Best Amsterdam Street Markets
Amsterdam is packed with shops, from multi-level shopping arcades to trendy boutiques. Buying erotic toys proves as easy as stocking up on Edam cheese. Throw in a handful of street markets and you know why Amsterdam is Europe’s shopping capital. Albert Cuyp Market is famous for its ‘stroopwafel’ stand and Waterlooplein for its second-hand junk, retro fashion and army wear.
Hunt down bargains at one of the open air markets. Rummage through second-hand clothes, books and CDs. Bargain over a Delft blue antique sugar bowl that was made only last year or go home with a Van Gogh.
Seven Best Amsterdam Street Markets
1. Albert Cuyp Market
Albert Cuypstraat, Monday – Saturday 10.30 – 17.00 – Sprawling Albert Cuyp Market stretches for more than 1 km and spills over into the surrounding streets. Hunt for lacey underwear or get the latest mobile phone gadgets. If shopping made you hungry, stop at one of the food stalls and rummage through piles of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, tea and coffee. If you want to rest your feet, sit in one of the ethnic restaurants and tuck in satay smothered in peanut sauce and spicy fried rice.
Dappermarkt in Amsterdam
2. Dapper Market
Dapperstraat, Monday – Saturday 09.00 – 17.00 – Dapper Market is a bustling expanse of stalls, shops and very few tourists. It is very much a local market selling shiny apples, fresh pineapple and exotic kaki fruit. Dig through heaps of cheap clothes, shoes and household goods. Bunches of tulips are wrapped as quickly as they are sold. Stock up on coffee, cheese, chocolate and other Dutch delicacies.
3. Antiek Centrum
Elandsgracht 109, Monday – Friday 11.00 – 18.00, Saturday – Sunday 11.00 – 17.00 – Antiek Centrum is a labyrinth of stalls piled high with the clutter of centuries. Some stalls are more or less permanent fixtures specializing in a favourite genres; antique brassware, glass bottles or jewellery while others stock everything they can lay their hands on as long as the goods look old. Look out for wood carvings from the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.
4. Noorder Market
Near Noorder Church, Monday 09.00 – 13.00 and Saturday 09.00 – 16.00 – Noorder market is very much a local affair. Sort through stags of mainly second-hand clothes, jewellery, boots and shoes. Go home with that special feather boa or several metres of fabric that cost often no more than €1 a metre. On Saturdays the market transforms itself into an organic farmers’ market – crusty loaves, soft goat cheese, juicy carrots and all sorts of mushrooms.
5. Waterlooplein Market
Waterlooplein, Monday – Saturday 09.00 – 17.00 – Tatty, bohemian Waterlooplein flea market is the favourite haunt of tourists. Wind your way through alleys packed with stalls. Delve through heaps of retro clothing and bric-a-brac. Strike a deal on army gear or buy a hemp lollipop. Don’t expect to see many Amsterdammers.
Waterlooplein Flea Market in Amsterdam
6. Wester Market
Westerstraat, Monday 09.00 – 13.00 – This general market is a favourite of locals. Juicy apples and white cauliflowers rub shoulders with buttons, zips and snap fasteners. The market specializes in fabrics. If you make your own clothes this is the place to rummage through heaps of colourful textile.
7. Floating Flower Market
Singel, near Munt Tower, Monday – Saturday 8.30 am – 5 pm – Wander along stalls overflowing with tulips, daffodils, lilies and all sorts of cut flowers and potted plants. Take that cliche Amsterdam selfie with tulips in the background. If you are not interested in flowers, you may give this market a miss. It is one of Amsterdam’s most hyped tourist attractions.
When your shopping is done, rest your feet in one of Amsterdam’s cafes. Cobra Café at Museumplein is favourite among locals and tourists. The big outdoor terrace is a good place to get a suntan and also an excellent place to do some people-watching. The menu includes traditional Dutch dishes, and also salads, soups and pancakes. Read the newspaper or your guidebook over the gentle hiss of the espresso machine or simply relax and admire the buzz of activity on the square.