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
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
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 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!
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’.
Monday to Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM.
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
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.