The Waterlooplein Flea Market – A true Amsterdam goldmine

The Waterlooplein Flea Market – A true Amsterdam goldmine

Although Amsterdam is most famous for its canals,

numerous coffee shops, uncanny museums and the red light district, the city

also hides many other gems waiting to be discovered by the more-adventurous

visitors. So drop your classic tourist booklets and dare to go beyond the usual

sights! First step – The Waterlooplein Flea Market!

With a

population of less than a million, Amsterdam is not among the biggest European

cities. Yet the abundance of sights and the city’s unique charm make it one of

the top tourist destinations not only in Europe but world-wide. Over 5 million

international visitors and 16 million day trippers visit the city each year and

these numbers are steadily rising. In fact, tourism is a significant part of

the city’s economy so significant investments have been made in this sector

looking to secure and increase the tourism revenue.


Amsterdam is in many ways a tourist paradise. You never seem to run out on

sights or entertainment options, and the only limiting factor seems to be –

your finances. It’s quite easy to spend a fortune in Amsterdam without even

realizing it, but if you are on a short budget your options become limited. Or

at least it seems that way if you are looking at the tourist booklets or aiming

for the best knows city attractions. But Amsterdam offers heaps of other

options that don’t require as much money and are in fact just as unique,

thrilling and worthy of a visit. One of my favorite such places is the

Waterlooplein Flea Market, located right in the city center, in the former

Jewish quarter, near the Amstel River.

Most big cities

have at least one flea market in them, but there is something very special

about Amsterdam’s Waterlooplein market. Its size and profusion of goods as well

as the diversity of things on offer and people browsing and walking around all

add up to the distinctive atmosphere and experience of shopping around or just

visiting this market. With over 300 stands, the Waterlooplein market truly

offers a little bit of everything! You’ll find both used and new things ranging

from all sorts of clothes, uniforms, books, CDs and DVDs, electronics, bicycles

and bicycle parts, souvenirs, art and a lot of what I’ll commonly call – garbage.

If you get hungry there’s also a few stands that offer snacks and drinks so you

can easily recharge and continue browsing through the market. Among the

thousands of tacky things and souvenirs there’s always at least one bric a brac

thing you just can’t do without. So be prepared for at least one impulse buy.

The prices at

the market vary depending mostly on whether the items are new or used and how

“popular” they are. New clothes and electronics are not exactly cheap (not what

you would expect from a flea market at least) but among the used stuff you can

really find amazing deals. And don’t be afraid to bargain your way to a lower

price, as that is in fact expected of you.

And never forget

– to find gold you really have to dig hard and deep so take a good look at all

the items on offer, particularly if you are into antique and vintage stuff, and

you are sure to find your little lump of gold. As with any flea market you only

need to be patient, keep your eyes open – and yes, keep a lookout for

pickpockets as they do tend to operate in this area.

Whether you end

up buying heaps of stuff or go home empty handed, one thing is for sure – you

will have a lot of fun walking around, browsing through clothes and other goods

and just enjoying the unique experience and atmosphere at the Waterlooplein. If

you don’t hear it at the market itself – you might want to put your headphones

on and play the famous song (in Netherlands at least) “Oh Waterlooplein” while

walking around – just to make your experience that much better.





Opening Hours:


through Saturday, from 09:00 to 18:00. Closed on Sundays.

How to get there:

Walking: Around 15 minutes from the Dam square

towards east. The Waterlooplein is located behind theRed Light district,

just next to theRembrandt house.

Amsterdam metro lines: 51, 53 and 54 (stop: Waterlooplein)

Tram: 9 and 14 (stop: Waterlooplein / Stadhuis)


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