Amsterdam’s oldest and largest flea market, Waterlooplein Market dates back to 1893. The market, spread between the Leprozengracht and Houtgracht canals in the former Jewish quarter, has long been at the center of Amsterdam’s bohemian culture. Held from Monday to Saturday, it remains a prime gathering spot for the city’s youth.
The 300-odd stalls at the lively Waterlooplein Market offer alternative and vintage clothing, antiques, music posters, memorabilia, records, and cameras, along with hair braiding and tattoos. Even if you’re not planning to shop, shimmying your way through the crowds of locals and tourists provides the perfect opportunity to soak up Amsterdam’s eclectic vibe.
Waterlooplein is a stop on Amsterdam’s hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour, which makes it easy to get there, explore the stalls independently, then continue visiting other city landmarks at your own pace. Canal cruises also travel past the market, offering the chance to get a peek at the action, and you can also visit as part of a private or group walking tour of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Waterlooplein Market is a must-visit for shoppers and those interested in experiencing local culture.
- Several food vendors set up trucks around the market, selling everything from pastries to meatballs.
- Keep your belongings close to you as there is always a risk of pickpockets.
How to Get There
From Amsterdam Centraal, take tram 14 (direction Flevopark) or metro 54 (direction Gein) to the Waterloo stop. Alternatively, it takes around 15 minutes to walk from Centraal, passing through Nieuwmarkt and the edge of De Wallen (red-light district) en route.
When to Get There
Waterlooplein Market is open every day except Sunday, from 9:30am to 6pm. The busiest time is Saturday afternoon, which makes for a lively atmosphere. If you want a more relaxing experience for browsing the stalls, arrive early or on a weekday to avoid the biggest crowds.
The Area Around Waterlooplein Market
The market is well placed—close to the River Amstel and surrounded by such attractions as the Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Rembrandt House Museum, and the Hermitage Amsterdam museum—making the area an ideal base for a day. Hortus Botanicus, one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens, is also nearby, less than a 10-minute walk away.