This bustling neighbourhood street market on Albert Cuypstraat has been held six days per week (Monday-Saturday) for over a century. It offers local Amsterdammers and curious visitors alike an opportunity to browse and buy almost everything they could need. From fresh meat, fish and vegetables to specialist international foods, clothing, haberdashery, flowers and furniture, there is very little that isn’t represented by the market itself or the stores around.
About half of the total market is comprised of perishable goods, so if you subtract that you’ll find what’s left mostly leans toward the flea market category. The bric-a-brac and toiletries might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s no bad thing as the market is the life and soul of the neighbourhood, offering one of the few glimpses you’ll get into born-and-bred Amsterdammers, and a sign that the area is still a ‘real’ neighbourhood. If you’re looking for the pricier organics and artisanal food experience, head west to the picture-perfect Noordermarkt in the Jordaan. Or better still, do both!
Need refreshments whilst swept along in the market’s current? Keep your energy up without ever stepping away from the market; if your tastes are savoury look out for Turkish deli stand which makes belly busting sandwiches to order, find the Vietnamese loempia (spring rolls), or head to traditional haring shops or grab some frites along the way. Meanwhile, poffertjes (small puffy pancakes), stroopwaffels (layered caramel wafers) or Spanish churros should satiate the sweet tooths in the group.
The market itself is only one part of the experience though. Step off it and you’ll find dozens of places to shop, eat and drink in the surrounding area. I’m particularly fond of finding a seat at one of the bars or cafes at the edge of the market at around 5.30pm as the traders wind down and noisily pack up their produce. As you watch his final flurry of activity you’ll spot the herons casually fly in to inspect the leftovers.
We at Kompas think this neighbourhood offers the best people-watching experience in Amsterdam. Take a seat at one of the many market-adjacent cafes or bars and just… watch.
Nowhere else in the city will you see such a diverse mix of lifestyles; from the hipster contingent supping flat whites, to the local market traders talking to their neighbours. All of Amsterdam life is here.