3 Flea Markets in Amsterdam Not to be Missed
Amsterdam is well-known for its colourful and vivid markets, especially flea markets which are a great way to experience local Dutch life on the cheap. Once you make it to the city of canals, going either to Dapper Market, IJ-Hallen or Waterlooplein is a must! You will not only be able to get decent clothes, food, accessories for an extremely cheap price, but you can also chat with vendors as well as enjoy the atmosphere of Dutch markets.
Here are top 3 flea markets in Amsterdam you have to see:
#1 Dapper Market
First up on this top flea markets in Amsterdam list is Dapper Market, located at Dapperstraat, 1093 BS and it’s open 6 days a week (Monday to Saturday). Best day to go is on a Saturday at noon in order to experience the market in its full glory. Getting there is extremely easy as the nearest tram station is at Wijttenbachstraat, and tram 3, 7, 9, 14 goes from central station. The place is central and is quite well connected by buses and metros too.
The Dapper Market is free of charge and it’s definitely one of the most well known markets. The variety of things you can get here is huge, and the costs are quite reasonable. This is one of the oldest markets in Amsterdam at about 110 years old. Most of the bigger stalls have been there for close to 50 years!
The range of products is as diverse as it comes. From clothes, to stationery items, toiletries, household items, warm clothing, food (meat, cheese, fish), flower market, jewelry and other decorative items, shoes and the list goes on and on. What is an added advantage to this place, is that all the big supermarkets of Amsterdam are also present here – like Albert Heijn, ethos, Kruidvat, Zeeman etc. There are also a lot of authentic stores for international cuisines like an Indian store that sells spices and some staple food from the country. Also has an exclusive Jewish store for the authentic food products.
The prices are quite cheap at this flea market. Most of the products range between 1 to 3 euros. Most of the times they have a combo offer going on different products – like buy 2 get 1 free. It’s definitely a great place to do bulk shopping for groceries, and household items like cutlery, furnishings.
The market is spread out on the entire dapper street along the length of it. Most vendors here are Asian, Turkish, African, Vietnamese, and Dutch. And as mentioned above they sell everything from hairpins to carpets.
The atmosphere is quite crowded, milling with shoppers. The vendors are very friendly, and are ready to help international travelers.
#2 IJ-Hallen market
The IJ-Hallen Vlooienmarkt flea market in Amsterdam is typically held the first weekend of the month and is open from 9 am to 4.30 pm. In order to follow the opening days of the market each month, feel free to check out IJ-Hallen’s calendar which is updated every two weeks.
I cycled there on Sunday morning from Jan van Galenstraat. It took me exactly 24 minutes including the 2 minute ferry ride. The distance was 2,1 km.
IJ- Hallen is not only the biggest of the flea markets in Amsterdam but also considered to be the biggest flea market in Europe. There are approximately 750 different stands so you can just imagine how huge it is. The market was extremely overcrowded with tourists, locals and expats. It was held inside the giant old shipbuilding which made it even more interesting to explore. Numerous stands were places outside as well due to a decent weather. The atmosphere was amazing. The sellers smiled back to me and recommended good quality products for a good price.
You can find here almost anything: used clothing, shoes, toys, tools, antiques, kitchen supplies, hidden treasures, and tons and tons of random junk. From local food to vintage clothes or fancy housewares, Ij-Hallen offers endless possibilities for anyone interested in soaking up the local culture in the most genuine manner and bargaining.
Most of the stuff people sell at this top flea market is really cheap so if you do have an eye for a bargain you really cannot miss this. Most of the prices start from 50 cents and they get even lower towards the end of the day (even 50% – 80%). Just to give you an example of what you can get for what price:
- Leather jacket – €2 – €10
- Cereal bowl – €1
- Perfumes – €10 – €15
- Shoes – €2 – €20
- Coats – €3 – €20
- T-shirts – 50 cents – €3
There is no music at Ij-Hallen market and the place seems to be very loud. In between the two halls there is an open-air area with several stalls selling traditional Dutch treats and drinks such as fries (€3 per portion), home-made soup (€1.50 – €3), or the traditional poffertjes (€2.75 per portion). Besides some fast-food stalls, in the both halls you will find several stands selling specific gastronomic products, like: cheese from different countries, Spanish chorizo and serrano ham, fancy jams or exotic dressings.
#3 Waterlooplein Market
Last up on this top flea markets in Amsterdam list Waterlooplein – a big outdoor market in a very nice location. With stalls that showcase the products in tables, but also stalls that lay their stuff on the ground over big blankets. It is really interesting that the storage places from the stalls are located over the plaza and are decorated with graffiti and street art.
Overall the market has around 300 stalls, but not all of them are open all the time, it depends on the weather and whether it is a weekday or not. It may take you about an hour and a half to walk through it.
What is being sold here? Mainly they sell second hand shoes and clothes. You can find a lot of sweaters, jackets, pants, sneakers, shoes, hats and bags, and even skiing suits. But as in any other flea market, you can also get old books and magazines, music instruments, vinyl records, vintage toys, silverware, plates, jewellery, pipes, water pipes and curiosities such as cookie jars, metal boxes, glasses, porcelain figurines, among many other eccentric things. An also get a tattoo! It is also a great place to find second hand bicycles.
Prices differ, you can find really cheap clothes, but also original fur coats that, even though are second hand, are very expensive (up to a couple of hundred euros). There are a lot of antiques and vintage stuff, and because most items are unique and unusual, the prices can be high. The good news is that you can always bargain and get good deals.
The traditional vendors at the flea markets in Amsterdam are mostly people that have had their stalls in their families for a long time; they seem to be interested in keeping the bazaar alive for tradition more than for profit. The atmosphere is really relaxed, it brings you back to a sixties, seventies vibe. It is a real bazaar in the sense that much merchandise is displayed on the ground and there are a lot of second hand products, from plates and clothes to furniture and bicycles.
Was this flea market special in any way? Did anything stand out? Visiting the market is an experience itself, it’s like time hasn’t passed by that zone; you can even feel a hippie kind of air. It is great to find stuff that reminds you of previous experiences (like old video games, clothes that were trendy when you were a teenager, etc.).
If you are in a mood for another eccentric experience, you could also go check out one the most popular coffee shops in Amsterdam: Bluebird, located in Sint Antoniesbreestraat 71, really near the market.
About the Authors:
Meet eTramping crew – Agness and Cez – best friends and travel companions from Poland. These two are sharing their budget travel tips on how to travel the world with $25 in your pocket. Since 2011, they have been travelling the world while teaching English in different Asian countries such as China, Thailand or Cambodia. They are both photography passionate obsessed with Chinese cuisine and culture.
3 Flea Markets in Amsterdam not to be Missed has been brought to you by eTramping. All photo credit goes to to this guest author. If you are interested in contributing a guest post to This Life in Trips I would love to hear from you!