The festive season is approaching rapidly and soon enough Christmas markets will pop up all over Amsterdam. But if you cannot face those just yet, here’s a guide to the best markets in Amsterdam for regular commodities and gifts…
The Albert Cuyp Market has over 200 stalls and is located in the old Latin Quarter of the city. It is one of the largest daily markets in Europe. The market is named after the 17th century painter and has been going since 1905. Many locals shop at the market every day. The market is now so popular, many stall holders have notched up their prices somewhat. That said, the quality of the goods on offer matches the price trend.
The Dappermarkt in Dapperstraat, East Amsterdam, was rated the Best Market of the Netherlands five years ago. It is a beehive of cultures, and excellent food is on offer from Suriname, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Not many tourists find this market, but those that do are in for a great time with bargain prices at nearly every stall. There are 250 stands, with around 160 merchants selling mostly general goods items, and the street is lined with cafés and fruit stores on both sides. National Geographic Traveler rated the street and its market as one of the Top 10 Shopping Streets in the World, just behind places of really world reputation as Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and Navigli Antique Market in Milan. Like the Albert Cuyp market, the Dappermarkt is open every day. Check out the market’s website to find out about events on the market.
Waterlooplein Flea market is located near the Rembrandthuis and is great for Camden Town style second hand clothing stalls as well as general bric-a-brac. This is Amsterdam’s oldest market of Amsterdam. Like Camden Town, Waterlooplein is associated with youth culture. This is also a spot where you can indulge in a little haggling, when you buy at second hand stalls. In the 60s and 70s the hippies and provos from Amsterdam tended to hang out at this square and the market still is a magnet for fourth generation hippies and members of the Magic Center (the alternative Provos).
Amsterdam is the only city in Europe to host a floating flower market. It is located at Muntplein and is a wonderful colourful place right in the heart of the historic city centre, so chances are you will stumble across it. As at most Dutch flower markets, the specialities are bulbs and cut flowers. Tulip bulbs are what Holland is famous for since the stockmarket speculation on tulip bulbs, which led to a famous crash in 1637. Even though the tulip is still closely associated with Holland, the flower originates from Turkey. The market stalls float, but visitors stay on the banks of the gracht. Before you stock up on bulbs, do check custom regulations do not restrict taking back bulbs to your country. Be sure to check out the Timmer family stall at the market, which is famous for its exquisite quality flowers.
In case you really are into flowers, you might consider taking a trip out to Aalsmeer Flower Market, which is housed in the world’s fourth largest building. You take a bus to Aalsmeer and get there in under one hour.