spiegelstraat Amsterdam
spiegelstraat Amsterdam

Flea Markets in Amsterdam

Waterlooplein Flea Market (if you want to try your luck)

Waterlooplein 2, Amsterdam – Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Sunday Closed)

As I usually say, “if the city has a flea market, head there first”. But in the case of Amsterdam, the Waterlooplein flea market can wait. There are many more interesting venues and shops to visit in the city; and if by chance you are in Amsterdam one of the week-end the IJ-Hallen is open, don’t even trade 20 minutes of your time there, for the Waterlooplein flea market. The thing is, it might disappoint you – particularly if you are accustomed to flea markets in Paris (Vanves and Clignancourt), Rome, Berlin or London.

To summarize, the Waterlooplein Flea market is simply a big outdoor bazaar with 300 stands, best for second hand clothing and full of general bric-a-brac. That’s merely all.

Waterlooplein flea market amsterdam

This flea market is traditionally the oldest market of Amsterdam (created in 1880), but paradoxically, during the last ten years, it has been connected with the youth culture. That explain why you can mainly buy here trendy t-shirts, old military uniforms, Che Guevara posters, cheap canned spray paints for the graffiti, objects from underdeveloped countries of Africa and Asia, old books, video’s and DVD’s, electronics, curiosa, and of course… a lot of garbage.

Visitors with a bit of know-how will quickly notice that antiques related merchants merely represent 25% of all sellers. And most of them only have some kind of bric-a-brac on retail or fake antiques (the typical engraved sperm-whale teeth, sailing objects in “copper”, retro prints, etc)

If you are not in the mood of digging your hands in dirty boxes, haggling for crappy stuff or in a bit of a hurry, just dodge the Waterlooplein flea market and focus your time and energy on the other venues we listed in our review “Vintage, Design and Flea Markets: A 3 days shopping tour in Amsterdam”.