-by Jason H. Cunningham
eeking out the local markets is a must-do activity for any independent traveller visiting Amsterdam. Hostels often have self-catering facilities, so if you stumble upon a good food market you can try cooking up your own delicious Dutch feast. In typical European fashion, markets are common in this city – from flowers to art, and from cheese to clothes, you can find just about anything if you visit them all.
Below is a list of some excellent markets, but you should also ask the local staff at your Amsterdam hostels who may be able to help with some hot insider tips.
The Alburt Cuyp Market
If you’re looking for an authentic, eclectic local market and a feast for every one of your senses, this is the one for you! The largest of the city’s markets has been attracting buyers and sellers for over 100 years, and you will find everything from fruit, meats, vegetables, fish, spices and chocolate to clothes, shoes, bedding and fabrics. It is open every day except Sunday and is a great introduction to the market culture in the city.
The traditional Dutch name of this market offers a hint of what is sold here, but this flower market is one with a difference: it floats! It is, in fact, the only one of its kind in the world. Stalls are set up on houseboats, which once traversed up and down the river but today remain as semi-permanent fixtures along the canal. The stunning displays of colour and the incredible scents are mesmerising, and wandering along the canal that is home to this unique market is a great way to spend a morning in Amsterdam. Hostels in the city centre mean this wonderful attraction is easily accessible to everyone.
Waterlooplein Flea Market
Markets, collectibles and antiques go hand in hand, and this market in Waterlooplein is one of the best. The largest flea market in the city is an eclectic mix of posh and not so posh. If you love a market in which you can browse for hours, get lost in mazes of tiny shops, and rummage through second-hand clothes boutiques and bric-a-brac dens then it’s perfect for you. If you want to bargain with stallholders a little banter is not frowned upon here – although other markets may not tolerate it.
The Spui Book Market
A lovely addition to a visit to the Waterlooplein Flea Market is a side trip to the Spui Book market. You can immerse in the incredible array of antique books sourced by dealers who have built collections of poetry, literature, fantasy and fiction, as well as antique maps, prints and records. Much of what is offered here is in English and other languages too.
No matter which of the Amsterdam hostels you choose to stay in, there is bound to be a market very close by. If you’re looking to discover the real and authentic local cultureFind Article, markets often offer the best opportunity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Looking for your dream travel experience? Jason H. Cunningham works for Hostelling International, a company with more than 4,000 hostels worldwide in fantastic locations. For the best Amsterdam hostels, or anywhere else, join our global community and say hi to the world. From quality, affordable accommodation and backpacker tips, to meaningful volunteer opportunities and enriching our eco footprint, we are the world’s local hostelling hub.
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