Markets are a fantastic way to get a feel for a city's culture - they have formed the beating heart of communities for centuries and Amsterdam has some really good ones. From traditional cheese markets to international melting pots in areas with high numbers of immigrants from all around the world, Amsterdam's markets are where old meets new.
Although you can find most big international chains in the city, for a really local shopping experience, visiting an Amsterdam markets are great places to be.
Whether you're looking for a unique souvenir (who needs a weed-themed ash tray with a Jamaican flag or clog fridge magnet when you can get something more special?) or just to try some local food, a market is where it's at.
Luckily for visitors, the Dutch capital is full of such places and each has its own unique vibe and charms.
So, where can you find the best markets in Amsterdam?
The Albert Cuyp Markt is situated just south of the city centre in De Pijp. This is probably the most famous market in Amsterdam and you can find almost anything here. Although the market began as a random collection of street sellers centuries ago, by 1905 it had become complete chaos and the authorities stepped in to regulate it. The Albert Cuyp Markt is reportedly the largest day time market in Europe now and is certainly the busiest in the country. Albert Cuyp is a great place to try some local food - find out more about what to try in this blog here!
Looking for a souvenir that's a little different? Head over to the Waterlooplein Flea Market. You can find a wide selection of things here and, amongst the jumble, there are always a few hidden gems and bargains! From clothes to bikes and everything in between, the Waterlooplein Fleamarket has it all. Situated bang in the middle of the old Jewish district, the market has an historic feel and is close enough to the centre to make it a must-see!
If you're staying in Oud West or just exploring this brilliant neighbourhood, head over to Ten Katemarkt for an authentically local market. It's probably one of the best value places in Amsterdam for a spot of shopping and although it tends to feel slightly chaotic, it's a great place to try another Dutch delicacy - Kibelling. These fried pieces of fresh cod are an Amsterdam favourite and Ten Katemarkt undoubtedly has the best in the city!
Holland is known for its tulips around the world - this country has been involved in the flower trade for centuries and even today is the major player internationaly. The Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) is one of the most famous parts of the city and consists of little shops floating on the canal. Although flowers don't arrive by boat daily as they did in years gone by, the Bloemenmarkt retains its incredible colour and vibrance. If you'd like to pick up some tulip bulbs so you can be reminded of your trip to Amsterdam each spring, this is the place to buy them! Just be sure to count your bulbs - there are a number of scammers who overcharge for a bag of duds!
In beautiful East Amsterdam, Dappermarkt serves one of the most multicultural neighbourhoods in the city. This cool market has been placed in the top 10 shopping streets in the world by National Geographic - an impressive reputation - which is understandable when you visit and are treated to the sight of food from all over the world in one place! Generations of immigrants from countries like Turkey and Morocco as well as the Dutch colonies of Suriname and Indonesia have set up stall here in the past decades creating an incredible world food market. It's lively, colourful and a different side of the city which many tourists don't get the chance to experience.