Home Things To Do A Complete Guide to Amsterdam Markets

A Complete Guide to Amsterdam Markets

by Maja Świątnicka

I have always heard that Dutch people are all about good value and know how to bargain. Maybe this is why you will find at least one market in just about every area of the city. There are many great markets to choose and most of them are set in the city center. No matter what you are on the hunt for, I am sure Amsterdam has a market for it. Some markets are just must-goes for tourists and visitors. From flea to flower, through eats and antiques, here are the most popular markets Amsterdam has to offer:

  1. Albert Cuyp Market
  2. Waterlooplein
  3. Dappermarkt
  4. Amsterdam Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)
  5. Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui
  6. Noodenmarkt – Boerenmarkt
  7. Antiekcentrum – Antiques Market
  8. Westerstraat Market
  9. IJ Hallen Flea Market
  10. Ten Katemarkt
  11. Art Plein Spui Market
  12. Foodhallen
  13. Marqt – Farmers Market
  14. Nieuwmarkt

Albert Cuyp Market

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Belfort|| Flickr

Cuyp Market is located at the Albert Cuyp street, in the neighborhood of De Pijp. It is the absolute number one among Amsterdam’s markets.  It is the busiest market in the Netherlands and at the same time, it is actually the largest outdoor market in whole of Europe. If you only plan to visit one street market in the city, you should definitely make it ‘the Cuyp’. The market is named after a very famous Dutch painter and it has been operating for more than 110 years now. Currently, there are more than 300 stalls on the Albert Cuyp street.

You will find literally anything there. Fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish, spices, jewellery, clothes, cosmetics, and bedding – all very cheap and soaked in the amazing atmosphere. What I really like there, is that the vendors are known for their typical Amsterdam humor. Believe me, you will not escape from them!

There are also many bars, cafes and little boutiques in the area. I truly recommend you should try the roast chicken, as well as some famous poffertjes (try visiting Poffertjes Albert Cuyp) while visiting the market. If you feel like something sweeter, do not miss the opportunity to try some stroopwafels – they are just mouth-watering. I especially recommend the ones from The Original Stroopwafels prepared with the old family recipe. Amsterdam Cuyp Market is open Monday – Saturday, from 9:30 am to about 5:00 pm. It usually closes a bit earlier in the winter. If you want to avoid crowds, do not visit the market on Saturday.


Photo courtesy of Michael Coghlan|| Flickr

Every big city has its flea market and Amsterdam has the Waterlooplein market. Waterlooplein is also known as the Jewish market as it is located in the former Jewish district of Amsterdam (on the place of the two canals – Houtgracht and Leprozengracht).

Waterlooplein is the oldest market in Amsterdam, with its origins going back to the end of 19th century. Now, there are around 300 stalls. Prices differ but in general they are quite affordable so if you are a second-hand and vintage clothes hunter, this is your must-go while in the city. Many Amsterdammers believe Waterlooplein to be the best flea market in the whole country. It is like a big outdoor market where everyone will find something they find interesting. Some stalls even allow you to bargain on the price point which is cool. Waterlooplein is open Monday – Friday between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm. On Saturdays it is open between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm.

On the Waterlooplein market you will find quite a lot of old junk like vintage clothes etc. There are also bikes, jewellery, antiques and many other things. The vendors are mostly artists, so it is more than welcome to chat and ask questions about the pieces they sell. The market is vivid, colourful and the atmosphere is just unforgettable, especially for foreign visitors. It is always said that flea markets offer useless stuff and they manipulate foreign visitors to make impulsive purchases. However, Waterlooplein is really unique. Every time I go there, I find something I really need. If possible, try to visit the market before or after the tourist season. You will avoid crowds and some of the pickpockets. Make sure that you walk up and down all of the rows – this is the only way to really explore the place.


Photo courtesy of mnarrowe|| Flickr

Dappermarkt, sometimes called ‘Amsterdam’s world market’, is located along Dapperstraat. A few years ago, it was chosen to be the Best Market of the Netherlands, and the National Geographic Traveler judged it to be one of the Top 10 Streets in the World. Currently, the market hosts around 250 stands. There are also cafes and shops on both sides of Dapperstraat.

Dappermarkt is very cheap – the prices are much lower compared to the city center. Most products there cost less than 1 Euro so you should definitely visit it if you are a tourist on a budget. I think this is the most affordable market in the city.

