I’m a bit of an imposter when it comes to this whole “outdoor flea market” thing – it’s time I just came out and said it.
In my dreams, I stroll through such markets at a leisurely pace, lovingly eyeing old rotary phones and vinyl records, chatting to the stallkeepers who have worked there for decades, and then magically discover something breathtaking that I will cherish forever (/sell to someone else for 100x what I paid).
In reality, I stroll through awkwardly, trying not to get knocked over, hoping no one will speak to me, and what I “magically discover” is yet another rack of “I WeedLeaf Amsterdam” keychains.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t like the Waterlooplein Markt in Amsterdam, or that I don’t think it’s worth a visit. On the contrary, I seem to wind up there nearly every time I’m in the city – though with me, it’s hard to tell if it’s deliberate or if I just get lost.
Maybe I’m simply getting old and persnickety, here (after all, I’ll be 27 next week, which I’m sure my mother loves to be reminded of); but I think it’s time I let go of any romantic, Pinterest-worthy notions I hold towards places like this. And really, what is a blog for if it’s not to drag everyone else down with you? They say misery loves company, but I think “cynicism” and “discrediting” are right up there with it, and if you know me at all, you know those are two of my favourite things.
So in the spirit of realism, I can’t say the Waterlooplein Markt is everything you’ve been dreaming of; but once you adjust your expectations to “lots of old teapots and a nice walk alongside a canal” (which, if you’re going to Amsterdam, you should probably do, anyway), it measures up pretty well. If you’re looking for chipped cups and old vintage irons, I daresay you’d be overwhelmed with possibilities. And if you’re anything like the 10-year-old that still lives a little bit in my heart and you really want a typewriter in your life? Sorted.
If that’s not enough of a draw, there’s also stroopwafels, the Netherlands’ answer to the timeless question: “My boyfriend lives there, but why should I really move to your country?” (And don’t worry; there’s more where that came from.)
To get to the Waterlooplein Markt: Take tram 14 from Centraal Station and get off at Stadhuis. You can also take the metro to the conveniently titled “Waterlooplein” station. (Click for map.)
Hours: The market runs Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm.