Amsterdam has lots of wonderful markets – whether you’re after vintage-ware, a stroopwafel or a pair of socks, this city has it covered! Here’s our guide to a selection of the best.
The Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek
If you like to browse for crafty nick nacks and stop for food in between, head to the Westergasfabriek on the first Sunday of every month. Craft stalls, food stalls, clothes, homeware, you name it – stylish sellers in an awesome setting that seems to go on for miles. If its a sunny day, be ready to spend a few hours browsing, shopping and of course eating! The Sunday market rotates between three locations. You can also find it at the Ijburg harbour and Amsterdam Roest.
In a similar vein to the Westergasfabriek is the travelling Pure Market. Focussing mainly on artisan food but with a smattering of vintage clothing and gift items, you can find out which of Amsterdam’s wonderful parks will be hosting it on the Sunday you are there by checking their agenda. Both here and the Westergas above are great places to find authentic Surinamese and Indonesian food and in particular really great saté.
Every Saturday the Noordermarkt sets up in the wonderful central Jordaan area spilling down the lovely Lindengracht (which incidently is also the place to find Charley’s fabulous Satébar truck. on a Saturday). In the Noordermarkt square proper, antiques, curios and jewellery sit alongside a wonderful organic food market perfect for a snack or, if you’re staying in an AirBnb, why not seize the opportunity and buy some ingredients to knock up something more substantial. My favourites include the sublime vegetable stand, the fresh herb seller, the dreamy bakery stand, the oyster guy, the wildflower vendors. Ok, its hard to choose!
The Noordermarkt is very near The Anne Frank House, but if you’re in the foodie frame of mind, you’ll also find yourself right by the greatest apple pie in the world. On Monday’s the Noordermarkt becomes a flea market.
The Albert Cuyp Market
For a permanent and more historic market, head to the daily Albert Cuyp Market in the centre of The Pijp district. Nothing like the trendy markets above, this is far more authentic having been established in 1904. Think London’s Brick Lane before the hipsters moved in. Along with fruit and cheese, fish and spices you’ll find real Amsterdammers heading here for cheap clothing, bedding, cosmetics, shoes and everything inbetween. Best of all though are the food stalls – this is the place for the best herring, stroopwafles and poffertjes in town. It is also the location of North African restaurant Bazar and parallel to the fabulous Gerard Doestraat with it’s wonderful shops and hip cafes.
Waterlooplein, Dappermarkt and Ten Katemarkt
These three markets are similarly authentic but the hipsters haven’t fully moved in yet! Waterlooplein is the city’s original flea market and used to be known as the Jewish market – you can find out more about it’s extraordinary history in our Jewish Amsterdam post. Nowadays you’ll find second hand clothes, bric a brac and vintage items 6 days a week.
Ten Katemarkt in the West (right by the wonderful Foodhallen food hall) and Dappermarkt in the East both offer fruit and veg as well as spices, nuts and treats packed shoulder to shoulder with bike accessories, underwear and household goods.
The Book Market in the Spui
Right in the heart of town you’ll find the second hand book market every Friday at the Spui. As well as Dutch books and magazines, you’ll find lots of International publications and you’re also just steps away from Amsterdam’s best chips, cookies or for some culture the wonderful Begijnhof.
The enormous IJHallen Fleamarket
A couple of times a month, the huge NDSM wharf buildings on the North side of the River IJ host Amsterdam’s biggest flea market. Indeed they claim it is the biggest flea market in Europe. Used junk is piled up alongside some fabulous finds. Get there early on the free ferry from Central Station and hunt for hidden treasure.
Amstelveen’s Friday Produce Market
A little out of town but accessible on the tram is the huge shopping centre in Amstelveen. Every Friday they host a produce market which is one of the best around. You’ll find everything from cheeses, seasonal veg including white asparagus and local mushrooms, to stroopwafels, meat, fish and rotisserie chickens. I really love this place and as it’s definitely not for tourists the prices are reasonable and the quality outstanding.
Finally, the market not to bother with – the Bloementmarkt floating flower market
Sorry, this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but the Bloemenmarkt on the Single canal, though romantically described as the world’s only floating flower market is a hideously touristy total waste of time. Mainly bulbs, packed and priced exorbitantly for gullible tourists and rammed with ugly souvenirs (we’re talking cliche’d wooden clogs, fridge magnets and blue wooden tulips!) we think this is one of the most disappointing of Amsterdam’s attractions. You can do SO much better than this!