First and foremost, you will buy low-cost fruit and food products there (my favorite stall is actually the fish stall with an amazing selection of fresh and fried fish) but to be honest, the market sells everything you can think of. From a range of food products to fabrics of all kinds.

The market is usually very crowded, multicultural and lively so this is a great place if you want to see a truly local culture. Sometimes, extraordinary events are held there – like live music and special festive events. Make sure you stop for the best Turkish kebab place in the whole city – the last stall. Dappermarkt is open Monday – Saturday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Amsterdam Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)

Photo Courtesy of dilpe || Flickr

Many people think of tulips when they hear Amsterdam, probably because the Netherlands is a world leader when it comes to flowers.

To me, a visit to Bloemenmarkt would be one of the best things while in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Flower Market is the world’s only floating flower market.

Bloemenmarkt consists of hundreds of stalls strung together along the Singel canal (between the Muntplein and Koningsplein). All the flowers are displayed on floating barges. Each barge is packed with many small shops with thousands of flowers. They are brought in from the surrounding horticultural areas every day. There are lots of stores to visit and the smell of the blooms is just outstanding.

The stalls sell a wide range of blooms and flora. On top of tulip bulbs (this is the most obvious souvenir I guess), you can also buy orchids, roses, narcissus, geraniums, seeds, bouquets and much more. A cool thing is that you can enjoy your souvenirs at home too. There are some bulbs packed and pre-approved for export (however, make sure to check it with a vendor). In the winter, you can also buy green Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes there. The market is not very crowded usually and the prices are quite ok. Amsterdam Flower Market is open between Monday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. The market also operated on Sunday – between 11:30 am and 5:30 pm.

Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui

Photo courtesy of futile8 || Flickr

Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui is a small book market located on the Spui. The whole place is just lovely – the square is full of bookstores, cafes and in general there are books scattered all over the place.

The market specializes in a wide range of second-hand books and besides the market itself, there are also two bookshops in the square (one of them is called the English Bookshop).

Boekenmarkt is run by experts (around 25 book dealers) – you can find the list of sellers on the market’s website. People who sell there come from all over the country to offer rare and out of print books (mainly in Dutch but also in French, German and English), postcards and vintage maps and some unique documents. For a collector this is just a lucky strike, isn’t it? A great thing is that you can talk to the sellers and even ask them in advance to help you acquire the very book you need. Unfortunately, prices are relatively high. Books are in general quite expensive in the Netherlands, so you cannot even count on a bargain. However, if you are a book-addict, you will love this place. Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui is only open on Fridays, between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Noodermarkt – Boerenmarkt

The Noodenmarkt – Boerenmarkt (the Farmers Market) is located in Amsterdam’s most celebrated and folkloric area – Jordaan. It has been operating since 1987 when first biological food stalls were set up by Adri Vallentin who wanted to draw more clients to his café.

The Farmers Market is a colorful combination of a flea, ecological, antiques and biological market. It is like heaven for those who love fresh, organic food. Every Sunday, Noodenmarkt brings together local farmers and high-quality products for visitors to enjoy.

What I really like about the place is that the atmosphere is always relaxed and unique. The market is so popular that it draws people not only from the Jordaan area, but also from the whole Amsterdam.

Prices at Noodenmarkt are above the average but the quality is just outstanding. And everything is insanely delicious. The market offers a dazzling selection of fresh and organic food. You will find natural made cheese, biological eggs, bread, spices, honey, fresh fish, nuts and cakes there. It is important that you focus on seasonal products (like mushrooms in October or asparagus in May) so that you make the best choices. Anyway, you can always ask a stallholder – they know what they sell and they are more than happy to help you and answer all questions you may have. Noodenmarkt is only open on Monday (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) and Saturday (9:00 am – 3:00 pm).

Antiekcentrum – Antiques Market

Photo by Kotomi_|| Flickr

Antiques Market is located between Looiersgracht and Elandsgracht. The market is a bit similar to the Waterlooplein market. However, it is not as eclectic. On the other hand, you can find more amazing and rare things (from jewellry to historic souvenirs) there and the standard of the goods is usually much higher.

Antiekcentrum is not very large but it is a must-go for all types of antique hunters – you just cannot miss out on this place while in Amsterdam. In total there are around 80 stands with a variety of antiques, literally from all areas.

The array of things available at Antiekcentrum is extremely wide, as well as the range of quality. You can find some real gems there and what is more, you can negotiate prices. There is also a nice surprise – the lovely café with tasty food, reasonable prices and a very friendly service.

