March 30, 2018


Words: Protima Tiwary

‘You will never seem to run out of entertainment options in Amsterdam, but all of that comes at a price’


Amsterdam might be known for its canals, the Red Light District, museums and the coffee shops, but not many talk about the presence of the oldest flea market of Netherlands in the middle of this bustling town. Today, this has unfortunately been reduced to a discovery only adventurous travelers will make. If you’re one of them, you need to drop those tourist booklets and allow yourself to get lost in the many lanes of this small town. One of them will take you to the Waterloo Square, a proud home to the oldest flea market in Amsterdam.

You will never seem to run out of entertainment options in Amsterdam, but all of that comes at a price. If you’re in the mood to find a vintage piece of clothing or an item of interior decoration, the Waterloopein Market is perfect for you. While a flea market might not sound thrilling to a tourist, let me assure you that this flea market is far from ordinary. From its history to the items sold here today, the Waterloopein Flea Market comes across as a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, and the diversity of things on offer give this market a distinctive personality.


Since 1893, this has been the largest and most important Jewish market in Amsterdam. There was a bit of a break during the world wars with the persecution of the Jews, and the market resumed trade post 1941. The market had to move between 1977-1984, when the opera and town hall were being built on the Waterloo Square. It regained its original spot after the completion of the construction.


The flea market is open six days a week, and is shut on Sundays. The flea market today has around 300 stalls selling old books, second hand clothes, new outfits, costumes, military uniforms, shoes, vintage cameras, latest fashion, electronics, vinyl records, old tin boxes and scrap, and so much more. There are also some food trucks that offer delicious Italian, Lebanese and Greek appetizers.


Be aware of pickpockets! Don’t be afraid to bargain for a good deal! Have patience, dig deep, and you’ll find some great treasures that are worthy of a collector’s display!


Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:30pm Saturday: 8:30am–5:30pm Landmark – located right behind the Red Light District, within close proximity of the Rembrandt House. There is a paid parking space available under the Town Hall for those who wish to get their cars. This rustic open air market draws curious travelers like moths to light. Vintage leather coats, antique knickknacks, vinyl records, tin boxes or the first edition of your favorite classic, you never know what you might find here!

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