I don’t know about you guys, but I actually really hate shopping. Aimlessly browsing window displays or shopping without knowing exactly what I want in mind bores the hell out of me! But when it comes to local markets, I can spend hours wandering the stalls and tasting local foods. Which is why I’ve finally put together a list of the best markets in Amsterdam!
Press play to experience the best markets in Amsterdam (or read on!):
5 Of The Best Markets in Amsterdam
This market isn’t quite as well known as Albert Cuyp Market (see below). But it’s my personal favourite! Much of this has to do with the fact that it was my local market back when I lived in the city, but I’ve also found that it’s one of the best markets in Amsterdam to buy fresh local produce.
Whether you’re looking for fresh fish to fry up, or you plan on putting together your own tapas of houmous, olives and dried fruits – Dappermarkt has it all! The chicken stand there also serves (in my honest opinion) the best fried chicken rolls in the whole of Amsterdam!
When it comes to clothes, I religiously carry a pair of stretchy harem pants with me on every trip I take, all of which I’ve bought here for €5 a pair. Even my mum picked up a pair when I took her to the city two years ago!
However, by far my favourite thing about Dappermarkt is that the area, and the merchants that work the stalls, represent everything I love about Amsterdam. The Dutch culture here is infused with residents from Suriname, Morocco, Turkey, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe which, for someone originally from West London, makes me feel right at home.
Location: Dapperstraat, 1093 BS Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 09.00 – 17.00
2. Albert Cuyp Markt
The most famous local market in Amsterdam, Albert Cuyp Markt has been operating six days a week in Albert Cuypstraat since 1912. Which makes it 105 years old! It’s also just around the corner from the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, where I stayed while researching this article and reviewed for you here.
In some ways, much of the items for sale here are similar to those found at Dappermarkt. But, whilst the area is still diverse, I would say there are a lot more hipsters and because of that, a lot more vintage clothes, boutique furniture stalls and second-hand merchants.
But by far my favourite reason for visiting Abert Cuyp Markt, and the reason I think it’s one of the best markets in Amsterdam, is because it’s here that some of the most traditional Dutch treats can be found freshly prepared in front of you!
So if you want to try the famous Dutch stroopwafels or the tiny poffertjes that I love so much but can never pronounce – here’s where you can pick them up for a fraction of the price you’d pay in store!
And for those of you more into savoury foods than sweets I suggest the kibbeling! It’s a small dish of deep fried white fish that will warm you up perfectly if you’re wandering the markets on a cold day!
Location: Albert Cuypstraat, 1073 BD Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 09.00 – 17.00
3. Waterlooplein Market
While Dappermarkt and Albert Cuyp Markt are two of the best markets in Amsterdam for those looking for produce and everyday items, Waterlooplein Market is Amsterdam’s ultimate flea market (except for this one which I am never in Amsterdam at the right time to visit!).
It’s at Waterlooplein Market that I bought my very first Dutch bike (which obviously got stolen a week later). It’s also here that you can find stalls lined with second-hand antiques, shoes, leather, signs, jewellery and more! They even sell spray paint for those interested in street art!
Originally known as the ‘Jewish Market’ because of its location in the former Jewish district of the city, Waterlooplein Market has been operating since 1885! Due to Jewish persecution in the 1940s, the market all but shut down until the hard post-war times kicked in and the flea market began to again serve as a reliable source for anything the locals might need to buy or get rid of.
These days, Waterlooplein Market is the most fun in summer. This is when almost all the 300 stalls are full and you get a hint of what it might have looked like in the swinging sixties heyday of Waterlooplein.
Location: Waterlooplein 2, 1011 AL Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 09.30 – 18.00
4. Boekenmarkt op het Spui
The Boekenmarkt op het Spui (literally Book Market on the Spui) is the place to pick up secondhand coffee-table books, vintage maps, periodicals and postcards of old Amsterdam. The books here aren’t that cheap, but they’re often hard to come by which accounts for the higher price range.
What makes the Boekenmarkt so special is the merchants who travel from all over the Netherlands to run their stall… even when it snows! These merchants know their books, so if you’re looking for a particularly hard to find collection by your favourite photographer then just chat to a few of them to see if they can get hold of it!
They’re also passionate about their subjects. So if you find yourself at the maritime stall and you want to know a bit more about local maritime history be warned… you may want to grab a coffee first because you’ll be there for a while!
Best of all is that many of these rare and often out-of-print books are in English, as well as Dutch. But if you’re just not into reading at all then I suggest you go check out the original art prints. They make far better souvenirs than a cannabis-leaf keyring!
Location: Spui, 1012 Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Fri: 10.00 – 18.00
Famously known as the world’s only floating flower market, the Bloemenmarkt is the place to go for all things tulips! Each flower stall is located on a barge, and each barge acts as a giant flower pot hovering on the surface of the Singel canal.
Tulips are believed to have been first introduced to The Netherlands in 1594, and since then the Dutch tulip industry has developed into one of the country’s greatest exports.
But while The Netherlands is famous for its tulips, visitors have been able to buy a huge range of flowers and flower seeds at the Bloemenmarkt since it was first founded way back in 1862!
I have to admit, I’m not much of a flower person. In fact, when I lived in The Netherlands my flatmate had to remind me daily to water his many plants whenever he was away on business. I still forgot…
But the Bloemenmarkt offers such a rich burst of colour amongst Amsterdam’s otherwise brown/grey streets and canals that I had to include it in this list! It’s also perfect for those of you who really want a souvenir to take home that will represent a true slice of the Dutch lifestyle each time it blooms!
Location: Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 09.00 – 17.30; Sun: 11.00 – 17.30
Have you ever visited one of these markets? Let me know which was your favourite in the comments!
I would like to thank the Flying Pig Uptown in Amsterdam for sponsoring my stay with them and acting as my base while I researched this article, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.
Lots of love,