The atmosphere here is just unique – it feels like a combination of a market and a museum. Each stand has its owner – a very funny thing is that if the owner is not there, you have to ring the bell and wait until someone helps you. Antiques Market only operates between May and October. It is open six days a week (Mo, Wed, Thu, Fr – 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat and Sun – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm), excluding Tuesday.

Westerstraat Market

Westerstraat Market in Jordan is one of Amsterdam’s outdoor markets. Even if Westerstraat Market was originally the textiles market, currently it does not only specialize in fabric and textiles (but still, on this colorful market you will find everything you need to make your own clothes, including sewing accessories).

Currently, you will also find some food products, cosmetics and small interior design objects there. From shoes to home furniture, through antique books, retro finds, and interesting curios – local vendors sell it all.

There are about 150 stalls at Westerstraat Market. However, there are some additional stands (approximately 60) at the crossing of Westerstraat and Prinsengracht. Tourists very often find this additional are the most interesting because the stands offer goods from shop closures, shoes in strange sizes, etc. There are also slightly defected products from the factories. Believe me, you can find many hidden gems there and they are 100% authentic! And, compared to prices you’ll find at shops, you can make some really good deals there.

Westerstraat Market is only open on Mondays between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. If you a person who enjoys fresh air and lovely scenery while shopping, this is definitely your Amsterdam’s market to visit. The neighbourhood is interesting, a variety of shops is great and it is quite easy to get lost. Amazing!

IJ Hallen Flea Market

Photo Courtesy of Nichon Glerum || Facebook Profile

IJ Hallen Flea Market is the largest flea market of its kind in Europe. It is located in Amsterdam North, by the NDSM Wharf. The North itself is one of the coolest artsy communities in Amsterdam, so naturally, the market must be interesting, large and colorful. There are more than 700 stands that can be rent by anyone.

There is only one rule – everything you sell must be second hand. The market is held in a converted shipbuilding warehouse which makes the atmosphere just unique.

There is a huge amount of everything there, many gems to be found and bargains to be had. There are stands with clothes, shoes, books, furniture, antiques, jewellery and records. Overall, the IJ Hallen Flea Market has a really nice vibe and I am sure you will enjoy walking around. The market is always very crowded and in my opinion, this very market is certainly worth taking the ferry across the water to visit it. The ferry is free though.

IJ Hallen Flea Market operates once a month, over a weekend (Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm). Exact dates are always confirmed on the website. A standard entrance at IJ Hallen Flea Market costs 5 Euro and children up to 11 pay 2 Euro. However, you can always get a stamp to go out and come back in. Make sure you try French fries while walking around and looking for some cool stuff.

Ten Kate Markt

Photo by Carolina Georgatou|| Flickr

A real local gem is hidden in Amsterdam Old West. Ten Katemarkt is located at Ten Katestraat, just off the main shopping street. It is one of the biggest markets in the city. However, it is not as crowded and touristy as other big markets in Amsterdam.

Ten Katemarkt is a place where many locals do their grocery shopping so if you are a tourist this is a great chance to get a glimpse of what life in Amsterdam really looks like. You will find food of a great quality there – fresh fish and meat, fruit and vegetables and also cheese, hummus and a variety of Asian grocers.

On top of that, there are stands with clothes, electrical goods, and home essentials. You will also find many Dutch and ethnic fare on offer. In total, there are around 100 stalls at Ten Katemarkt. If you get hungry while shopping, I truly recommend that you should have a delicious sandwich at the Broodje Mario bread stand or at the Boer Geert stand. You will also get some tasty tapas and hummus there.

The market is open 6 days a week, from Monday to Saturday between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. If you want to experience the market to the fullest, Saturday is the best day to go. If you visit the market at the end of the day, you will get the best prices.

Art Plein Spui Market

Photo courtesy of IK’s World Trip|| Flickr

Art Plein Spui Market is located on the small Spui square (Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui is also located on the very same square but it is held on Friday).

The square is nothing but bookshops which makes the atmosphere extremely warm and cozy, even assuming the fact that the market is in the center of the city bustling shopping area.

