Bargain hunting: Amsterdam’s best markets
Whether you’re popping out for your weekly grocery shop or searching for a rare antique, in Amsterdam, the market is the place to go for a bargain – and there are plenty to choose from. Make like the locals and head to our pick of food, furniture, fabric and flower markets on your next trip to the Netherlands’ eclectic capital.
Nieuwmarkt still holds a daily market as well as an organic fare market on Saturdays, but arguably its biggest draw is the amount of cafés, restaurants and coffeeshops that surround it
The first indoor food market in the Netherlands takes place inside a spruced-up old tram depot with high ceilings and plenty of space to handle the bustling crowds. Inspired by food meccas from across the world, such as Borough Market in London and Torverhallerne in Coppenhagen, Foodhallen boasts more than 20 stalls ranging from Michelin-star snacks to hearty local dishes, as well as international cuisine. The Butcher – one of Amsterdam’s best-known burger joints – has a stand here, and it’s well worth a visit if you can’t face the queues at the busy city centre restaurant. Fancy a pre-lunch snack? Loiter around Jabugo bar Iberico and you’ll be offered a free sample of delicious cured meat.
Wander around in the large loft-like space of the Foodhallen and discover the very best culinary Amsterdam has to offer
Head to the monthly Maker Market for the perfect Amsterdam-related souvenir and one-of-a-kind gifts. It’s held in the space just outside of the Foodhallen, and you’ll find everything from handcrafted furniture and leather goods to natural beauty products and delicious treats, all beautifully wrapped if you ask really nicely. The light in here is amazing in the day, so if you tend to turn keen photographer when you travel, arrive early. Check for dates and times before you go.
Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1100–1700 there’s a ‘tafeltjesmarkt’ or table market at Amsterdam’s Antique Centre in Jordaan. Independent collectors sell silverware, jewellery, militaria, paintings, pottery, furniture and curiosities from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries alongside 55 professional sellers, who you can visit throughout the week. Top tip: the dealers at this market enjoy perusing the stalls just as much as visitors do, so if you find your stall of choice abandoned, simply look for a small bell, ring it and wait for the bartering to begin.
The fabric market at Breedstraat has been welcoming dress makers and hobbyists for more than 400 years. As the name suggests, you’ll find stall after stall filled with every fabric imaginable, sold by the metre. And if you’re in the mood for a spot of clothes shopping, this is the place to find pieces no one else has, both vintage and new. The fabric market is open every Monday, 0900–1300 and leads into the Noordermarkt just around the corner where you’ll find more material, as well as antiques and second-hand books.
No list of Amsterdam’s best markets would be complete without the world-famous flower market, which is open Monday–Saturday, 0900–17.30. An array of small floating florists sit on the canal between Koningsplein and Muntplein – an ode to the days when flowers arrived from the countryside by boat every day. Here you’ll find Amsterdam’s iconic tulip as well as lots of other varieties in all the colours of the rainbow, either freshly cut or in seed form. Staying for Christmas? This is the place to find your Christmas tree and decorations.
The flower market of Amsterdam is a particularly colorful place in the city, with all sorts of tulips, narcissus, geraniums and many other types of flowers
Every weekday, the centrally located Nieuwmarkt square is home to a small market selling vegetables, flowers and cheese. It’s perfectly positioned near a plethora of restaurants and cafés, as well as several shops, museums and China Town, so why not make it the starting point for your day in Amsterdam? On Saturdays, the entire square becomes an organic farmers’ market, where locally sourced fruit and veg is sold alongside candles and cosmetics. From May–September, there’s also a weekly flea market on Sundays, and performers pitch up all-year long. You don’t have to spend long in Amsterdam to realise Niewmarkt is the place to be, and if you’re at a loose end, there’s likely to be something to see or do here.
Albert Cuypmarkt is full of goodies, like the famous Dutch cheese
If you only have time for one market on your trip to Amsterdam, head to Albert Cuyp in De Pijp, which offers a great mix of everything. The ‘Cuyp’ is the biggest day market in Europe with 260 stands brimming with fresh fruit and veg, flowers, clothes, leather goods, jewellery and the infamous Stroopwafel. There are loads of coffee shops within the market, too. In-between sips, look out for the statue of André Hazes – an Amsterdammer and singer with cult status, whose catchy tunes focused on the unique Dutch way of life.