The Albert Cuyp Market

The Albert Cuyp Market

Known as Amsterdam’s

biggest street market the Albert Cuyp Market is a buzzing market located in the

Old Pijp area. Selling your typical market products – fresh produce, clothes,

flowers and foods – it’s probably nothing different to your local market back

home but it does make for a great few hours browsing the stalls, mixing with

the locals and trying some of the fantastic freshly made food.

Browse, buy and eat; a great place to mix with

the locals

I heard about this market a few times from the

locals so during a family outing with my sister-in-law and her two children she

decided to put the Albert Cuyp Market in the itinerary. I love markets, and

having visited some in the UK and Turkey which are monstrous in size I was

expecting a lot from Amsterdam’s largest street market. Don’t get me wrong so

early on, it’s not a bad market as there’s plenty to see, buy and taste so it’s

worth a couple of your hours on any day but before you go don’t have huge

expectations, especially since ‘Amsterdam’s largest’ is in the description of

the guide books that rave about it. It’s not actually very big even if it is

the largest.

I definitely recommend going there in the

mornings before you venture off anywhere else so that you are happily willing

to walk the long street to the end and back. We started our family outing in

the queue to Madam Tussaud’s wax museum on Dam Square and then spent about two

hours walking around mimicking poses of the many wax celebrities so we were

pretty tired after it. We got a little break though while we sat on Tram 16 for

about fifteen minutes until we arrived on Albert Cuypstraat where the market

comes to life every day (apart from Sundays). If you want to see the market at

its busiest then the afternoons are a better choice.

The market

The market is located in the Old Pijp area just

south of the historic canal belt and just around the corner from some of our

short stay apartments in the area. There are around 260 stalls selling your

usual market products: clothes, fresh produce, food, flowers, Dutch cheese and

many other bits and bobs. It is split into two long rows along the Albert

Cuypstraat and we chose to browse the stalls along one side all the way to the

end of the road and the other side on the way back; tactical planning in order

not to miss any stall or bargain.

Since our short stay apartments are

self-catering then this is a great place to pick up some good priced fresh

vegetables, fruit and meats and as there’s usually an offer of some sort it

proves to be cheaper than shopping in the supermarkets. Or perhaps you need a

toothbrush, a shampoo, or you forgot to pack a belt, socks or even a European

plug adapter, you name it and it’s likely to be there! But don’t search for

souvenirs for loved ones back home as you won’t find much on offer, it’s just

not that kind of market. This is the place where locals go every day to buy

food, find bargains and just have a nose at what’s new and who’s there; pretty

much like your local market back home.

While we walked through it I stopped to try on

some cheap boots and shoes but since they were cheap I questioned the quality

and then decided against a purchase. This was a running theme at a number of

other clothes and shoe stalls; quality is questionable as with any other street

market. Although admittedly I do love a good bargain and if it looks fabulous

then I’ll buy it even if its use by date is shorter than its size. The prices

at Albert Cuyp Market range from bargains to the same as in the shops but since

it’s a market it’s your right to haggle but not guaranteed that you’ll get that

price down every time. Word of advice, believe a 100% in the price you are

suggesting as these are pro’s and they can see right through your uncertainty!

Food, glorious food,

we’re anxious to try it!

As you stroll through the market you can’t help

but take slow shorter steps as you approach the number of freshly prepared food

stalls. Those with a sweet tooth will be dribbling over the fresh stroopwafles as

they are cooked right before your eyes. These are round waffles made from two

thin layers of baked batter with caramel syrup filling in the middle (wipe

drool now!). You can buy them at the supermarkets also and to get a hint of

that fresh taste place one over your hot coffee or tea so that it warms up a

little and then enjoy! You’ll then need something to wash down all that

sweetness in your mouth so queue the freshly squeezed orange juice stall; this

may well be one of the best fresh juices you’ve tasted.

Now, that was a great mid-market snack so we

moved on and upon finishing our browsing of the stalls it was almost dinner

time so we walked on over to the fish van and each bought a portion of

kibbeling which is freshly made and battered fish bites while opting for the

ravigote sauce on the side. Amongst the choices of ready to eat foods there is

also a great chip stand which does the trick any time of the day, and a stand

selling raw herring which you can eat

with fresh onions on the side so be adventurous dip the herring into the

onions, lift and bite. A bit carnivore style but makes a great picture, so good

that it could well be your next Facebook profile pic!

The area

You don’t just get a market when you visit the

Albert Cuyp Market; the area is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. Firstly

there are shops and cafes operating on either side of the market so you could

have a coffee at a traditional Dutch café or go for a refreshment at a more

modern establishment, or even opt for a Moroccan or Surinamese restaurant on

Ferdinand Bolstraat which runs north from Albert Cuypstraat. The choice is as

diverse as the area. There is generally a very lively atmosphere in the Pijp. If you walk north up Ferdinand Bolstraat

you’ll reach the Heineken Experience which is a tour museum of the old Heineken

Brewery and a very popular outing amongst groups of friends. On the way there you’ll

pass the Marie Heinekenplein on your right which is a popular square filled

with bars and cafes. And opposite the square you’ll spot a quirky patisserie

called ‘De Taart van m’n Tante’.

Address:

Albert Cuypstraat

Opening times:

Monday to Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM.

Getting there:

If you’re staying in our short stay apartments

around Dam Square and the Red Light District then you can get Trams 4, 16 and

24 from Dam Square.

For those staying in the apartments around

Leidseplein you can walk there in about fifteen minutes or jump on Trams 5, 7

or 10.

If you’re staying around Utrechtsestraat in the

Rembrandt Square area then you can walk it in five to fifteen minutes depending

on where your short stay accommodation is.