Art Plein Spui Market is held by 25 professional artists. There is a rotation system as there are around 60 artists in total. It means that you can discover new collections and new artists each time you visit the place. At Art Plein Spui Market you will find art from all kinds of techniques. There are watercolors, paintings in oil and acrylics, sculpture, graphic arts, jewelry, and ceramics. You can buy them without any additional charge of a gallery commission. To me, the Art Market looks like a nice break from normal sightseeing for those who want to spend some time in the area on Sunday.

Art Plein Spui Market only operates on Sunday, between March and December (10:00 am – 5:00 pm). It is worth visiting especially in the summer. When the sun shines the markets is just picturesque. The atmosphere is always fun and lively, maybe because there are musician and artists performing on the market on a regular basis.


things to do in amsterdam
Photo by Franklin Heijnen || Flickr || Foodhallen Website

Foodhallen is not a market as such. It is more an indoor street food spot housed in a magnificently refurbished tram depot. Stalls and bars are a food-truck style which looks just amazing.

There is plenty of seating, especially upstairs, and a lot of outdoor space. Foodhallen is a synonym for diversity – the hall provides cuisine from all over the world, a variety of high-end street food and beverages – all in historic surroundings. There is Japanese sushi, Italian food, Barbeque, Vietnamese rolls, Greek meze and Mexican food or artisanal burgers. Foodhallen is lined with around 20 vendors. The Hall contains a central island bar – the main action is centered around it. However, if you decide to explore the hall deeper, you will find some extra rooms and specialty bars. Some of the stalls I especially recommend:

  • Dim Sum Thing with Cantonese dumplings;
  • Shirkhan with Mumbai street food from a tandoor oven;
  • Maza with Mediterranean food;
  • Viet View with Vietnamese street food;
  • Le Big Fish with seafood and oysters.

On top of food, there is also a multiscreen cinema next door. Actually, the market shares its housing with places like a real denim school, a public library and some nice shops. So, while visiting Amsterdam Foodhallen, you do not have to limit yourself to having a good meal only.

Marqt – Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Marqt || Marqt Facebook Profile

Farmers Market is one of the newest markets in Amsterdam. It is held in a big bricks townhouse which makes it look extremely Amsterdam-ish. Farmers Market is nothing but healthy and simple. Every product sold there is local and comes from the neighborhood. There are of course exceptions but still, Farmers Market is as local as possible.

I especially love the market for its amazing Dutch cheese and great fresh fish – the fish counter has a jaw-dropping supply of sardines and wild salmon.

The fish are so fresh you do not even need to dress them up too much to flavor them. Also, some French wines are worth trying. The bakery section, on the other hand, offers some delicious olive bread and yogurt raspberry muffins. If you feel like a quick treat, do not miss out on vegetable wraps at the entrance.

Amsterdammers love this spot because of the amazing range of fresh and organic products available. The prices are surprisingly affordable and reasonable, considering that products are of the highest quality – I have bought fruit and vegetables there many times and I have never been disappointed. This is why the market is always very crowded. Make sure you have your credit card with you though, as no cash is accepted. The market is open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.


Photo by Paul Thallon|| Flickr

Nieuwmarkt is quite similar to the Noodermarkt but it is much smaller. It is located in the center of the city.

The place is run by local farmers. They bring organic, fresh food products (mostly fruit and vegetables) and sell them at reasonable prices. Their products may be quite expensive when compared to prices at supermarkets but the quality is premium.

On top of locally-grown fresh food, at Nieuwmarkt you will also find some cosmetics and candles. The absolute must-go is the stall doing freshly squeezed orange juice and then the stall with corns on the cob, boiled and slathered in salty, Dutch butter.

Nieuwmarkt operates six days a week, excluding Sunday (from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm). Saturdays are the busiest though. The market is crowded, the cafes and restaurants nearby are full. In the summer, the market also operates on Sunday – a flea market is held these days. To me, Nieuwmarkt is just a perfect place to spend a sunny day. You can easily get there by foot or take a tram if you want to. On top of the regularly scheduled market events at Nieuwmarkt there are also some special events held – it included live music and performances.

The final word

Markets are always a great place to participate in local life. For a Dutch, a trip to the market is not only a way to do some shopping, it is also an outing, a chance to chat with a friend or have a quick snack. And this is what you experience while visiting Amsterdam – a unique market atmosphere to be found nowhere else. Get prepared for a huge diversity. No matter if you want to buy some clothes, fresh flowers or some bric-a-brac – Amsterdam has over a dozen markets for all tastes and some of them have existed for more than 100 years. Have you prepared your shopping bags yet?

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