If you go to Amsterdam’s main flower markets and buy blue tulips, don’t expect to be able to plant blue tulips in your garden next spring. These are the tourist markets, and sense be told, not many flowers are blue in color. To find the good stuff, the vintage clothing, and organic food, you need to do as the locals do. Amsterdam has a wealth of street markets, many of which you’ll find in the suburbs of the city. Check out this list and make sure you go with money to burn.
Best for organic food
Noordermarkt organic farmer’s market, Noordermarkt, Jordaan. Open every Saturday 9-4.
Start your weekend the organic way with not just one of the best organic farmer’s markets in Amsterdam, but in Europe. The market has been running for twenty years in this neighborly square, and is a must-visit for foodies. Here you’ll find bread, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and cheese. The thirty stallholders make for a welcoming and warm atmosphere. Be sure to visit the mushroom stall: a wonder for the eyes as much as anything else!
Best for second-hand bargains
IJ-Hallen flea market, TT Neveritaweg 15. Open one weekend a month, check the website for dates.
As you need to take a ferry to get to it, IJ-Hallen flea market isn’t one many tourists visit. Although, as one of the largest flea markets in Europe, people do come a long way to bargain hunt. There’s a small charge to get in, but anything and everything second-hand can be found here, from bicycle wheels to military gear, or furniture to thimbles. There is more to see in the summer when vendors are able to make use of the outside space.
Best for books
Oudemanhuispoort book market, Oudemanhuispoort. Open Mon-Fri 11am-4pm.
Although not a big market, bookworms can spend hours at this weekday book feast, which nestles itself between old University buildings. You’ll find quality fiction, not just your typical airport reading, as well as non-fiction, and fine art prints on offer.
Best for textiles and (vintage) clothing
Westerstraat market, Jordaan, Monday morning 9am-1pm.
Traditionally a textiles market, Westerstraat now has a wide range of clothing, accessories and cosmetics. While vintage lovers still scour the site for second-hand finds, you can also pick up designer clothing here, rejected for minor flaws, by the likes of Versace, straight from the factory.
Best for Eating
NeighbourFood market, Westergasfabriek, Monthly – check the website for dates.
This is more than a food market. You’ll find long tables laid out for people to buy, and eat there and then. Sample the delights from local sausage makers, juice pressers, eco farmers, cake bakers, and be part of something truly neighbourly. Just remember to take your own plate! They even have stations to do your washing up, so you can refill your plate again and again.
If any or all of these markets take your fancy, Flybe offer daily flights to Amsterdam Schiphol airport from the UK. You could go for 24 hours or less if you wanted! For unique places to stay, try Hotels Cheap.
This post was sponsored by Flybe.