp of the major cheesemakers of the Netherlands and a new-found appreciation for the intricacies of a gouda. From €25 per person.
Dutch Cheese Tasting with Wine or Beer
The great thing about Amsterdam’s cheese tours is that they’re often short and to the point, making them ideal to squeeze into a broader itinerary for the day. Bring an appetite to this mid-afternoon cheese tour, because you’ll be sampling six different cheeses, or roughly 200g of cheese per person, along with snacks and either two glasses of organic wine, two Dutch beers or two soft drinks. Cheeses include mature cheese with strong flavors, as well as more delicate, younger Dutch cheeses. From €30 per person.
Amsterdam Cruise with Drinks and Dutch Cheese
When cheese on its own is not enough (it should always be enough), you can always throw another of Amsterdam’s main attractions into the mix and head out on a canal and cheese cruise. This popular trip aboard a cosy, wooden saloon barge lasts 75-minutes, passing by landmarks such as Anne Frank House and the Jordaan, while sampling gouda and other snacks along with unlimited wine and soft drinks. There are often over a dozen departures a day. From €33 per person.
Amsterdam Walking Tour with Cheese Tasting
Cheese always tastes better when you’ve worked up an appetite first. This three-hour walking tour is a perfect way to combine an introduction to the city with an immersion into the world of Dutch cheese. Explore the Royal Palace at Dam Square, the Oudekerkstoren in the middle of the Red Light District and many other top sights. Then head to the Old Amsterdam Cheese Store for an hour-long cheese tasting session. Tours run on Saturdays at 10am only. From €48 per person.